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Movie Review: Butterfly Kisses (2017)

Posted on the 26 April 2018 by Joe Martin @SexAndBloodShow
Butterfly Kisses (2017) - USA (Maryland) - Documentary Horror - NRDirected by Erik Kristopher MyersFeaturing Gavin York, Matt Lake (himself), Eduardo Sánchez (himself)
Want to scare the hell out of yourself?
No need to bother... this film will do it for you.
Movie Review: Butterfly Kisses (2017)In an unusual move on my part, being I don't believe I've done this before, I am changing the usual format of my review. Mainly because this is how I wrote my review and feel the more freeform style fits better with film I'm reviewing anyway.
Fear's greatest resource, the very essence of its existence, is the unknown. From childhood we scare ourselves with stories. We tell of legends and folk tales of things that will happen if we say someone's name so many times and look into a mirror. It's amazing how many legends involve mirrors and reflections, the ability to catch a glimpse of something that nobody else sees. But in today's high tech world of digital video is it possible to catch that fleeting moment of the unknown beyond the mirror? Or like a reflection in a mirror will others not see the same thing?
Gavin more than asks that question as he is about to come face to face with it. A filmmaker whose very existence is doing wedding videos stumbles upon a box of older digital video tapes. On the tapes is a story about to unfold of two film students exploring a local legend called Peeping Tom, and of the tragic consequences of encountering it. Or is it?
Found footage films are nothing new, especially in horror movies where the mystery behind the found footage has something even more frightening to reveal. First used as a plot device in the 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust it would come into its own sub-genre with the wildly successful 1999 film The Blair Witch Project.
Movie Review: Butterfly Kisses (2017)"Found footage" though is not really an appropriate category for Butterfly Kisses as it takes a different approach in documenting Gavin's excursion into making a found footage film based on this box of tapes he claims to have found that were made 10 years previous and had its own investigation into the supernatural involving this folk/urban legend known variously as Peeping Tom or simply Blink. And that "claims to have found" becomes a central part of the documentary for as compelling and frightening as is the footage, getting people to believe him, and even the audience to believe him, is an additional tension beyond the horror of the story at hand.
Gavin faces many obstacles in trying to get support for his film project in even the most basic level of getting people to believe him. You know you are up against a wall when believers in the implausible, between marathon sessions with boxes of Twinkies and recounting past glory days as 8th level paladins and wizards, mock you.
The found footage itself is analyzed by various experts in their particular fields including video editors, psychologists, as well interviews are conducted with noted folklore expert Matt Lake, author of Weird Maryland and others in the series, and Eduardo Sánchez, director of The Blair Witch Project.
In taking in the subject of a legend, of folklore, perhaps even more than ghosts, you may have to ask yourself if you believe in non-corporeal entities? Legends are at their core simply that... stories. It's hard to pin an origin on a legend or even associate it with an historical context or person. It is simply other-worldly.
Ghosts are one thing. Lots of people believe in spirits that walk the earth. Of course lots of these same people believe in fairy tales and things like god. And that's despite that the two beliefs are diametrically opposed. There is a potential of psychometric imaging of events, especially tragic events, but events have no consciousness, and for a spirit to have a will and an intent there would have to be a consciousness.
But what about something that never existed outside of tales and legends? Something that existed, was invented perhaps, out of stories and fears, and things we use to scare little children under the pretense to get them to behave rather than admitting to feeding our own sadistic cravings. Is it possible for something to spring from a collective consciousness?
D. Scott Rogo was a psychical research investigator and journalist, as well a contributing editor to Fate magazine. He purported certain theories of sightings being a projection of the observer and was generally open-ended about survival of consciousness after death, preferring to examine the evidence itself rather than pell mell taking the evidence as certifiable proof. He also researched into the question of whether religion can be something we're born with.
If religion through the ages can be infused into our genetics, we can project very real, to us, corporeal images and even interactions into a physical plane, is it feasible life, essentially consciousness, can be given to a folklore? Of course we'll never be able to ask D. Scott Rogo his opinion on this question as he was murdered in 1990 at the age of 40...
...and it has never been solved.
Movie Review: Butterfly Kisses (2017)Butterfly Kisses stays true to its documentary format as everything on screen is on camera or otherwise part of the documentary. There is a vague linear timeline in that the events concerning Gavin follow chronologically, but to up the tension the documentary takes forays into different aspects of the found footage exploring angles from a hoax to terrifying moments that will bring you out of your seat. I would highly recommend emptying ones bladder before sitting down to watch the film.
It is a tense and frightening film that will not only render killing somebody who tries to sneak up on you while watching it as justifiable homicide, maybe even a misdemeanor, it may even have you questioning just how real the unreal can be. And unlike so many horror films that have a good build-up and sputter out in the end, Butterfly Kisses is consistent throughout.
My Rating: 5 Fingers, I give it a high five!

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