This film is like a freshman in college: tons of awesome ideas and potential, but no clue what it wants to be when it grows up. Its a jumbled mess of cinematic styles, real life conspiracy theories and pop culture icons, like a B-movie equivalent of an X-Files knock off that tried to string all of these half cooked ideas together with thin exposition and a wanna-be M Knight Shamalaan ending.
The film starts itself as a found footage style horror film, more in the vein of the cryptic scenes from the Ring than in a linear story sort of fashion. the viewer does get the set up, however: DMT-19, this special concoction born of MKUltra, has been obtained by James, a documentary film maker who intends to take the drug and... I don't know... figure out the secret of MKUltra, I guess. A few jumbled cut scenes and a shoehorned jump scare later, we learn he disappears. The viewer is introduced to Anne (Katia Winter), the one time Friend-Zone trapping interest of James, who goes on an investigative journalistic journey to find out what happened to her college friend. She enlists the help of Thomas Blackburn (who is a thinly veiled caricature of Hunter Thompson, played by Ted Levine) the man who provided the DMT-19 to James, the missing friend.
the cinematography jumps around in "found footage" style, "shot like it should be found footage but the camera man probably just is mildly drunk or has Parkinsons", "poorly lit" and "normal". The plot tries to slide in references to an H.P. Lovecraft story as the explanation of the "they" who are coming to get "them", as told to us in Hunter S. Levine exposition. Really though, it's the slowest and worst way to abduct people and transport across dimensions for (what I can only imagine is) an invasion. I'd expect better from Lovecraft's "Old Ones".
What This Film Did Well:
The atmosphere in a few of the scenes lent itself to genuine tension and creepiness. Ted Levine still did a good job with a crappy, K-Mart model Hunter Thompson Character. the Creep Factor of the Number Station transmissions (Google The Conet Project)
What This Film Failed In Doing Well:
Characterization. Motivation. Cinematographic style consistency. Any sort of horror other than lame jump scares. A premise that made sense.
Meh. the synopsis sounded cool, but it failed to deliver on anything more than a low budget, jump-scare attempt at horror with a vague knowledge of real-world phenomena, conspiracy theories, Lovecraft and Hunter Thompson. Watch it if you have nothing better to do, and by nothing better, I mean you are bed ridden and the remote is too far away to change the channel.
!!!BIG SPOILER BELOW!!!
OK, so the end of this movie shows us that Blackburn was one of the MKUltra guinea pigs who was electro-shocked into retrograde amnesia. It is further inferred since Anne did not take the substance, but was touched by Blackburn, that she is now a potential target by the Old Ones, just as James' partner was touched by James and also became a target, even though he did not take the drug. So if everyone Blackburn touched became a target, that means that these Old Ones have been snatching people since the 1960s and the drug itself was a means of trans-dimensional body snatching and those who were the Snatched murdered anyone they came in physical contact with... or made them a conduit for the Old Ones. If you don't follow, don't worry... it doesn't make sense.
Also, the subjects taking the DMT were mumbling the chemical composition of the DMT-19, passed as a message from the Old Ones so that the scientists could make this new compound and the Old Ones could use it as a means of conveyance to our dimension. So what attacked the subject who was only on DMT and not the DMT-19, a formula that had not yet been created?
Yet again ALSO, why did Anne not know what the chair in the experiment chamber was used for when Hunter... err... Thomas asked her about it? She saw the MKUltra video files. It literally showed her exactly what that chair was used for.
and still more ALSO, who put the Old One in the Iron Lung? and how did it build a radio transmitter from within the Iron Lung to act as a catalyst with the spook music? did people have to hear the spook music to get Snatched? and if that whole setup was the way the old ones Snatched people, the combination of the DMT-19 and the spook music, once Anne destroyed what I assume was the original Old One and the means of propagating the spook music, how did it project the spook music after it was destroyed?
You know what? Whatever. I'm done. This movie was dumb.