From Beyond My Understanding: Banshee Chapter Review, Part One

27 Apr

Why, hello! Say, are there any H.P. Lovecraft fans in the audience?

Because if so, would you like to review this movie instead?

This is a DREADFUL sequel to Pin.

 

Look, I- I don’t have anything against H.P. Lovecraft! He seems like a talented, if tremendously racist, writer! But I’ve tried to sit down and read some of his works before, and my god, did that man need an editor. You need somebody to wade into his prose with a hedge-clipper and a fetish for cutting things before anything of reasonable size came out of the deal. Thankfully, that will hopefully not be a problem with Banshee Chapter, an 2013 adaptation of Lovecraft’s From Beyond!

… But I’m keeping my hedge-clipper nearby, just in case.

Ahem!

Our film opens with a text box, telling us about America’s old tests with mind control drugs, MK-Ultra, followed by old videos of people talking on the subject. Ah, yes, back when ugly people were allowed on TV. According to some modern footage of somebody discussing the project, each person given the drug claimed to see the same things. Presumably a Chapter- nay, even a Banshee chapter.

Our researcher guy turns out to be a friend of some lady, who talks about how he went missing, before cutting back to the past, with him taking a sample of said magical drug while his friend videotaped it. After a while of no effects, they both here some funky-ass warbling sounds (that’s the technical term), and head through the house to go investigate it. And it turns out to be… a radio. Like, a spooky radio, but still.

Eventually, the noise gets louder and louder, until something darts by the window, and everything gets all glitchy, and we get the scariest thing of all: the title. Cut back from that, and it turns out that both the guy who took the drug- his name’s James- and the guy making the film, disappeared soon after, and the lady who knew him back in college decided to investigate his disappearance. The lady, who I doubt is the Banshee- although she could be a chapter, I suppose, searched James’ house, and finds a some information about radio waves. Blues Clues would be so proud.

She heads to the local radio enthusiast for his opinion on the matter, and finds that the signal in James’ house was an old Numbers Station- creepy-ass old radio stations that broadcast numbers and letters and other incredibly useless information. To record the information, she’s told she has to head out into the desert in three in the morning with a receiver. Which I believe means that this movie is in canon with Fallout: New Vegas.

When I’m drunk, anyway.

 

She tells the radio enthusiast that she knows he used to work as a code-breaker for the CIA, which is… neat, I suppose. I’m sorry, I’ve met way too many government code-breakers to that to be impressive. (They drink a lot more than you’d expect, incidentally.) After waiting for several hours in the desert, she finally begins picking up the signal, which is more of a problem then you’d think, if only because scary voices muttering incomprehensibly over a staticy radio connection is about three levels of hell all in itself.

While she searches outside the car, she happens upon some terrifying monster- well, not exactly terrifying, more… blurry? It looks like a Silent Hill monster, only in the desert- so, a Welcome To Night Vale monster, then- look it was uncomfortable is my point gosh you asshats.

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