18 July 2016 | TdSmth5
A strong effort
A group of 8 travels around Georgia filming haunted sites. They are also looking for a group of friends who did the same but vanished. The journey takes us to some cemeteries in Savvanah, the Georgia Guidestones, and finally the The Devil's Tramping Grounds where they set up camp.
They quickly find the footage left by the previous group. On it they see various mysterious events and people. It is said that if someone or something spends the night in the center ring of the The Devil's Tramping Grounds it either disappears or ends up somewhere else. The guy in charge orders the group to split and to start looking...at night. What he expects them to find who knows. Of course the only thing they find is trouble.
Realm of Souls--what a great title for a horror movie--is a found-footage type film but filmed in hybrid format. Some of it is of course in low-def POV style, the rest in normal-def third person. We get the obligatory and pointless crappy grainy green nightvision, even though both crews had professional lighting with them. And also surprisingly some red vision when we see things from the point of view of the villains, who for some reason strapped a bunch of cameras on their bodies. The cast is rather huge and mostly non-descript. There isn't much of a lead character. Acting is all over the place ranging from good to terrible. There's some gore, some violence, some nudity. When there's dialogue, it's good, natural, smart, and even had one line that had me laughing out loud. But once the action starts, dialogue is reduced to a minimum. It takes about an hour for the action to start and another 45 minutes for all if it to "resolve," even though there isn't much of a resolution. The explanation of what is going on could have been presented in a much more striking way instead it's mentioned cursorily.
One has to give credit to the director/writer/editor/etc. who was involved in every aspect of the movie, because as far as these awful POV movies are concerned, Realm of Souls is alright, even more so considering it's a low-budget movie. I particularly appreciate the interesting locations that I've never heard about before. They could have easily edited out 15 minutes or so to make for a tighter more exciting movie. Without the grainy green POV nonsense they would have had altogether a stronger movie. This a case of a smart and competent crew, dealing with a low budget and an overly ambitious script.