In the tradition of Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism, Eight After looks to put a supernatural spin on found footage horror.
In 1999, The Blair Witch Project brought found footage to mainstream audiences by making things unsettling through implication. As the years passed and the subgenre became saturated with amateurs using simplified technology to create substandard product, a few outliers made a big splash: Paranormal Activity in 2007, and The Last Exorcism in 2010. Now, Eight After – spelled “8ight” – looks to synthesize these efforts into a unique experience.
The press release describes the film as:
"“Chronicling the true story of a demonic possession in 2019, reality television editor Vince Rocca kept a diary that focuses on his wife, Deanna, a zoo veterinary technician, who becomes increasingly possessed by a ghost. The loving couple never knew the prior horrors that occurred in their home…[and] Vince must now rescue Deanna from her unspeakable fate…“"
As is the case with most trailers, there is a sense of the familiar with the teaser for Eight After. It begins firmly in Paranormal Activity mode, with static cameras positioned throughout the couple’s home. As they sleep, an invisible force closes doors and pulls at bedsheets.
Might this have something to do with the couple’s trip to Hawaii, in which Deanna discovered a crucifix necklace hidden in a wall? Vince scoffs at religion and superstition. Which side – faith or reason – will win out in the end?
As expected in this subgenre, an outsider is enlisted to appraise the supernatural happenings. In this case, a female psychic picks up on a presence plaguing Deanna. It will be interesting to see how horror viewers respond to this “haunted person” film, as much depends on the actor’s ability to bring the creep factor.
Ashley Bell gave a star-making performance in The Last Exorcism, using bodily contortions to convey the headspace of a girl possessed by Satan. Katie Featherston was sympathetic in Paranormal Activity as a woman pursued throughout her life by a restless spirit. Could Deanna Rocco be added to this group of standout female found-footage performers? Here’s hoping.
Eight After will premiere on Amazon US/UK at midnight on October 15.