“An elderly woman battling Alzheimer’s disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.”

Director: Adam Robitel
Writer: Adam Robitel
Staring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang
Release Date: October 21, 2014

The Taking Of Deborah Morgan is low-budget horror movie that scares past the line of mediocrity despite its simple concept and often criticized shaky-cam POV camera style. The story is intriguing enough with its blend of realism and absurdity, but the glue that keeps the movie together is the performance of Jill Larson as the titular character Deborah Logan. The ninety minutes flash by as the terror starts to devolve into frantic absurdity and that audience starts to understand what is truly happening to Ms. Logan.

Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) is an elderly women battling Alzheimer’s. She is beginning to lose her grip on the world around her, so her daughter Sarah Logan (Anne Ramsay) is constantly around to take care of her. Sarah (knowing that she and her mom are getting a financial stipend her for their efforts) convinced her mom to allow a documentary film group, led by Mia Medina (Michelle Ang) into their home to showcase Deborah’s battle and resilience. The Alzheimer’s appears to be rapidly growing at first, causing some minor alarm bells. The full-fledge panic alert comes later when Sarah, Mia, Dr. Nazir (Anne Bedian) and the documentary crew begin to see indisputable evidence that Deborah Logan is no longer Deborah Logan.

Through deductive work and desperation, Mia’s documentary crew and Sarah uncover the terrors of old town member Henry Desjardins (Kevin A. Campbell). The maniac man was dying and resorted to snake-filled rituals to try and extend his life, but his terror ended when he randomly disappeared one day without a trace. He legacy and aura lives on as spiritual evil as his past is linked to Deborah Logan’s current condition. It becomes a race against the clock to see if Deborah, her family, and her supporters are at all safe from the living ghost of Henry Desjardins.

Jill Larson, and the make-up team of The Taking Of Deborah Morgan, are the MVP’s of the movie. Maybe it is just because my brain has been poisoned by The Seventh Day (2021), but Larson’s performance as possessed individual is one of the best I have seen in recent memory. Part of the reason her Deborah’s possessed self is so captivating is that it is not just spastic movements or verbal lashings. Deborah is often still, quiet, and unmoving. Larson has the 1000 yard stare that seems to keep on going. Helping out her evilness is her look. Her hair disappearing, and her forehead growing as her frailty increases all make fore a face you do not want to look at ever.

The director of The Taking Of Deborah Morgan is Adam Robitel, and he has been a busy dude. His last release was Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions (2021), and it was a follow-up to Escape Room (2019). Before that he got the keys to the Insidious universe and made Insidious: The Last Key (2018). Those three movies have all been released in theaters and have over 360 millions dollars cumulatively. He has a knack for this horror thing.

If you recognize The Escape Room or the Insidious franchise and want to check out The Taking Of Deborah Morgan, it is important to realize that it is a much different vibe and aesthetic than those bigger budget films. With that being said, Deborah Morgan has. a chance to leave an imprint on you while his other franchise endeavors play off as much more forgettable viewing experiences.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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