Cinema Quarantino, Film

CINEMA QUARANTINO: The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) dir Adam Robitel


Cinema Quarantino is an ongoing series of alternative streaming picks for the self-quarantined and the socially distanced, as selected by the film staff of Boston Hassle. To browse the rest of our picks, click here.

THE FILM: The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) dir Adam Robitel

THE STREAMER: Tubi / Shudder / Prime

My dad, a self-professed horror fan, always used to tell me that true horror should make you feel uneasy– the kind that makes you tell yourself, “I’m not sure I liked that.” Nowadays, it seems films that leave me with that sense of dread I was taught to appreciate come few and far between. But the ones that hit that not-so-sweet tooth *really* hit, and this article you, the reader, are taking in right now is about one particularly underrated flick: The Taking of Deborah Logan.

A found footage film like no other, Deborah Logan follows a crew of filmmakers making a documentary on Alzheimer’s patients, specifically our title character. But as they continue to document her, these filmmakers realize there is something a lot more evil at play– some kind of a demonic possession, so to speak. And thus begins a spooky descent into the thrills and chills behind Deborah Logan.

The key word here is chilling: The Taking of Deborah Logan is an uneasy film to watch. Whether it be the dead gaze given to the camera by Logan herself, or the terrifying self-dialogue she constructs, Jill Larson’s performance of Deborah Logan is not just horrifying, it’s downright unnatural. This is not to say that the rest of the cast doesn’t pull their own weight, but this film wouldn’t be the same without Larson.

Now pair this incredible performance with exceptional indie horror storytelling and baby, you got yourself a stew going. It’s always a treat when a low budget horror film has incredible world building, even if that world is out of the camera’s range. From a focus on worldwide rituals to a brand of demons called Desjardins, it’s obvious the world is bigger than Logan herself. Those small details go a long way, as the story grows in scope even as the audience’s eyes never go further than what the documentarians see.

All of these spooky happenings perpetually grow until the final act, in which we come face to face with the culmination of Logan’s possession: a tall, long-legged creature with its jaw open wide enough to swallow the child in her arms. A visual that even made me a little spooked, taking me back to what horror is truly all about– pushing boundaries, doing something unique in an overall dull genre, and going farther then most films dare to go.

The Taking of Deborah Logan is a true diamond in the rough.

The Taking of Deborah Logan
dir. Adam Robitel
90 min

Streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi, and with subscription on Shudder (free 30-day trial with code SHUTIN) and Prime

Streaming is no substitute for taking in a screening at a locally owned cinema, and right now Boston’s most beloved theaters need your help to survive. If you have the means, the Hassle strongly recommends making a donation, purchasing a gift card, or becoming a member at the Brattle Theatre, Coolidge Corner Theatre, and/or the Somerville Theatre. Keep film alive, y’all.

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