Written by Ryan Cam
Written and Directed by Ali Akbar and Akbar Kamal
Starring Chad Tailor, Melie B. Rondeau, Katie Fleming,
Plot: Indie doc crew travels to a small town to document a bizarre and seemingly unnatural case, ending in extreme tragedy.
“Godforsaken” was a Canadian found-footage horror film written and directed by Ali Akbar Akbar Kamal and starred Chad Tailor, Mélie B. Rondeau, Katie Fleming, and Domenic Derose. It tells the story of a group of young people traveling to a small town to investigate a series of strange incidents. They want to create a documentary surrounding said incidents and the townspeople that have been affected.
The found-footage horror film has been done many times before (“Cloverfield” and the overlooked “Phoenix Forgotten” being just two examples). Unlike those films, “Godforsaken” was produced independently. This means that the film was produced on a budget of CA$40,000. The budget of a movie does not measure its quality. With this in mind, while imperfect, “Godforsaken” is an admirable effort.
All of the actors did a fine job in their respective roles. Given these characters’ distressing situations, the performances felt mostly believable. More than a few moments border on “over-the-top” territory, which could be distracting. However, it is believable given the context of the unusual happenings that befall them. There is also a degree of ambiguity and mystery regarding these happenings that keeps the film interesting.
Because of the low budget and the fact that this is a found footage film, the production is lacking. Found-footage is inextricably linked to shaky cam. Although unfortunately, there are instances of shaky-cam here, it is especially incomprehensible in the last 20 minutes. Other than this portion, the cinematography is handled well enough, given the budgetary constraints. However, the last 20 minutes are headache-inducing. In the end, "Godforsaken" was a decent effort. The filmmakers should be credited for creating a film that had a compelling mystery and mostly effective performances.