Welcome back readers to another edition of Dueling Reviews! For those of you new to the process, I essentially review two movies in one article and let you know which one (if any) I believe are worth your hard earned horror buck. This time in the blue corner is THE EXPERIMENT: WHO’S WATCHING YOU from Chemical Burn Entertainment. It is going up against THE EXORCIST CHRONICLES from sister company Reality Entertainment.
Mary is a down on her luck stripper. For starters, her boyfriend doesn’t seem too supportive of her employment choices, and the last time they fought they did it in front of everyone at the club costing her her job. So now Mary is both single, and unemployed and looking for a way to make a quick buck. While searching the classifieds, she see’s a drug trial ad and decides to give them a call. While Mary is out of the house, a strange man breaks in and begins installing hidden cameras all around her apartment. When Mary returns, she is called and told she must first pass a physical to get the gig. After a very thorough examination, she is given her first dose of the unnamed medication (which is supposed to boost her sexual desire). Soon after taking the drug Mary passes out, and the doctor(?) carries her to bed. The rest of the movie is of a mysterious gentleman watching Mary as she continues to take the drug and begin to lose control of her body and mind.
I hate doing negative reviews, especially for low budget stuff. This movie has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to review it for almost a month. I tried watching it a second time last week, and I couldn’t do it. What it comes down to is that THE EXPERIMENT is a piece of shit. Director John Symes directorial debut feels more like one of those Playboy Playmate videos they used to make where you watch the same model strip for you for an hour, only the fuzzy hidden camera quality isn’t as appealing. There is really no story, dialog, or anything interesting going on during the entire movie. The movie opens with Mary doing a strip tease for us. Then we get ten minutes of minimal dialog and story set up till she takes the drug. From that point on she strips, and grinds on her dining room table for the duration of the time limit. I’m not trying to sound like a prude, but this movie was completely pointless. After doing a little internet search, it appears John Symes is her modelling agent, so this movie is basically a sixty minute commercial about his client. Unless you have a crush on actress Suzy Deakin, this one’s an easy pass.
An outbreak of demonic possessions has the catholic church frantically searching for answers. They send out Father Jan, a no nonsense priest and a young epidemiologist to try to both hide this from the public and find out what is causing it.
I wanna start things off on a positive note and say that this is easily Phillip Gardner’s (The Stone, Dark Watchers) best movie. I personally have never been a huge fan of some of his earlier work due to there not really being any plot in his movies. Instead they feel like a collection of bizarre scenes. While that is still the case with most of THE EXORCIST CHRONICLES, there is some plot driving the movie somewhere. Granted it’s paper thin and hardly offers any useful dialog, but at least he tried to add a little story this time. On top of the lack of story, the exorcism scenes in general are a little weak and really come off flat (especially after you’ve seen three or four). I do want to add that I enjoyed the “stolen” footage of possessed women that the church is holding (even though they didn’t need quite so many clips throughout the movie).
While far from a great movie, the winner of this duel has to be THE EXORCIST CHRONICLES. Like I’ve said before I think Phillip Gardner has a great eye for creepy visuals, but his movies never have enough interesting story and characters to really make an impact. THE EXORCIST CHRONICLES is a step in the right direction, and I think one of these days I will be ringing the praises of Mr. Gardner.