New Release Horror: The Dooms Chapel Horror - Reviewed

Lee takes a stab at The Dooms Chapel Horror. 

The Dooms Chapel Horror is the latest offering in the first person genre of film making. 

Playing out like a found footage film, the story revolves around a man named Kyle Cole. Cole is the subject of a documentary, returning to his home town to face the demons he left behind after his brother’s tragic death when Cole was just a boy. As far as a behind the scenes documentary, it can be a bit confusing. The POV perspective is an unnecessary approach for the film, and limits the execution. Chapel Horror does make good use of multiple camera perspectives, using deer cams, security footage, and old video tapes. It helps give the film some much needed depth. Yet there are some shots that easily stand out due to lack of realism. For example, in one scene the camera man ventures off in a house and fumbles through an old box of video tapes using his hands. There is no explanation to how he is suddenly able to hold the camera at eye level while using both his hands. Earlier we see the camera, it’s a small news type model that the user holds over the shoulder. The found footage approach can be effective, but this film tries way too hard with its approach. 

I told you, boy. The next time you stole my sandwich, I'd shoot your ass. 

The Dooms Chapel Horror can be a tough film to absorb. The characters go from very natural and believable, to erratic and unbelievable. It hurts the story on so many levels. The film does a good job introducing the characters, but then forces them into erratic behaviors that do not match the foundations developed in the beginning. It’s easy to see the intended direction, but midway through the film falls flatter than a leftover pancake that has been sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks. True, it isn’t a big budget studio film, but the core of every movie, play, and book, regardless of the level of execution, is the writing. Equally important is the editing. The middle portion of this film fails on both levels. Many scenes begin to drag on, which is dangerous ground for the often needlessly stretched out found footage genre. While many films strive for character development, there is a proper timeline and steps that occur in between. This is one of the film’s biggest weaknesses. 

Many developments occur overnight, creating an unnatural progression that is completely unbelievable. The Dooms Chapel Horror does have some redeeming qualities. The film ends with a horrific climax. It is executed so well, it’s easy to see why director John Holt chose the POV perspective for his film. It unfolds with elements of classic ‘80s horror, with a ending on par with Pumpkinhead. It is easily the most impressive scene in the film. Overall, it’s a good story, and well thought out, but it suffers from the dreaded middle ground that acts more as a filler, rather than contributing to the overall story. 

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Lee L. Lind