We watched The Taking of Deborah Logan on Shudder because right now, this virus is threatening all of our old people. I have to say, while my initial first watch impressions of this movie were much better, this is still a solid horror movie about the compelling topic of old people gone crazy.
- Intro – (0:19)
- Trailer – (3:57)
- Synopsis – (05:49)
- Review – (08:55)
- Score – (14:10)
- Spoilers – (25:38)
- Final Recommendations – (1:02:07)
- Taglines – (1:03:44)
- It Came From Social Media – (1:06:46)
- Outro – (1:33:44)
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The Taking of Deborah Logan Synopsis
A film crew shows up to Deborah Logan’s (Jill Larson) house where she and her daughter, Sarah Logan (Anne Ramsay) still live. The setting is very East Coast rural, and there is only Harris (Ryan Cutrona), the groundskeeper who hangs around to help Sarah and Deborah.
The film crew is there to document Deborah’s descent into Alzheimers. The agreement is that the crew gets to make Deborah the focus of their documentary, and they will pay handsomely for that privilege. Sarah realizes that they need the money if Deborah is going to continue living and maintaining this home, but Deborah is private and would rather the crew not be there.
As the days progress, disturbing signs of Deborah’s mental health quickly arise and give way to questions about whether this is the signs of a degenerative aging disease, or whether it’s something else.
There are lots of signs of cult activity surrounding Deborah and her life of secrets as the town’s original telephone switchboard operator, but how much of it is nonsense, and how much is real.
In the end, Sarah and the film crew end up with more Deborah than they bargained for.
The Taking of Deborah Logan Review
The Taking of Deborah Logan is a bit of an odd duckling on my second viewing. On my first viewing, I was so struck by the pacing and shocking nature of the visuals that I overlooked some of the film’s more problematic issues.
Don’t get me wrong, this film can almost stand on it’s disturbing scenes and tension built cleverly around a very real issue that many people have to face. But the wires begin to show a bit on a second viewing when you aren’t dazzled by the initial shocks in The Taking of Deborah Logan.
I feel like a lot of the camera work for the documentary is extraneous, but not in a good way. Paranormal Activity 2 is a shining example of extraneous footage that works to build tension, but Deborah had a hodgepodge of silly angles and shaky cam footage that didn’t work in favor of the movie.
That said, I really love this movie! The imagery, the cult aspect, the old person who can’t be controlled – It’s great. The execution of the whole thing is pretty darn good too. The pacing is really what makes this movie a must-see because it’s so fast that there is never a chance to get bored.
Did I mention the impressive and shocking imagery?
This film is about Deborah’s descent into a weird kind of cult possession. It starts out looking like Deb just has some severe form of Alzheimer’s, but ends up looking like she is a snake possessed by Desjardin’s ghost. So… pretty typical.
In seriousness, the real spoilers here are that Deborah was the town switchboard operator for a long time. This required her to keep a lot of secrets for a lot of people or risk losing their business.
One of the secrets that she was required to keep was of a dying man named Henry Desjardins, who, in an effort to gain immortality began sacrificing virgins on the date of their first menses. Again, pretty typical stuff.
Desjardins got 4 of the 5 virgins he needed to complete his pentagram shaped ode to the serpent cult before he bit the big one. But it was Deborah who made sure that Desjardins didn’t accomplish his goal. She stopped him the only way she knew how; the old fashioned killing him method.
His 4 out of 5 virgins did get him a pretty potent ghost form that allowed him to possess and severely mess up Deb in her later years.
In the end, Desjardins was driven from Deborah when they burned his remains, freeing her from his serpent ghost grasp.
The imagery at the end of this movie is some of the best and most shocking I’ve ever seen. It has stuck with me for years, and I love it for this.
See this film if you enjoy found footage. See The Taking of Deborah Logan if you enjoy hard horror.