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Film Review: The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

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SYNOPSIS:

A film crew is making a documentary about Sarah Logan and her mother, Deborah, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The crew soon realizes that something else is wrong with Deborah and when they realize what it is, it may be too late.

REVIEW:

Director: Adam Robitel
Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang

The Taking of Deborah Logan tells the story of Sarah Logan (Anne Ramsay) who is trying her best to deal with her mother, Deborah (Jill Larson), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and is steadily getting worse and worse. Sarah is given an opportunity to earn money by allowing a film crew led by Mia Medina (Michelle Ang) film the daily activities by the Logan family. Deborah reluctantly agrees and filming begins.

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The film crew witnesses the ups and downs that both Deborah and Sarah are forced to deal with while fighting this disease. Deborah switches moods, demeanor, actions, and mental status at a moment’s notice. Soon after filming begins, the crew starts to notice occurrences that do not appear to be caused by Alzheimer’s, but by something much more sinister. As the days go by, Deborah’s actions and nightly activities make everyone suspect that something else is going on with her. She is displaying signs that she may not be alone inside her own mind, but what is it that is inside her?

Once the crew and Sarah start investigating more into their suspicions they realize what may exactly be wrong with Deborah, and then it becomes a fight to save her life before she or anyone else in the house dies.

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The Taking of Deborah Logan is another “found footage” movie, or to be more precise, a “released footage” movie. I tend to enjoy the “found footage” genre as long as it can keep my attention. I understand that some movies like this have to build up tension by making you sit through a boring introduction before things start getting good. I’m ok with that set up. That being said, I didn’t have that boring feeling with this movie. It moved along at a nice pace and never really left too much idle time on my hands waiting for something to happen. The actors were fairly believable. I didn’t have any problem immediately knowing the intentions of Mia Medina or her crew. They displayed themselves very well at being professional documentary filmmakers and they seemed to have patience at dealing with someone who has Alzheimer’s even if sometimes I wonder if the real filmmakers actually knew much about this disease to begin with, but I digress, I KNOW this isn’t meant to be a real documentary.

My likes with this movie are many. First and foremost was the acting by Jilll Larson as Deborah Logan. She played the part of the Alzheimer’s patient very very well. The way she would shift moods on the fly and act perfectly normal one moment and then the next didn’t know where she was or who anyone else was. Coming from a medical background and seeing real life Alzheimer’s patients, I really felt like she got into that role and shined bright. Anne Ramsay as the daughter Sarah did well. She seemed at her end of her rope trying to deal with her mother and the hardship of living with someone with the disease. I would have liked to seen more emotion but I also know that once you have dealt with that for so long your emotions shut off and it’s a matter of just existing, so that’s easy to overlook.

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The film crew did well at playing their part. They had a few comical lines that didn’t seem to go overboard too much or too often.

I wasn’t a big fan of the scenes at the hospital. This is where I don’t know how much the director really knew about Alzheimer’s, but as there were not many scenes here, again, it is easy to not get hung up on the details there.

My biggest issue is where I stand on big climax of the movie at the end. Parts of it were very creepy and they pulled it off but other parts I think they went a little too unrealistic. I am not going to give anything away as I really think this movie was done well and deserves to be viewed. Endings are best not known ahead of time because I can forgive the ending for what the movie was like as a whole. I enjoyed the storyline, the actors, and the tone of the movie. It had some nice creepy moments that made me look forward to what would happen next.

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