After loosing funding for his work, paranormal researcher Dr. Alan Greer has devised a way to continue his research and experiments with dozens of willing test subjects. His plan? To become a teacher of parapsychology at a Virginia university,
where his students will secretly double as
test subjects. They are about to get a much more hands on learning environment than any of them imagined.
Written By: Dan McCarthy
Directed By: Dan McCarthy
The nerve. Sending in another one of those Found Footage, almost a Documentary styled film. Seems like the world is full of them lately. Everyone and their Mother wants to make one. Has made one, or is in the process of making one. And to be honest? I'm so tired of watching them. Those were my initial thoughts when I popped in the DVD, grabbed some good 'ol popping corn and sat down to take a look. You have to understand that I wasn't expecting much out of this title. If I was able to sit through and watch in one viewing I would have been happy enough. What did I get? A little reminder of why I started IndyRed.com. For you impatient readers, the quick version of this review is "Wow". Nice job through and through. Although knowing it was a fiction, like any good film I was completely caught up in the little world writer/director Dan McCarthy created. The characters came across as people and not actors, and for a little over an hour I watched the events of the film unfold. Hats off and thumbs up.
The overall plot of this film can be found at the top of the page. So I'm not even going to touch on that, as usual. What I will write about is the overall dynamic of the film, the artwork, post, writing and the acting. Pushing off I'll say that yes, as you may have guessed this is a Found Footage/Documented footage kind of film. But it's done right. The way it's all put together in the editing room is done by a skilled hand making P101 not come across as cheap or lazy, rather like this is how the story is told. No apologies. Just watch. And in this rare instance it works like a charm. The world here is presented as a living, breathing entity. And you'll believe that you're watching the recordings of real events. Not a script. I also couldn't help feeling a slight wave of nostalgia, bringing me back into the 90s. I don't think it was intentional, but the use and type of sounds/scoring certainly did it for me.
The real gem here is the characters/acting. The cast really pulled together and made every last person feel real. Alive. One example would be a scene in the film featuring a party thrown for the students. As the scene progressed and the students began to drink... they seemed like they really were getting drunk. Hell, maybe they were? The point is that the entire film is like that. Complete characters that you forget are simply characters. I truly think that P101 is driven both through the clever writing and the bad-ass acting. What is a movie, after all if not the complete belief of the world you are looking into? One more time for the record... thumbs up cast!
The video itself, and audio is what you'd expect here. Only, like I said, it's all mixed and edited together in such a way as to make it a pleasure to watch.
Now, The parts that make film makers cringe. My negatives. In the case of P101, they are light and personal opinion driven. Basically... I can't imagine why this film was done in the Found Footage style? I could see it starting off that way, but once things began to fall into place I would have changed up the style. All the pieces were there including the great acting by the cast. I can't help but feel if a more standardized version of film making was utilized, using the "Recorded footage" more for inserts (Right now it's the opposite) this film may have gained a perfect score from me. Wow. I just wrote about using a more standardized method. Now 'That's' strange! Anyhow. Like I said. Using the interviews/recorded footage as inserts only, would have made this film completely awesome. In my opinion anyhow. But who am I to judge someones vision of their own project? As it sits now, this is a great diversion that's sure to please. And for the low download price there is no excuse not to watch. You'll be glad you did.
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