DVD Review: Found Footage Horror Hits A Nadir With THE SIGIL

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I have long held the belief that any movie under 90 minutes is trouble. It’s not an exact science, but it has put me in good stead 99% of the time. I’ll offer leeway for older movies and lower budget efforts, but if a movie with a substantial budget clocks in under 90 minutes, then you know it’s a stinker. The Sigil is a low budget feature, with a 77 minute running time, so I was willing to cut it some slack, especially when it was produced by young (presumably, first time) filmmakers –a mistake.

There’s nothing new here. The Sigil adds nothing to the already over saturated found-footage horror sub-genre. It doesn’t even play by the rules, switching between found footage and ‘traditional’ filmmaking on a whim. I’d like to think that anyone who gets involved in filmmaking does it for some sort of passion, be that storytelling, visually effects or attempting to get a nuanced performance from an actor. None of this is evident with The Sigil. It appears to be a movie that was made because it could be, because the resources were at hand. At least it has a use – to show how low found-footage movies have fallen since The Blair Witch Project in 1999. It has gone from feeling fresh to self-parody.

The plot for The Sigil involves missing students, mass murder, radiation and Satanists, but it doesn’t really matter, as it’s just an excuse to have a bunch of young people run-around in the dark screaming. By the time the ending rolls around, you’ll be wishing that you had vanished under mysterious circumstances.

The acting on display here is terrible, but the actors don’t have anything to work with. The script is dire, the plot meandering (which is crazy considering the short running time) and the events totally illogical. Digital technology democratised filmmaking, opening it up everyone. The only remaining barrier is distribution – and yet somehow the makers of The Sigil managed to overcome that hurdle with this derivative and substandard film.

There appears to be hope for all low budget filmmakers out there – and not even quality can stand in your way.

Avoid The Sigil – like the devil.

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