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Askew Review 15

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(Sub Rosa ) Documentary (Sort of.) 35 Minutes. Unrated.  Joshua P. Warren is a guy who hunts ghosts.  He's the author of a bunch of books including, big surprise, "How to Hunt Ghosts."  For this particular documentary, Mr. Warren has selected a beautiful home in North Carolina where he sets up many little devices and shows how they all work.  He gives us a night scope tour of this lovely home and talks in what may be the worst monotone of all time.  In the short span of the film, we are treated to little, unidentifiable glowing thingies that could be bugs with light reflecting off of them and some noises from a microphone that is cranked up way louder than it should be.  This is a good way to ruin perfectly good equipment.  And when the documentary is over, we are glad; glad that it is over. 
Now, I am a big fan of Sub Rosa and I think they do a good job of releasing products that would otherwise remain unseen by the public.  CORNMAN, SEVERE INJURIES and the films of Michael Legge are a few that come to mind.  Sub Rosa is also famous for dividing itself into many factions.  There is Sub Rosa Midwest, Sub Rosa Blue and now Sub Rosa Reel Life.  The front of the box promises Real People! Real Places! and Real Terror!  Well, two out of three ain't bad.  I assume that Mr. Warren is real and the house is real, but terror?  The only terror I can see coming from this disc is having to pay the list price of $24.95 for it. 
Early in the flick, Mr. Warren says that he is alone in the house and must haul all of his equipment into the house.  About three seconds later the camera zooms in for a close up.  Now, while I am aware that there are cameras with remotes, I checked several times and Mr. Warren's hands are empty.  I am sure that fifty years ago this might have played well in selected Grindhouses as some sort of curiosity, but only id the main feature as some sort of bizarre porn flick. 
In short, since this is a short film with feature film aspirations, I would have to ask that you avoid this DVD like the plague.  Maybe the money would be better spent on something useful: maybe lots of jello? - Douglas A. Waltz



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