When “The Blair Witch Project” scared the shit out of us in 1999, it was a game changer for the horror genre. Thanks to technology, anyone with a small budget and a handy-cam could make a movie. Then, in 2007 when “Paranormal Activity” franchise came along it took the horror genre to another level with its faux-documentary style of filming.
Originally released in 2014 as “Beckoning the Butcher,” this Australian indie horror film comes to America on DVD as “The Butcher: Possessions.” The film is a documentary-styled film shot in point of view following the disappearance of five 20-somethings who were on a ghost hunt.
Chris Shaw (Damien E. Lipp) has a fascination with conjuring up ghosts from urban legends he has found on the internet, even though they seldom work. Chris, along with his girlfriend Tara McQuarrie (Stephanie Mauro); his buddy Brent Wellborne (Tristan Barr); his girlfriend Lorraine Castanon (Tilly Legge) and mutual friend Nicole Goodlowe (Sophie Wright) head out to Brent’s family vacation home 40 miles from anywhere to play beckoning the butcher to see if they can bring out any evil spirits.
Chris is an aspiring film maker and he is never without a camera in his hands. In between his POV footage, the film cuts back and forth to Chris’ brother, a detective and a psychic for the documentary footage.
The group gather’s their supplies – a candle, salt, sage and drops of their blood, for the invocation of the butcher. Lorraine mysteriously gets sick after the conjuring and things go downhill fast. One by one, the spirit of the butcher picks them off and the only evidence if the footage from the cameras Chris had a one survivor who never used their blood to play the game which took their friends.
For a small budget film, “The Butcher: Possessions” feels like a real documentary and the acting is the prime reason for that. Even though this type of film has been done to death, there are a few moments which will keep you on the edge of your seat and hoping for the best.