Cassadaga DVD Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
DVD released by Archstone Distribution
Directed by Anthony Diblasi
Written by Bruce Wood & Scott Polley
2011, Region 1 (NTSC), 102 Minutes, Rated R
DVD released on December 31st, 2013
Kelen Coleman as Lily
Kevin Alejandro as Mike
Louise Fletcher as Claire
Horror movies often have the misfortune of being predictable. You can guess exactly what is going to happen, rendering most scare scenes and plot twists unsatisfying. I am happy to say Cassadaga is anything but.
Cassadaga is about a young deaf girl who moves to the self-purported psychic town in an effort to get over the death of her sister. Her attempts at a normal life are thwarted when she inadvertently contacts a vengeful spirit who wants her to solve her murder. It's like Stir of Echoes minus the Kevin Bacony goodness.
I loved this movie; this is probably one of the best films that HorrorTalk has deigned to assign me. To begin with it actually startled me on occasion and I consider myself a rather jaded horror fan. From the opening scene on, I realized that I was watching something different. Something that was smart, creative, and original.
There was only one moment I could have deemed predictable which was the identity of the killer. I knew who it was the moment he came on screen. Still this knowledge did not detract from the enjoyment of the film.
I fell in love with the main character Lily (Kelen Coleman - Children of the Corn: Genesis). She is kind and likable but doesn't fall into the typical Mary Sue persona that a lot of horror heroines do. She also doesn't follow the traditional route of suddenly becoming an action girl when it comes time to fight the villain. Lily is a realistic character which makes it easier to root for her at the end. I was also pleased to see Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), a favorite actress of mine, even though she is woefully underused.
The special effects are perfectly done. They manage to be disturbing without being revolting. There are a couple of scenes that are so disturbing I had to turn away from the screen. That is something else a more traditional horror movie can't make me do.
My only quibble with Cassadaga is the very abrupt ending. As I had said before, I grew to love Lily's character and would have like to have seen what had become of her. It would have been nice to have a final scene added with her.
If you are looking for something that you haven't seen before, check this movie out. It is a must see experience for all the jaded horror movie fans out there.
Video and Audio:
Cassadaga was decently shot with some beautiful cinematography but fails during night scenes. A couple of times I had to rewind the film because I couldn't see what was going on.
You can hear everything clearly and it isn't drowned by the soundtrack like a lot of movies do.
There are no special features.