Stefan Avalos

Stefan Avalos

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The Last Broadcast Review


Good
This predecessor to The Blair Witch Project (phony documentary about murder in the woods) is a very intriguing idea, but it gets one thing deadly wrong: The thing that was scary about Blair Witch was that there weren't any talking heads commenting at length along the way, the horror was all on the screen. Broadcast's exhausting voice-over and extensive scenes of "tape reconstruction," where we learn the fate of the group of guys who go into the woods in search of the Jersey Devil -- where one survives -- are boring and interrupt any thrills that Broadcast has going for it. Broadcast has moments of genius (mainly late in the film), but they are fleeting, lost amidst a dogged determination to stick to the kind of documentary structure you see on A&E. The budget on this early DV movie -- if you even believe this much of the story -- was $900.

Continue reading: The Last Broadcast Review

The Ghosts Of Edendale Review


Good
With recent Hollywood flicks like The Haunting and House on Haunted Hill, it seems like the ghost story may be experiencing a resurgence. Unfortunately, today's audiences are too gore-friendly for ghost stories to have much impact any more -- and screenwriters haven't been able to come up with an original approach that makes it work, either.

Writer/director Stefan Avalos revists the genre with The Ghosts of Edendale, a digital video feature that's hit and miss. Avalos's first mistake is to set the film in Hollywood, with all of his characters in "the business." Dozens of film industry cliches are rigorously run through before we get to the actual plot: Couple from the east coast (Paula Ficara and Stephen Wastell) move to L.A. to start a new life. Rachel (Ficara) is a model trying to become a writer. Kevin (Wastell) is, um, also a writer.

Continue reading: The Ghosts Of Edendale Review

The Last Broadcast Review


OK
This predecessor to The Blair Witch Project (phony documentary about murder in the woods) is a very intriguing idea, but it gets one thing deadly wrong: The thing that was scary about Blair Witch was that there weren't any talking heads commenting at length along the way, the horror was all on the screen. Broadcast's exhausting voice-over and extensive scenes of "tape reconstruction," where we learn the fate of the group of guys who go into the woods in search of the Jersey Devil -- and one survives, are boring and interrupt any thrills that Broadcast has going for it. Broadcast has moments of genius, but they are fleeting, lost amidst a dogged determination to stick to the kind of documentary structure you see on A&E. The budget on this early DV movie -- if you even believe this much of the story -- was $900.
Stefan Avalos

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