After discovering a mysterious doll in an attic, two high school friends are increasingly plagued by a series of disturbing and unexplained events.
Another week, another found footage horror, this time all centred around a killer doll that doesn’t go by the name Chucky and really doesn’t want to dwell on any Child’s Play.
The one thing about this genre these days that when we get offered the films to review on Hacked 2 Pieces and we find out its a FF horror, then a sigh usually comes from whoever has been given the task. Its safe to say that many of us are sick of seeing the same old cliches being thrown around, especially if I see another horror film where a group of stupid ghost hunters take their cameras to an old abandoned Asylum and never return. But now and again, we are surprised when a film comes along that reminds us just why the formula has been so popular over the many years since Heather and Co went looking for that witch in the woods.
Maybe my expectations are at the lowest point when it comes to watching these type of horrors, but I have to say that I kind of enjoyed Heidi, it doesn’t offer anything new to the table and it borrows many elements from previous films of this nature, but when you have a freaky doll, doing some freaky stuff, that actually freaks you out, then you can say that this horror has succeeded in what it was set out to do.
Anyone expecting a Chucky type killer with wisecracks aplenty are best to look elsewhere, Heidi is a slow burn flick that works even more so with a likeable cast that try their best to do the right thing. There is hardly no “stupidity” here and not once did I cry out “Just put the camera down you stupid *CENSORED*” which these days even adds a star to the rating, Yes, there are brief moments when you wish the two leads would just wise up and realise what is happening, but then nearly all found footage tales are people doing things, that us normal folk wouldn’t dream of doing.
Ryan and Jack are best friends who have a popular prank based YouTube channel called Booya, which helps explain the reason why there is always a camera around filming. Its when taking on a summer job, helping an old lady that they stumble on an old doll in the attic.
Things escalate from there, the old woman dies and then the doll ends up in places where they are, incidents start to happen and while at first the two are at loggerheads as they believe they are trying to out prank each other, they both begin to realise that there is something quite not right with this spooky old doll. Cameras are placed and death and blood start to roll.
There is nothing really on offer here that we haven’t seen before. The film borrows heavily from the Paranormal Activity franchise in the way it uses its music score to signal that something is all set to happen despite the fact for much of its running time, nothing really does happen until the final twenty minutes, so those looking for thrills and spills on a constant basis, well, not only do you know the drill by now, but probably won’t even consider renting Heidi.
What the film does do well is appease the Found Footage audience. If you love and never get tired of this style, then Heidi is the horror for a perfect Friday night. What impressed me the most is how well its filmed by Daniel Ray who also wrote the script. He knows the genre and sets up some nice moments of tension that had me transfixed towards the screen, even though, many times the ultimate payoff is unrewarding, but once more we can say that for 90% of all films of this kind.
There are scenes that grate. The obligatory Psychic sequence is daft (and not well acted) but you forgive moments like that when we are rewarded with scenes of Ryan trying to get rid of Heidi but can’t and also tiny scenes involving a dog and a young child, who get scared at what is unfolding. Moments like those suggest that Ray may be one to look out for in the horror field especially as his next film is entitled Bogyphobia, and all about the Bogeyman.
The final few moments are one of the most surreal scenes I’ve ever seen in a FF film that still leaves me wondering “WTF!” and to be fair, the fact it still has me thinking about it, shows that they’ve done something right, even though I don’t quite now what. But at a mere 90 odd minutes, Heidi is a decent enough watch that won’t win any awards for originality, but will leave you knowing that while you’ve seen better, you surely have seen a whole lot worse in a genre that has seen plenty of offerings over the last few years.
Die hard fans of the FF genre, I can imagine you pushing the below rating up…..
2 Hatchets Out Of 5