My History With the Film:
Recently, I purchased a collection of VHS tapes off of eBay to begin my collection. I was drawn to this particular auction because it included all three Scream films and a handful of other late 90’s/early 2000’s teen horror films.
When I opened up the box, I found two movies I didn’t buy inside: Wrong Turn and Believe. I love Wrong Turn but I had never heard of Believe before. I recognized Elisha Cuthbert on the back of the box and the front of the box really appealed to me because it had a lenticular cover like the ones that were on Jack Frost and Uncle Sam. You just moved the box and the cover changes ever so slightly.
Knowing that they usually reserved lenticular covers for terrible movies (they were there to convince you to rent the film) I lowered my expectations and decided to watch it ASAP. It’s been years since I’ve watched a film with absolutely no knowledge of what is to come and I went in blind and was pleasantly surprised.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A young boy is kicked out of boarding school and is forced to live with his grandfather who he barely knows. While exploring the estate, he stumbles upon a ghost that no one wants to admit exists.
What I Liked About It:
-The cast consists of a few familiar faces. The star Ricky Mabe (Zack and Miri, Future Man), Elisha Cuthbert (Girl Next Door, 24, House of Wax), Christopher Heyerdahl (Hell on Wheels), and Jan Rubes (The Mighty Ducks). None of performances were particularly great but it was nice to see a very young Ricky Mabe and Elisha Cuthbert honing their skills.
-There is a great scene where our two leads get revenge on the towns two biggest bullies by rigging up an old house to seem haunted. While very implausible, the effort and effects that went into creating such a cool prank was by far the highlight of the film.
-The VHS has a very cool lenticular cover.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The effects are very low budget and mostly consist of a single ghost fading out on occasion.
-Despite the great cover this film doesn’t feel so much like a horror movie. It comes across more like a very long, very tame episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but this is definitely a great example of a cool cover tricking you into renting a film and then being disappointed with the results. With that being said, this is the type of movie you could watch with the whole family and its arguably even wholesome.
-The budget for Believe was $1.5 million
–I found this great review from what had to be the early 2000’s still up. It’s not overly in-depth but is worth checking out.
When I started Believe I expected to watch something idiotic, messy, and a complete waste of time. I was wrong. Believe isn’t a strong or scary horror film, but its actually well constructed, tells a decent story, and would probably be a great introductory horror film for someone under the age of ten. So, while I won’t go on a limb and recommend it to most horror fans, it’s not a bad movie. I’d rate Believe as a two out of five and say skip it.