Review: 8213: Gacy House

Genre: Horror/Found Footage
Directed by: Anthony Fankhauser
Released: September 28, 2010 (direct to DVD)

THE GENERAL IDEA

John Wayne Gacy murdered at least 33 young men from 1972-1978 and buried 26 of them in his basement and 3 in the back yard. During the original police investigation his home was torn down whilst looking for Gacy’s victims, so in the late 70’s or the early 80’s a new home was built on the mass grave. On May 15th 2004 a group of ghost hunters entered the house on 8213 West Summerdale to search for John’s ghost, The Des Plaines Police Department found this footage.

THE GOOD

The actors (yes they are actors) for the most part do a decent job and there are a few moments where the tension is almost good.

THE BAD

Where to start? The Aslyum Home Entertainment team spend so much time trying to convince the viewer that this is real footage that even before I watched it I knew it was fake. But even with their attempts at making it seem like real footage fail there are many more problems. I’ve listed 6 of the biggest ones that bothered me while I watched it.

Problem #1 On the back cover of the DVD it says that this movie contains strong sexual content and extreme violence. Now forgive me if i’m wrong but how many professional ghost hunters decided to have sex in the house that essentially was John Wayne Gacy’s?
Problem #2 Don’t have an IMDB.com page where I can see the actors work listed that was filmed/released after this film was supposedly shot.
Problem #3 Found Footage is not official crime scene footage, no matter what you say. Crime scene footage is typically shot by the police department after the crime has been committed, not video of the crime occurring.
Problem #4 Ghosts tend to haunt 1 or 2 things, first they haunt the place they died, second they haunt a specific person and follow that individual. Now if the production team hadn’t said this was real I could understand the change in the ghost rules but they claim its real.
Problem #5 If you say your filming at the Gacy house then actually film there, I did a quick google maps look up and the house they use is not the Gacy house, it’s not even in the same neighbourhood.
Problem #6 The house they shot in is supposed to be from the late 70’s or early 80’s but watching the movie you can tell the house they used was much older, it is designed like a very old farm house that has changed over the years. Having the entrance to the attic being in the bathroom being the most notable example. I grew up in houses that are about the age of the house they supposedly used and they don’t have you walk through rooms to get to other rooms. Like I said it looks like an old farmhouse that has been updated over the years.

Aside from those problems the actress (again all people in this are actors) who plays the psychic is just horrible. This team claims that this isn’t their first job as a ghost hunters, but they don’t seem very prepared after they set up, they leave things all over the place instead of holding on to them, they show up to the site at night instead of setting up during the day to name a few problems with the teams actions.

The FX’s are very low budget which isn’t the main problem. My issues with the FX are that they use some way to simple ones to often. The main problem is when they have doors slamming. The shots of doors slamming (there are a lot) are only showing about half the door (always the top half), which means that either someone is just out of the camera’s view or a string/rope that the camera could see did the dirty work of slamming the doors.

I could go on and on but I think you all get the point.

OVERALL

This is a movie that wanted to be more than it was but the team that made it didn’t know how to get it there. Sadly this film had two things going against it before I even watched it, this first is that it was made by The Asylum and second they spent to much time saying it was real footage. The best way to release a found footage film is to do what the Blair Witch movie did, release it and let the audience try and figure out if its real or not.

I give 8213: Gacy House a 3 out of 10