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Movie Review: ‘The Levenger Tapes’

The Levenger Tapes
Studio: Lionsgate
Cast: Johanna Braddy (Amanda: the hottie with a heart of gold), Lili Mirojnick (Kim: the tough, sarcastic BFF ), and Morgan Krantz (Chase: the puppy dog)
Genre: Found footage, horror, thriller
Rating: R for Terror, Some Bloody Images and Language
Runtime: 92 minutes
Release: July 5, 2016 via DVD, Digital HD and On Demand
DVD SRP: $19.98


The plot of The Levenger Tapes plays out like a How to Write a Horror Movie For Dummies book. With 90% “found footage,” 10% “tired cops who don’t get paid enough watching tapes at 3:00 am,” the film features horny co-eds partying during semester break in a secluded cabin in the woods who find bloody clothes belonging to a missing girl (spoiler alert: it’s Katie Levenger, the film’s namesake). They cross an Old Indian Burial Ground (SERIOUSLY!), are attacked by creepy The Hills Have Eyes-esque people lurking in the trees, before ultimately solving a local mystery a la Scooby Doo. Only with more blood, screaming, and camera shaking (naturally).

shoppingBased on my summary of the plot, you’d probably think this was a trite and cliche horror movie worth skipping, but not necessarily.

The relatable friendship between Amanda and Kim and the sub-plot of a small town’s investment in finding a local girl gave each facet of the film something thrilling and enjoyable. I really did like Amanda and Kim! I felt like their inside jokes, loyalty to one another, and even their bickering were relatable. Hearing the two lament about how they could have been spending their break on a beautiful beach resort versus running through the dark and scary woods was actually pretty funny. Unfortunately, I didn’t particularly enjoy (i.e. I HATED) the role of Chase, who bobbed back and forth between being the scared wimp and the machete-wielding hero. The performer’s acting chops also wavered. The only thing that was consistent about him was that he was 100% annoying, 100% of the time. As mentioned, I also liked the sub-plot of the missing girl, but that might be because I’m a sucker for true-crime stories, detective work, and investigations. I kind of wish there could be a “Katie Levenger” cut of this film, where they only show the parts featuring her. Sure, it would be short, but it would also be intriguing!

The sets were standard but fitting: a tacky family home with way too many floral adornments, a dusty abandoned house with vintage pictures on the wall, and a dark forest with tree limbs that reach out like hands in the dark. I also found the camera work to be suitable: shots with “night vision” were appropriate for the scene, and the movement wasn’t so jarring that it gave me motion sickness. The lack of score was typical for a found footage film, with music sprinkled in when the characters were listening to the stereo.

Unfortunately, my biggest complaint about this movie is that it wasn’t particularly scary.

I am often teased for being the biggest “scaredy cat” around, but this film did little to send shivers down my spine or make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. In fact, during many of the so-called “scary parts,” I tapped my fingers on the table, willing the scene to be over out of boredom— not fear. To be honest, GeekGirl World, this is the kind of movie you watch if it’s raining and Netflix is broken and you’re waiting for your cake to finish baking. Not great, not horrible, just kind of inbetween. In a word, The Levenger Tapes is “Meh.”

For a closer look at The Levenger Tapes, check out the official trailer below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Be sure to catch The Levenger Tapes on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand beginning July 5, 2016— if you dare!

Want more movie madness, darling cinephiles? Be sure to check out our other film reviews here!

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