To its credit, “The Taking of Deborah Logan” is a horror film that’s generally remained in the public consciousness mainly for its memorable imagery. As a horror movie it’s just an okay experience that probably would have been so much more effective as a filmed feature. In the end, it’s mainly an okay found footage horror movie that comes out pretty golden mainly for two or three really memorable moments that have become internet memes and are still widely circulated to this day.
Mia, Gavin, and Luis are making a documentary about elderly woman Deborah Logan, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Though Deborah is hesitant, her daughter Sarah talks her in to filming the documentary for the sake of the money, to keep the house from being repossessed. As the crew delves in to Deborah’s life, Deborah begins to exhibit odd behavior with her Alzheimers’ prompting them to watch her closely. Before long, they realize something supernatural is happening with no relation to her deteriorating mental state. As Deborah grows even more violent, possessing weird habits and behavior, the crew and Sarah begin to investigate and realize she might be under the control of a horrific cult leader who worshipped snakes and sought out to sacrifice five virgins. As Deborah makes a play for a young girl named Cara suffering from terminal cancer, the group scrambles to find the pair and hopefully stop Deborah before the doctor’s plan succeeds and pure evil is unleashed.
“The Taking of Deborah Logan” for such a creative and interesting premise only works half the time. While half of the film is a genuinely spooky and unnerving possession tale, Adam Robitel falls prey to the tropes of found footage movies. There are a ton of scenes where someone pops up out the side of a frame, or sneaks up behind someone, and it grows tiresome almost immediately. As a matter of fact once the entire movie builds up to the frantic climax, it’s nothing but an amusement park horror ride of pop ups and jump scares, ending in a cheesy final scene. To make matters worse, the narrative takes leaps and bounds in logic that were distracting.
I’m sorry, but no hospital in any corner in any of the world would allow a family to take their Alzheimer’s stricken mom home, if they’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a danger to themselves and dangerous to others. It’s a ridiculous footnote in the narrative that dampens an otherwise okay movie. That said, you could do so much worse than “The Taking of Deborah Logan” as it excels in some genuine suspense, as well as great imagery like Deborah attempting to consume her young victim like a snake. Robitel also has a lot of fun building tension with CCTV footage that helps build the terror. Jill Larson and Anne Ramsay are also quite excellent in their respective roles, the former of whom perfectly portrays the titular Logan’s turn from Alzheimer’s patient to pure demonic terror. “The Taking of Deborah Logan” doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but for a quick horror fix, it goes down well.