Cassadaga (2011) Movie Review
Directed by Anthony Diblasi
Starring Kevin Alejandro and Kelen Coleman
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason
The Lowdown: A typical ghost story that’s elevated by the enchanting performance from the lead, and a clever ending.
S.O.B. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been smitten with a character in a movie. If I wasn’t happily married, Lily (Kelen Coleman), is the type of chick I’d fall head over heels for. Obviously she’s cute, as you can see in the pics, but her quiet, caring demeanor, is the type of chick that drives me absolutely wild. Even in mundane moments like just standing there staring or painting, had me at full attention throughout the film. Not to mention, Kelen is a damn good actress, and her performance carried this film. I’m not saying it’s a bad film, cuz I actually dug it, but I’m not sure with other less interesting actresses could have saved this film.
Admittedly, supernatural horror is not my favorite type of horror, even though the movie falls into a lot of ghost movie and even serial killer cliches, I thought there was enough originality to make it stand on it’s own. The story is about a deaf woman who can read lips named Lily, that is the caretaker of her little sister. Her sister dies in a tragic accident so Lily decides to go back to college and pursue her true passion which is paining. An older lady named Claire (Louise Fletcher), who was friends with Lily’s mother, offers to take her in and let her live in her mansion which is only occupied by her and her loner weirdo adult grandson who lives on the second floor. Soon after she starts dating a single father of one of her students that she starts tutoring. One night on a date, they go to a psychic and have a seance where Lily encounters not only her dead sister’s spirit but also the spirit of another women that starts to haunt her. Lily starts to have strange and scary visions, and another woman becomes missing just like the previous tenant just a few years earlier.
If you seen any of these type of films, you can figure out that the spirit of the dead woman “wants something” to finallyy remain at peace. What made this movie stand out was the serial killer aspect of the film. There wasn’t enough of that in my opinion, but what it shows that the killer does to his victims was horrifying but at the same time intriguing. There are some red herrings thrown around and there is a definite “whodoneit” vibe that kept you guessing.
If there is any fault to the film, I do think some of the “scary” type moments could have been better orchestrated with increased tension, or I would have been satisfied with a few jump scares thrown in for good measure. Also the serial killer was intriguing, and I wanted a few more scenes of him doing his “craft”. I understand why they went the route they did to keep up the mysterious identity of the killer, but I think maybe they could have done some Pov shots to take care of that. No big deal but the gorehound side of me wanted more.
The cinematography, directing, and everything else was top notch. The other main lead Kevin Alejandro, was also very likable and I’m glad they went the direction that they did with his character. Without spoiling anything I was surprised he wasn’t in it more than what he was. There was the main twist of the movie which worked but you can probably guess it a few minutes before it’s revealed. Also the ending is foreshadowed earlier in the movie to a certain degree, but it still really works. Very clever and well done. Bravo.
To wrap up, the movie is better than the average ghost movie, and the terrific performance by a woman who’s now on top of my “hall pass” list, Kelen Coleman, makes the film a definite recommend. The movie is named after a real spiritual type town in Florida, the setting of this movie, but other than that there wasn’t any other connection to what’s goind on there that I could tell. The movie has no U.S. release date confirmed but it can be found on region 2 pal dvd by clicking here. Definitely keep this on your radar for when it does. Unless you hate these type of films, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Final Rating: 7/10