– Summary –
Director : Cezil Reed + Lydelle Jackson
Year Of Release : 2013
Principal Cast : John Halas, Alana Jacker, Lynette Gaza, Linda Kennedy, Frank Bliss, Lynn Mastio Rice, Olivia Szego, Gordon Prince.
Approx Running Time : 80 Minutes
Synopsis: I’m still not entirely sure. According to IMDb: “Two strangers must discover a way to escape a sinister family who wishes to sacrifice their souls to an evil presence.”
What we think : Pretentious wank masquerading as a “horror” film, this effort is risible at best. Lacking a narrative, The Taking seems intent on confusing, confounding and plainly angering anybody who dares watch it. Even now, after I’ve seen it, I have no idea what it was about. Glaringly stupid, incoherent and abysmal, The Taking is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
The Taking is a film that defies description. Marketed as some kind of horror film, and supposedly about a young couple who are held hostage by a Deliverance-style family wishing to sacrifice them, this film never even attempts to make itself watchable in any regard. There’s no story, there’s no characters other than flash-cuts of creepy, wood-dwelling rednecks intent on doing some youngsters harm, instead it’s a film with no saving grace whatsoever. The script – if there even was one – relies on sound effects and weird, avant-garde editing and camerawork, most of which focuses on sunlight, trees and a variety of non-essential imagery, as if the film-makers were striving for a tone rather than a film. The direction is poor, the acting is atrocious (mind you, considering the people who signed on for this probably had no idea what they were in for, that’s not saying much) and the end result is a film so unwatchable, so relentlessly incoherent, so joyless and soulless and created purely to make grown adults weep with realization that they’ve been robbed of a few bucks to download this shit, it simply beggars belief.
It’s hard to know where to go with this review, because in order to write a film review, one has to have first seen… you know, a film. The Taking does not qualify as a film, any more than Kim Kardashian qualifies as a “celebrity”. In the loosest sense of the definition, I guess they used film cameras and production equipment to get this thing onto a screen, but the end result of what must have been days of shooting, and no doubt three hours of editing, is something that cannot possibly, in the strictest sense, class itself as watchable cinema. This is a music video stretched to breaking point, a 90-minute exercise in editing by a 6-year-old with the creative ability of a gnat. It’s art-house film-school-rejects crap, the kind of thing they show on a wall during a rave to elicit a mood from attendees wearing latex and Gimp suits. How anyone thought marketing this as anything other than a method of torture is beyond my understanding. It seems designed to make people hate it, rather than enjoy it.
I’m not entirely sure how to adequately warn potential viewers of the miasma, the complete clusterf@ckery this film represents. In the pantheon of all cinema, when the human race is eventually discovered by a far-flung alien race after we’re all extinct, this film will rank somewhere well below Adam Sandler in sheer audacity for existing. Hell, even Battlefield Earth tried to be a film, even though it failed most monumentally. The Taking doesn’t even try. It exists as an aberration, a scab on actual cinema; as a work of art, no doubt there’s some warped artistic merit in existing purely for no reason whatsoever, but don’t dress it up as an actual film and lure people in with promises unmet. The Taking is a charlatan, a pretender, and you would be well advised to stay well away from it. I don’t often give films zero stars, but The Taking deserves it. Come to think of it, if it were possible to give this a negative-star rating, it’d be a blistering 10-negative-stars.