The Casebook Of Eddie Brewer Movie Review
Written by Simon Bland
DVD released by Rookery Pictures
Directed by Andrew Spencer
Written by Andrew Spencer
2012, 89 minutes, Not yet rated.
Ian Brooker as Eddie Brewer
Peter Wight as Ray Riddle
Louise Paris as Dr Susan Kovac
Alison Belbin as Debbie Green
Erin Connolly as Lucy Blakewell
Bella Hamblin as Glenda Blakewell
Horror movies thrive on small budgets. Empty wallets force newbie filmmakers to be inventive, contort traditional narratives to suit their limitations and generally be a bit more exciting. The Casebook Of Eddie Brewer has a great premise. Its down-to-earth plot gets much of its character and cool out of the ideas it presents, rather than the in-your-face scares that most low-cost horrors opt for. It follows Eddie Brewer (duh); a local ghost hunter who has agreed to be followed and filmed for a Culture channel documentary. Joined by a small team of filmmakers, Eddie goes about his day-to-day duties of small-time paranormal investigation, all the while searching for that elusive piece of undeniable evidence.
After visiting a mother and daughter who believe they’re being plagued by a rogue poltergeist, he checks out the dodgy basement of an eighteenth century building and starts to suspect the two might be linked. With his ‘old school’ approach and free of charge service, he’s met with sniggers and snorts when a Most Haunted type show turns up to snoop about the same building. Their over-the-top entertainment fakery, resident ‘medium’ and numerous state-of-the-art gadgets make Eddie’s solo work look all the more welcoming. While both spirit hunting sides are busy butting heads they soon find that all their techniques are useless against Grimaldi, the anarchic demon who’s causing all the chaos. As the investigation gets progressively darker, everyone involved has their skeptical tendencies put to the test.
Director Andrew Spencer’s decision to shift the focus on to his well meaning protagonist instead of everything that goes bump in the night is endearing. While the latter may have earned him some quick and easy scares, the former brings into focus a very interesting character. Played with a quiet restraint, Ian Brooker’s Eddie Brewer is in the ghost hunting game for all the right reasons. While his rivals tout their ghost-detecting doodads (and their obvious fakery), Brewer hits the library, does research, collects paranormal artifacts and shares his findings openly. Early on in the film we learn that he recently lost his wife in a fire. Could this be the reason he’s dedicated his life to chasing the dead? As on a few other occasions, Spencer keeps us guessing and in doing so creates the real hook of the movie.
Of course this would all be a bit tame without a few scares, and during the final act Spencer decides to switch gears to something a little more sinister. Relying on the overused ‘creepy child’ horror motif, typical dodgy lighting and a few occult nods Spencer’s final firework display feels a little pinned on. The constantly changing film styles (documentary, feature film, handheld) doesn’t do much to help things either. However these gripes don’t detract from the original appeal of Eddie’s character. Like a pre-Proton pack Ghostbuster, you’d love to see where he goes next.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.