‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’: Demon Possession as an Allegory for Alzheimer’s (review)

Deborah (Jill Larson) is an older woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Because they need the money, her daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) talks her into being the subject of a PhD candidate’s student film. The filmmakers Mia (Michelle Ang), Luis (Jeremy DeCarlos), and Gavin (Brett Gentile) stay in her house and watch her every move. Deb’s odd behavior begins going outside the parameters of the disease (like when she leaps to the top of her oven in a single bound), and it seems that an event from Deborah’s past is coming back with supernatural results.

deb2
“Om nom nom!”

It’s shot documentary style, which is not my favorite, but it’s done well. It’s a little reminiscent of Paranormal Activity at times, but overall it’s a pretty original premise. Alzheimer’s isn’t a subject often addressed in horror movies, and here it’s given a pretty serious examination. Sarah’s plight dealing with her mother’s irrational acts and Deborah’s own struggle to gain control over herself are actually scarier than possession by an evil ghost. Their isolation and the doctors’ inability to solve Deborah’s sudden decrease in normal brain function is more disturbing than the many jump scares. The scenes when Deborah are lucid are almost painful to watch because we’re given glimpses of what she was like before her health started to deteriorate.

The characters are likable overall, and are actually pretty diverse; they range from Asian to Latino to Armenian to gay. One of the only gripes I have is Gavin—he’s a throwaway character. Why Mia has two crew members with her isn’t really gone into, and she doesn’t really seem to need Gavin. When he takes off halfway through the movie, never to return, it emphasizes the pointlessness of him being there in the first place.

deb6
I’ll give you three guesses as to which one is the lesbian character

All in all, it’s a tense and creepy watch. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for something dark and thought-provoking.

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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