A documentary team sets up to film an elderly woman as Alzheimer's disease encroaches upon her, but her behavior
soon begins to exhibit a darker influence.
Much like Shyamalan's underrated The Visit, the real horror on display here is the human body's built-in senescence. I originally watched The Taking of Deborah Logan with a friend who had recently seen his own grandmother go through the final stages of Alzheimer's; luckily, he didn't find the film too personally painful, but that knowledge gave me a certain amount of sight into its depths. Jill Larson's performance is humane and yet horrifying, as her brain rebels against her body, and the possession-or-not question begged by the narrative doesn't undermine that. It's also a more consciously stagey "found-footage" film than others - perhaps a deliberate wink at the documentary form, which always pretends to objectivity while being fundamentally removed from it. In any case, this is that rarest of all horror movies: a bored, "whadd're we gonna watch tonight" Netflix diamond-in-the-rough. It more than suffices.
[ important note: ]
I only discovered doing research for this film that Bryan Singer, known child abuser and rapist, produced it. I would urge you to find a way to watch it from which he will not profit. He did not participate in the film creatively.
CAST + CREW
Director: Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key, Escape Room)
Cast: Jill Larson (The Living Wake, All My Children)
Anne Ramsey (A League of Their Own, Critters 4)
CONTENT (spoilered; highlight for warnings)
violence against children, alzheimer's disease, snakes
CAREER STATS [on a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most)]
Effective documentary segues elegantly to real horror.
Mostly unsettling, but contains some real-deal shocks.
Add two points if you've had to care for a troubled elder.
A compelling start gets under your skin for audacious payoff.
The Visit, Grave Encounters, Lake Mungo, The Exorcist III