The Taking (2012) – 76 Minutes
Dir. Cezil Reed & Lydelle Jackson
Many months ago I was trawling the internet watching various trailers and reading reviews. When out of the blue I came across a trailer for a film named The Taking , after watching this I wrote a quick article and posted it with the trailer on my blog. However I couldn’t get the trailer out of my mind so contacted BAPartists and Lydelle Jackson got back in touch and he sent me a preview DVD. Unfortunately the DVD was crushed in transit , however I have now seen the film (finally) and here is my take on what should be on every horror fans “must see” list.
The Taking has a logline of – Two strangers must discover a way to escape a sinister family who wishes to sacrifice their souls to an evil presence. Reading this you would imagine a fairly standard run-of-the-mill horror film, but that is probably as far from the truth as possible.
The film centres on Carl (John Halas) who is trying to find his fiance and best friend after they have had an affair. But Carl ends up being taken prisoner by a strange family in a remote farmhouse. Carl attempts to escape but is recaptured and is tied to a tree and told he will be sacrificed in three days time and his soul taken. He is then joined by Jade who has experienced a similar capture and is tied to the next tree, she is coming to terms with the death of her young daughter just 42 days previous.
Carl starts to come to the realization that the reason they are there is more to do with the harbouring of revenge on those who have wronged them and they are trapped in something far worse than a remote farmhouse and their very souls are at risk. They are both forced to face their own demons in a series of horrific visions and encounters.
Well that is the basic premise and synopsis and I am keeping it vague as not to give any spoilers as The Taking is one of the most intense and exciting film experiences I have had in years.
You have beautiful bright colours , really sharp blood reds mixed with the gentle greens and earthy browns from the wooded surroundings. It is visually stunning and the swift camera work , often oblique angles and lightening fast editing makes this just a joy to watch.
Then mix in the absolute star of the show , the sound. There is no real score here , what you have is an all out attack of your senses. The sound is entrancing , it will be silent then leaves gently blow leading to a barbaric cacophony . You have almost audio explosions that mirror the increasing visual stimulus. The audial and visual mix is joyful, simply wonderful.
It is not so much a story but more an experience , from the start The Taking wraps it’s dirty little fingers around your neck and starts to squeeze , it increases its grip throughout the film until 76 minutes later it releases and you are left to think what the hell just happened? Well in my opinion what just happened was a serious assault on my senses which left me feeling almost bereft but hugely fulfilled, I felt like I had almost lived the entire film and that is something BAPartists should be roundly applauded for.
I cannot praise this film enough , the acting is fantastic with John Halas totally nailing it. There are parts of the film where *The God* speaks and the words are subtitled on the screen as the voice is a huge distortion of sound , the distortion is reminiscent of the band Sunn O))) , and anyone who has seen them live will know what I mean. The distortion fits so well and is very unnerving yet subtly beautiful at times.
I must say that when viewing this I had to go and get my *good* headphones , as the TV was not doing justice to the insane audio. I really hope at screenings and festivals that this carries across as well as it should. For me this film is best watched alone in a darkened room with headphones cranked up and just go for it!
The Taking was shot on the Canon 5D Mark II in Northern Virginia right outside of Washington DC on a budget of $13k .
BAParts have really done something special here, years of planning and entirely self funded and I am privileged to have seen this so early on and to have been given the opportunity to review it. What Cezil and Lydelle have created here is stunning and huge praise to them for having the balls to buck the norm and just go for it. For a first feature this is far from a safe venture, in fact it is a statement of intent from BAPartists and a big middle finger to the boring and predictable filmmakers out there.
This is a massive recommend , part horror , part art-house and fantastic 9.5/10 .
You can get more information on The Taking by visiting the following sites :