Despite an abundance of naysayers and cynical critics, the found footage format trundles on. As with most genre films, there are good and bad but it remains a style open to everyone, with low budget and independent filmmakers honing their skills. The latest is Lilin’s Brood, but sadly this film demonstrates what can go so badly wrong with found footage.
An investigative news team, under the moniker W.H.I.S.T.L.E. (it is neither interesting nor important what it stands for), become stranded when their Winnebago breaks down, as they investigate the disappearance of several men. A mysterious stranger (aren’t they always?) leads them to the only house nearby, which turns out to be a brothel populated by a strange female cult and all kinds of bad things happen.
There are a number of issues with P. W. Simon and Artii Smith’s film, foremost of which is the lack of any semblance of credibility. For a found footage film to carry even an inkling of believability, and therefore justify the format, the audience must on some level be engaged by what they are watching. There must be some suspension of disbelief, some appreciation that all this is “real” but that simply never happens with Lilin’s Brood. The performances, premise and editing are so routine and formulaic as to be clearly scripted, and badly so for that matter. The film plays out along a standard narrative, as they investigate the brothel, with predictable cutaways preceding well-telegraphed jump scares. There is no tension or dread, and some deaths even occur off screen, which just comes across as confusing, as you try and follow what’s happening to whom and when.
The actual premise behind Lilin’s Brood is an interesting one. Legend states that Lilin was the first wife of Adam (yes, that one) but left him to hook-up with Archangel Samael. Subsequent offspring were demons named Lilin’s, which gives the film both its title and the plot justification for the satanic style twists and turns. Apart from an unnecessarily drawn out and tedious ritual that unavoidably conjures up images of the “greater good”, from Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, and the film’s dreadfully elongated finale, there is little demonic disturbance on show to provide any real horror.
Disappointingly Lilin’s Brood is “just another found footage film”. It offers little originality to the format and fails to tick even the most basic of boxes that could give the film some level of general interest. If you want to watch a found footage horror film with a demonic slant, seek out The Borderlands or Afflicted as examples of how original and exciting the genre really can be.
LILIN’S BROOD / CERT: TBC / DIRECTORS & SCREENPLAY: P.W. SIMON, ARTII SMITH / STARRING: MARTIN SENSMEIER, MAXINE GOYNES, BRENT KING, MELINDA MILTON / RELEASE DATE: TBA