"The Taking of Deborah Logan" Takes Many Twists and Turns
Based on a recommendation, I took a leap of faith to watch The Taking of Deborah Logan. Considering myself a horror-phile, there was no way I was passing up an opportunity to watch a possible classic.
The Taking of Deborah Logan’s theatrical release was October 21, 2014, exactly ten days before all Hallow’s Eve. Currently, the film has found its home on AMC+. The film is not too lengthy nor too short. The movie is an hour and 29-minute watch if one has the time to spare.
In this movie, a reporting journalist named Mia Medina takes an idea and turns it into a documentary. Alzheimer’s is the unassuming topic of Mia’s work. Admittedly at face value, Alzheimer’s is not an exciting concept from which to springboard a horror story. However, there is no need to hold one’s breath; the storyline gets better.
Formula and Format
By now, it is evident that this film is formatted as a documentary. Therefore, every active moment is caught on a reel of film in the style of Blair witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2009).
Typically, I’m not a fanatic of these types of films as the market saturation is too high. But, cinema sometimes works like a virus. Once an idea catches, it spreads like wildfire, almost inextinguishable. Yet, one never knows when the exploitation of formula will work perfectly. And thus began the beginning of the viewing!
The subject of Mia’s piece is no other than Deborah Logan, played by Jill Larson. Logan is believed to have progressive Alzheimer’s. She lives with her only daughter, who is also her caretaker. Sarah Logan, played by Anne Ramsey, is responsible for not only her ailing mother but also for contacting Mia.
Deborah is reluctant to be a test subject. Even so, her daughter formulates a tearful plea for continuance, coaxing Deborah.
Initially, Deborah comes off as a gentle reclusive soul. She doesn’t want to share much of herself with the world. That is understandable given the gravity of her progressive condition but it isn’t hard to see that Deborah’s issue is more extensive than Alzheimer’s. Not only is she a recluse, Deborah is meticulous to a fault. Her home is like a museum, prim and pristine.
Off to the Races
The documentary has a slow start. The film within the film comes off as dully informative. It doesn’t stay dead for long. Fifteen minutes in and we’re off to the races! Deborah has her first episode, which does not look much like Alzheimer’s. In fact, her break resembles a full-blown case of psychosis. Unbelievably things get grotesquely terrifying. The shock factor is indeed set to 100%. As the story unfolds, Deborah seems to walk a tightrope between the natural and the supernatural.
But one quickly realizes that Deborah is not gentle by any stretch of the imagination. Gradually things deteriorate, including Deborah’s mental and physical state. Finally, thirty minutes into the film, the professionals (i.e., doctors) get their first inkling that they aren’t dealing with the apparent case of Alzheimer’s. So, they proceed to diagnose Deborah with many maladies, including split personality disorder.
Can someone say holy misdiagnosis, Batman?
Not All of Us are Clueless
Any fan of horror will catch on early. When they do, then bam! That’s when the eye-rolling and questioning begins.
How can a group of individuals be so oblivious?
Deborah’s infliction is blatantly apparent. For the sake of maintaining mystery, I will not divulge the great find. The viewer must take up that quest.
Nevertheless, the real question becomes, why does logic not apply in this situation?
Stuck in the Middle with You
By the middle of the film interest shifts. What keeps viewers entertained is determining how long it will take for these supporting characters to get an actual clue. Laughably, there is one character who doesn’t disappoint. It takes him almost the entire film to catch on. Then when he does get it, he wants out immediately. His departure is everything and the comedic icing on this weirdly fascinating and annoying tale.
Climbing to the Apex
The Taking of Deborah Logan has an apex to die for. However, I must echo a word of warning; it is disconcerting. However, the viewer will not be able to look away. I rewound the film at least three times to grasp what I saw.
The Taking of Deborah Logan gets a grade of A for creep factor. The special effects are fantastic. Admittedly there is some graphic content not fit for the squeamish. But overall, the film takes a rating of a strong B-.
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) Official Trailer