'The Levenger Tapes' [DVD + Digital]
(Johanna Braddy, Lili Mirojnick, Chris Mulkey, Tom Virtue, et al / DVD / R / (2013) 2016 / LGF)
Overview: Footage shot by college students, showing chilling images and clues such as a bloody dress, aids detectives in finding the missing students.
DVD Verdict: ‘The Levenger Tapes’ isn’t anything new, film wise, but it sure does pack a few scary, thought-provoking punches along the way, that’s for damn sure. Detectives in a remote town pore through every frame of a troubling tape to find the whereabouts of three missing college students. The chilling footage becomes more and more disturbing when the students come upon the bloody dress of an 8-year-old girl in the secluded wilderness and take it upon themselves to find her.
The easy correlation to make here is The Blair Witch Project, but it’s not quite that inventive of a film, in truth. Had BWP not existed, sure, I can see it making that leap. Regardless, and as much as it follows the genre’s pre-existing path to a flaw, in a whiplash kinda way, ‘The Levenger Tapes’ actually use the police as an audience for the film. What I mean by that is that it juxtaposes what happened that night against the police trying to figure out what happened. It’s a really nice directorial script flourish.
In closing, and what lets it down for me is that there were way too many storylines going off tangentially from one another all over here. Sure they, for the most part, come together and work in the end, but it does water down some of the other stuff that you are trying to concentrate on - and hoping to explore more. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.