film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Hunting Souls 2022 * * Stars


"This is not real, this is not real". Oh but it is. Things that go bump in the night are real to the poor mortals that have to deal with them.

Anyway if you've ever wanted to see a movie rivaling the first Paranormal Activity (sans the found footage and improvisation), then 2022's Hunting Souls is that movie. Yup, a demon or supernatural entity is going after someone (in this case a little girl). Added to that, the outside of the house in "Souls" looks different but the interior, well it's almost identical to the abode that Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat inhabited.

Now is Hunting Souls as good and as low budget-friendly as Paranormal Activity? Uh no, not by a long shot. "Souls" has a few taut moments but it's not really scary, probably because we've seen too much of this fodder in the past. I will say that you could almost play a drinking game every time you hear (or see) the words "you can't save her". Or not. You may be three sheets to the wind before the 97-minute running time of "Souls" subsides.

The director of "Souls" (Diego Silva Acevedo) is a full-feature rookie. He wants to creep you out but ultimately can't. I mean he inserts a few Hitchcockian moments (the actual evil spirit doesn't show up for a while) and his actors while unknown, are pretty much committed. Too bad his film veers almost into SNL parody territory, what with its cheap special effects, choppy editing, cringed comic relief, and weak costuming.

I mean let's look at that demon in question. It tries hard to be menacing but appears like a cut-rate version of the ones from The Descent or some 80s Amityville endeavor. Along with a typical surprise ending and some strained, horror psychobabble, Hunting Souls sadly doesn't do its job. It is a dog that can't quite (or won't) "hunt".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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