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Shallow Creek Cult

2.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Nov 06, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Getty and Jessie Carmichael drive out to a campsite in Shallow Creek, Louisiana to scatter their grandfathers ashes, as per his last request. While everything goes (somewhat) as planned with the ashes, when Jessie (King Jeff) wanders off into the woods to use the bathroom prior to their drive home, he stumbles upon a cannibal cult eating their latest victim. As he runs away, he drops the keys to the truck, and he and Getty (Gorio) are forced to retreat into the woods to find shelter from the cult. Which they do, when they come across a house filled with surveillance cameras, two loaded guns and the decomposing bust of a dead man in the bathtub. Shallow Creek Cult is a mix of different filmmaking ideas, reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project, as opening and ending scenes are set up like a documentary, and Paranormal Activity, with the usage of found footage of Jessie and Getty s adventure from their decision to scatter the ashes to the end, from both their own camera and eventually the surveillance cameras at the cabin in the woods. In that way, as Getty and Jessie are menaced as they hunker down to survive the night, we get to see much of it... sort of. Some of the more gruesome events happen off-camera, or are explained (such as Jessie s discovery of the cult eating their victim), which is understandable as much for the potential budgetary reasons as for the potential creative reasons, but we often get a glimpse of the aftermath, so gore-aficionados won t be entirely disappointed. I ve now seen a number of films over the last year setting up the found footage that follows as police evidence, so I have to be honest that I had a here we go again moment when that occurred in the opening but Shallow Creek Cult utilizes the found footage well, in that it doesn t use it as an opportunity for Jessie and Getty to mug for the camera. Instead, the film just moves along, and Getty happens to be filming as much as he can because he feels that no one would believe them, should they survive, so they need evidence. Now, I wasn t in love with the way the film ends, though for once we have a found footage film that actually makes it pretty clear how that footage got found, which is nice. Also, for the most part, the pacing doesn t lag, though scenes in the cabin do become repetitious (there s only so many times you can see the cult on the surveillance monitor, hear them squealing about and then watch Jessie or Getty check it out). There is enough suspense or at least interest in what exactly is going on, or perhaps why, that can deliver you through, though, and the film doesn t overstay its welcome at under-70 minutes long. Plus, credit must be given to King Jeff and Gorio for not only acting in the film but, if you read the credits, doing practically everything else too. Overall, despite the usage of familiar horror aesthetics and techniques, Shallow Creek Cult manages enough originality and horror suspense to make it worth checking out. Again, I wish it had ended differently but that doesn t mean I didn t enjoy myself along the way. That said, if you ve grown weary of the found footage film, this isn t going to do too much to make you feel differently. --Mark Bell, filmthreat.com

One of the better found footage movies I have seen and the Hollins brothers are right on the mark. --Mike Lyddon, Reel Progress

Zombies, torture porn, and found footage are three horror subgenres that I've grown especially sick of over this past decade (as have film festival directors). So when I came across Shallow Creek Cult -- described as found footage about two guys who discover a cannibal cult in the woods -- I was not hopeful. It sounded like a combo of found footage and torture porn, a blend that has yielded some of the worst horror films of recent memory. But I was happily surprised -- Shallow Creek Cult turned out not to be torture porn. It has little gore, instead using story and lighting to create a creepy atmosphere -- along with genuine surprises and engaging characters. In some ways Shallow Creek Cult resembles The Last Exorcism, one of the better found footage horror films. Both films draw authenticity and ambiance from their Louisiana locales. And both films surprise us with sudden and unexpected Lovecraftian turns. But if The Last Exorcism's $2,000,000 budget is considered low by Hollywood standards (and it is), then Shallow Creek Cult's $2,000 budget is positively micro -- a term often used for today's new breed of grassroots, regional filmmakers. What do you get for $2,000? Mostly two guys with a video camera, in the woods and then inside a house. That's all The Blair Witch Project had to offer, and, as with that seminal film, Shallow Creek writer/director King Jeff demonstrates that effective scares can be achieved with story, acting, and lighting alone. Jeff's story is simple. Two guys visit a lonely campsite. One of them stumbles upon some cultists while they're feasting on human flesh. The cultists pursue the guys into a house. Throughout the night, the guys try to protect themselves while the cultists try to break in and get them.Its ending defies the usual formula in several ways, but Shallow Creek Cult's biggest asset is its creepy turn when one of the men discovers that the cultists might not be human. That revelation evokes the moment in Jeepers Creepers when the killer -- who we'd thought was a typical crazed slasher -- suddenly sprouts demon wings. While Shallow Creek's makeup effects are not as impressive as those in Jeepers Creepers, Jeff knows how to stretch what little he has. His monsters' hands and faces look like those 1950s rubber suit monsters (see below), but we don't notice it so much because we only catch glimpses of them, in the dark or on low-resolution TV security cam monitors. That, and our willing suspension of disbelief, allows for a creepy/scary viewing experience. The two men are played by King Jeff and Gorio, his brother. Thair acting is not all that bad. Their lines are delivered so casually, they sound improvised on set, rather than scripted. Jeff says he was able to keep his budget low because "We did all the camerawork, editing, music, even the animation at the end." All the main parts were played by Jeff and his brother -- the two leads and the (masked) cult members. "Where I run out to shoot the cult member on camera, that cult member was me. Ah, the magic of editing! --hollywoodinvestigator.com

About the Director

King Jeff is the owner of Louisiana based motion picture production company JeTi FILMS, LLC and has produced and directed several award winning shorts and feature films including Bang, The Murder Men and Grip:A Criminal's Story.

Product Details

  • Actors: King Jeff, Gorio, Chuck Hollins
  • Directors: King Jeff
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: JeTi FILMS, LLC
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A3246SC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
There have been so many found footage horror films made since 1999 when the Blair Witch Project hit theaters (yes it's been about 14 years!) that you would have thought that the sub-genre would be burned out by now, which is largely true.
Most of what you get now are more sequels to Paranormal Activity and the countless rip offs of that, and just lame, badly acted attempts to make a cheap horror movie.
Shallow Creek Cult is different however, as it provides a decent story, good acting, some funny scenes and genuine suspense focusing one two brothers who battle a group of cannibals in a remote house in the woods.
I recommend this film to anyone who likes the found footage kind of movie and thus my rating of a strong 3 out of 5 stars.
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Plus: The brothers are entertaining and funny. It has a creepy set up, but..
Negative: I was waiting for something extreme to happen the whole time, but didn't. Little cheesy. Plus, I was distracted by the scene of the calm chained up dog and why they wouldn't bring it in and feed it! Come on!
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Yes, these kinds of movies have been made one too many times, but once in a while one can surprise you. Shallow Creek Cult is that one. It was really a breath of air. There were no teenagers or college students going out camping or tortured authors with writer's block going out to an isolated cabin. It managed to stay away from the vast majority of horror tropes. I really enjoyed the story behind the brothers' trip to Shallow Creek and I thought it was quite touching. Most of the movie is filmed with a hand held. The acting was well done and the story unfolded with humor and clever camera angles that never gave away too much, but just enough, and the grainy footage that is the staple of surveillance cameras adds to the creepiness of the cult members. But without a doubt the dialogue between the brothers is the best part. They are not teenagers or twenty-somethings. We learn that one brother has a military background and both are well into their forties. So the characters have level of maturity that is rarely seen in these kinds of movies, but manages to get away with some silliness because they ARE brothers after all. There is a twist in regards to the cult members and a, what some might find shocking, scene involving the war veteran. The ending is also atypical for this genre and a good addition to the story. All-in-all, this film, in the world of B-movies and found footage, is actually really good. My only gripe with the film is that the sound was not good in some parts of the movie, but thankfully it does have closed caption.

Update: Found out this movie was made with a budget of only $2000.00. The makers of the film did almost everything, including the music and the graphics at the end!
Read more ›
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I loved this movie! What these two guys did with a couple cameras and a few bucks should shame, SHAME hollywood. M. Night Shamalan take note: a simple story told simply will outshine anything you put together. A big budget does not necessarily make a great movie. Compare this flick to the visit. One humble, entertaining work; one overblown stinking adult diaper rubbed in the viewer's face.
I can't wait to see what these guys can do with a budget!
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Still trying to figure out why this is a 'cult' . I'm pretty sure this was some sort of ridiculous alien life form movie but who knows. Just bad all the way around....nothing made sense and, not to spoil the ending (although I hope you don't waste your time watching ) but the two characters survive, apparently.
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Built tension and fear the old fashioned way, through writing and performance. Characters seemed real and hey, they weren't teeny boppers on a sleepover for a change. Well done!
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i guess a few more answers would have helped but they weren't out to make a theater release with a deep plot. They made a horror movie with some good laughs in it. and did it well
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Not a bad film for their budget... Worth a view and a good entry-level effort. However, the story line they chose to roll with, is not very original.
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