Films that take place in Florida tend to focus on the bigger areas (Tampa, Miami, Orlando, etc.). With “Cassadaga,” which releases to limited theaters and VOD on Oct. 11, we’re exposed to a very small area. But it’s one that’s known as the “psychic capital of the world.”
“Cassadaga” is an interesting film – mixing several different types of genres. There’s some torture porn horror, but it’s nowhere near as bad as a “Saw” film, and there are also some psychological thriller moments.
The lovely and talented Kelen Coleman (TV’s “The Newsroom”) plays Lily, a post-lingually deaf artist who loses her sister in a tragic accident. She relocates to the small area of Cassadaga, Fla. for a change of pace. While there, she gets a séance to see if she can find closure with her late sister. Instead, she contacts the vengeful spirit of a murdered young lady. She’s not sure how this spirit found her through the séance, but as she tries to figure out what is happening, she runs into a serial killer known as Gepetto – who turns his victims into human marionettes.
“Cassadaga” isn’t wholly original, but there are some neat things about it to merit a mild recommendation. Director Anthony DiBlasi (“Midnight Meat Train”) creates some pretty intense scenes in which we see the victims as marionettes. They don’t feel as torturous to watch as any of the kills in the “Saw” franchise, and the visuals look pretty realistic.
Since Coleman’s character is deaf, there are moments where DiBlasi will move the camera extremely close to her character, and the sound drops. It’s a neat technique, and it gives the viewer a very uncomfortable feeling of not being able to hear your surroundings.
Plenty of horror films have been popping up in the OnDemand section recently, but there are only a few worth checking out. “Cassadaga” is certainly one of those. While it’s not entirely scary or unique, it does put a nice spin on the horror/supernatural genre.