The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Sigil | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The Sigil

A group of friends set out to expose a cover-up concerning the deaths of 41 people in L.A.

Directed by: Brandon Cano-Errecart
Starring: Brandon Cano-Errecart, Matthew Black, Sumiko Braun, Brian Burke, Devan Liljedahl, Nathan Dean Snyder, Mikki Mateson

Another day, another found footage direct to DVD release. Brandon Cano-Errecart is a triple threat Director,Writer and Actor, as in if he has the urge to do any of these roles again I will feel the need to threaten him. Running at just under 70 minutes, 'The Sigil' tells the story of recently bereaved Devan (Liljedahl) seeking answers to the mysterious death of her brother who perished along with 41 others in a house in Los Angeles, supposedly from a nearby Uranium mine! With her childhood friend Nate (Dean Snyder) and his friend Brandon (Cano-Errecart) along to document their findings on camera, they set out to find the truth.
This really is some of the laziest film-making I have seen in quite some time. A hodgepodge of narrative ideas that make little sense, extremely variable performances and about as frightening as your average wedding video. Questions stand out such as, why would 41 deaths be covered up by Uranium poisoning when there is no evidence of radiation poisoning on the bodies? This makes as much sense as covering up a house fire by saying the victims drowned. Why is it the only house condemned in a fairly busy part of LA? Is it localized Uranium? Why does Nate (who is a conspiracy theorist) not know what a sigil is?
Narrative logic doesn't always matter if you're excited and scared, but this is a film so plodding, so talky, so lacking in basic film-making technique that those 70 minutes manage to drag on for an eternity. It's like a group of people saw 'The Blair Witch Project' and assumed that a shaky cam and lots of screaming is all you need to make a horror film. 'The Blair Witch Project' has its detractors but at least the makers grasped the concept of fear and very skilfully engendered the feeling of dread and despair that made you care about the characters predicament.
The director can't even stay true to the first person viewpoint, moving to standard film-making and back again and also including a soundtrack at various points. Again, not a problem if the film is working but as there is no discernible benefit to changing film-making styles, why bother?
What this comes down to is a clichéd riff on 'The Last Exorcism', with the barest hint of 'Demons', with the quiet, quiet, BANG approach that has inexplicably managed to produce four 'Paranormal Activities'. When the stand out moment in a horror film is two people reading aloud from a diary for what seems like ten minutes you know you are in trouble. One to avoid.

Jason Abbey