Story: Mark (David Fecske) has an interest in the paranormal that goes beyond mere curiousity, he is obsessed with the supernatural, to put it mildly. He even hosts his own video series online, Chasing Fear, on which he explores various ghosts, spirits, and other entities from the other side. In his previous efforts, he has visited some of the most cursed and haunted places on the planet, so he has seen and done it all. Or so he thought. After the death of his grandmother, Mark inherited an unusual painting that has sparked his occult interests like never before. Known as The Whispering Man, this eerie work of art has a colorful past to say the least, having passed through generations of his own family. Some have believed the painting to be cursed, as those who have possessed it either seemed to change or suffer dark fates. So he turns on his camera and heads to pick up his grandmother’s estate, including of course, the infamous portrait of The Whispering Man. But is this just paint on a canvas, or is this work of art truly harboring dark energies and how will Mark handle this family heirloom?
Entertainment Value: As frequent readers know, I am not the biggest fan of found footage cinema, but I do keep an open mind and watch a good amount of films from the genre. The Whispering Man didn’t convert me into a bigger fan, but it is well made and held my attention. The narrative has some interesting elements and while I didn’t love the dives into found footage tropes along the way, the cursed painting element kept me tuned in. I would have liked a more kinetic experience, but I often find that to be the case with found footage, which isn’t often known for a brisk, consistent pace.
The Whispering Man keeps good time however and runs just over 70 minutes, so it never drags, even when it tackles some of the slower genre conventions. My usual found footage complaints arise, a narrative that has to bend to the genre, stretches of rather dull filler, and not the most reliable performances, but I do think this film fares better than most. The movie also handles the hurdles of a lower budget production well, often wisely using the genre tropes to mask the limited resources. I was never bored or frustrated with The Whispering Man, so I have to think found footage fans will find a lot to like here.
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