Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a lost horror film starring Corey Feldman and Adam West has been uncovered and is on YouTube in its full craptactular glory — it’s Seance aka Killer in the Dark.
aka Killer in the Dark
USA, 2001, John Preston
A few weeks ago, a reddit user by the lovely moniker of neckbeard_le_pirate posted in the movie subreddit about a film that his friend’s dad had funded, produced, written and shot, only for it to sit in limbo till now, when the honourable neckbeard_le_pirate convinced his friend to put the film up on YouTube. The film is a $1 million production featuring Lost Boys star Corey Feldman and motherflipping Adam West that got stuck in so-called ‘distribution hell.’ I personally have never heard of distribution hell before, but I can only imagine that it means ‘the film looked like garbage, so no-one wanted to distribute it.’
To add to this, not only did the film not get released, but Rick Vasquez, the would-be auteur, saw his traffic control business go under during shooting and lost his house in the process. Aww.
Don’t worry, he’s a-okay now. We can make fun of the film then.
The premise of the film itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Corey Feldman’s character tells a story to his college buddies about a ghost that haunted him as a child (there’s a joke about his career here somewhere), and that leads to them performing a seance… that goes horribly wrong!
No, it’s not original at all. Hell, it’s not even the first horror movie about a seance gone wrong called Seance (which is likely the reason for the alternate title). In fact, if it was better shot and had higher production values, it might be hard to tell it apart from a run of the mill DTV horror movie. But it wasn’t and it doesn’t, and now we have an all-round terrible, all-round entertaining film.
The cast carries a lot of the film’s shittiness on their supposedly college-aged shoulders. There really is something special about a cast that can’t collectively do anything convincing. From the obligatory lame party in the beginning to the drama in the third act when the killin’ happens, the actors give their all, but are laughable throughout.
The special effects also a mirth maker throughout the film. I mean, the film only had a budget of $1 million and it was made fifteen years ago, but come on…
Then again, convincing effects might have actually gone against the film, as they would have looked strange interspersed in a movie that was shot like it was a home video from the eighties. The amateurish effects work well. That is to say, it’s funny how bad they are, just like the rest of the film.
As for the big names, Feldman clearly hasn’t been honing his acting skills over the years and Adam West is hardly seen in the film until the very end. West plays some kind of mystical hobo/guardian angel and it’s possible that he accidentally wandered onto the set one day, was asked to do some acting, and obliged. That’s how inconsequential his role is.
Then again, I may have it all wrong. According to the film’s site, one R. Vasquez said that ‘Corey is believable, sensitive, exceptional performance. It is the best film Corey Feldman has ever done.’ Mr Vasquez is, of course, the man who made this film, and who am I to argue with him.
On a related note, the testimonials part of said site, where I got that quote from is strange, and kind of sums up the movie. My favourite quote being: ‘The dialog is on par with The Room. So that’s nice’ raves YouTube commenter Weeaboo Destroyer. Wait, The Room is a good film, right?
If you like your horror films poorly made, poorly acted and not scary at all, Seance is a solid choice. Grab your friends and have a laugh.
Oh, and on an unrelated but totally necessary note, here is a film clip I found by Corey Feldman (yeah, he’s a singer, sort of) that was released in 2013. You’re welcome.
Seance is available to watch on YouTube.