Man, there are times when I truly hate the horror genre.

Now it pains me to write that, as an avowed genre buff that has been sitting through scare flicks for pretty much as long as I can remember.

But, when you have to endure a steaming pile of crap like The Sigil, passed off as a ‘film’ even though it barely deserves that moniker, you do begin to question your tastes when it comes to entertainment.

Anybody that knows me knows I am always willing to give movies a chance, and to this day I have never left a film early, or switched off a DVD ahead of the end.

But boy was I tempted here, with my finger hovering over the stop button from about five minutes in.

To describe the flaws of The Sigil is pretty straightforward – a poor story, poor script, poor camerawork, poor acting and yep, you’ve guessed it, a poor ending.

As soon as the film opens with one of those ‘these tapes were found at the scene’ montages I have to admit my heart sank as, like most of you, I have about had it up to my eyeballs with the whole found footage sub-genre.

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That is not to say that found footage automatically equates to a bad film though, as my review of recent British effort Entity will prove.

But, while Entity contained a few established actors who added some much-needed depth to the running and screaming antics, here it’s just running and screaming – with piss-poor performances to boot.

The plot itself is ridiculous – a house in Los Angeles is found to contain 42(!) dead bodies, with the authorities able to pass off this carnage as being due to a mysterious radiation leak.

For some reason this reasoning seems to be accepted by the world at large, despite the neighbours being allowed to stay in the houses either side, and plantlife etc continuing to grow around the house.

Anyways, the sister (Devan Liljedahl) of one of the people that died in the house decides she is not satisfied and elects to investigate, dragging along her old mate Nate (Nathan Dean Snyder) and the film’s director, Brandon Cano-Errecart – who naturally brings along a camera to record everything.

Naturally they only decide to poke around the house at night, leading to lots of shaky cam, plenty of off-camera groaning and screaming, and endless lines of dialogue along the lines of ‘did you hear that’, ‘did you see that’, ‘what was that noise’ etc – all of which becomes tiresome quickly – and I mean very quickly.

They eventually stumble across the fact that this mass death may in fact have something to do with a demonic cult, rather than any radiation malarkey, leading to a frenetic finale which sees a couple of characters seemingly become possessed – I’m presuming that was what the farcical ‘deep, angry voice’ moments were suggesting anyway.

I am truly struggling to find anything to recommend here – the dialogue is excruciatingly dull, the cast of characters pretty unlikeable and things just seem to happen for no real reason.

As mentioned earlier, the acting is diabolical across the board, and the film also struggles for any sort of identity, switching between straight-up camera shots to found footage with confusing regularity.

In fact, the only positive I can muster is that The Sigil clocks in at just over an hour, so if for some reason you do decide to put yourself through this, at least you are out of your misery swiftly.

EXTRAS: Unsurprisingly, none

 

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.