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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
Another After Dark Films release.

Basic premise has Lily retreating to a new life at Cassadaga after her sister is killed in a tragic accident. Traumatised by her loss, Lily seeks the help of a medium to connect with her sister. Instead, she connects with a darker spirit which possesses her and leads her down a self-destructive and sinister path.

A bizarre hybrid of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and RITES OF SPRING, CASSADAGA is not only an odd movie, but a slow movie too - and all the better for it. Beautifully shot with wonderful performances across the board, the characters and their interactions are the main drivers of this story. You can almost taste Lily's angst and guilt as she struggles to come to terms with her sister's tragic death, and her perceived part in such. And while some ends are left untied, the movie reaches a satisfying and heartbreaking conclusion.

One of my favourite horror films of the year and a huge step forward for After Dark.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2012
Anyone expecting another tedious 'torture porn' romp will probably leave this feeling rather let down. The gore and nastiness is there, but largely takes a backseat to plot and characterisation. It twists and turns at a satisfying rate, and both acting and direction are good. This won't blow you away, but if you fancy an engaging, slightly offbeat macabre thriller, then 'Cassadaga's worth a try.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2012
I'm not usually one for ghost horror, but I thought this was an absolute gem.

1) I liked the way that your expectations were manipulated. After a plot twist 3/4 of the way through I was sure of the villain's identity. Wrong !!
2) I liked the way the film was shot.
3) I liked the heroine .. super sweet girl.
4) I liked the marionette maniac. Super cool idea.

In summation this was quite an eerie film with a very capable actress in the lead role and a neat killer. One of the better After Dark productions imo
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The film opens up with a young boy (Garrett Boyle) being disciplined by his mother (Janine Klein) for dressing up as a girl and playing with dolls. This leads to a self mutilation. We then move to the present, some unspecified years later. Lily (Kelen Coleman) is a deaf art teacher. Her sister (Sarah Sculco) speaks French then gets hit by a bus causing Lily to leave her job and relocate at Cassadaga, a Florida town known for its psychics.

Here she meets Mike (Kevin Alejandro) the father of a student. She teaches for Mrs. Anderson (Louise Fletcher) whose recluse grandson Thomas (Lucas Beck) likes to polish his furniture while watching Internet porn. After contacting a local psychic (Avis-Marie Barnes), a portal opens which allows an angry spirit to come through and haunt Lily.

The film was interesting as you see a plot and a slightly confusing minor subplot of the past. The film was done well, but is far from a classic. It lacked cohesion. The film takes 45-50 minutes to develop which was fine, but really needed an extra 10-15 minutes of horror factors where it was light.

Worth a rental price. 3 1/2 Amazon stars seems about right.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Brooke Lawless, first movie credit)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
I am a big baby when it comes to horror films - I don't get on very well with gore for the sake of gore and I'm one of the first people to jump/scream even though I'm expecting something to happen.

This one ... given that it was an 18 ... I was a bit cautious and, as I'd never heard of it, I didn't know what to expect. My friend wanted to give it a watch, so I armed myself with a cushion and watched it.

I'm finding it difficult to write this review without spoilers so ...

::::WARNING!! SPOILERS ALERT!!! SPOILERS ALERT!!!::::

The concept actually freaked me out a little bit. The idea of a gender-confused child growing up to make living women into live marionettes is very creepy. Especially as you see the severed limbs being fixed with the metal joints and the eventual formation of the live puppet. It's frightening - you can't deny that. I thought about it for a while when I went to bed and got a bit worried.

But the film was so predictable. Me and my friend could've written the whole thing as it went along and it actually got to the point where it was quite funny because either she or I would suggest what would happen next and, would you believe it, it did. Apart from once. Well, fancy that.

I wasn't entirely sure why there had to be a romance in there - he didn't really play much of a part and he didn't even turn up in the end to redeem himself - the one bit where our predictions didn't ring true. I got that she had established this life for herself and the horror she was going through, she eventually had to face alone. But I wasn't feeling the romance and then the heartbreak - it wasn't working for me at all.

Word of warning to people of a similar disposition as me ... Maggots aren't my favourite animal in the world, so that was another thing that freaked me out ... but they didn't seem relevant to anything. When the body was found, it wasn't filled with maggots, so why they were everywhere else I'm not entirely sure. I think there are plenty of other ways to present a horrified girl's psychological breakdown. And again, it became predictable - it was obvious she'd drink something and spit it out because there were maggots. She'd open the fridge and they'd be there. She'd fall asleep and she'd dream of them. She'd be sick and guess what she brought up ... yuck.

The acting was a bit bland as well. That was maybe why the relationship didn't work for me and the friendly-good people were all over cheerful and friendly and the creepy guy was a bit TOO creepy.

So initially ... the concept was very good and very chilling. But it lacked something. I think it was just very poorly put together. No, I couldn't do better, but I'm not a professional film-maker.

I give it three stars because as I've said, the concept was good. There were some tense moments and one point when I screamed because something made me jump ... but otherwise it's very lacking.
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on 13 April 2015
Whilst I enjoyed this , I did think that it had too many elements thrown in. It wasn't until I watched the "Behind the Scenes" feature that confirmed my theory that they did bring together two stories. On one hand you have the story of a ghost spooking the female lead Lilly having been to a séance. On the other its a whodunit murder plot. Whilst it does its best to tie the two together their are still some plot holes and scenes that make little or no sense.

Plot details could contain minor spoilers:

I quite enjoyed the first act which sees a deaf teacher Lilly lose her sister so she moves to a town in Florida (Cassadaga) and after coming across some spiritual folks in town she attends a séance to speak with her dead sister. Another ghost though attaches itself to her and she starts having visions and also pukes up maggots! - she starts dating a man and getting to know the town folk and it seems we are heading for a ghost story.

Then there is the second act, which is a murder mystery linked to the very first scene in the movie where a boy mutilates himself whereby girls are going missing in the town.

The two plots do sort of tie up as its the ghost of one of the dead girls that is trying to get Lilly to find her body and expose her killer. There are loads of red herring characters to try and put you off the scent of the killer as she tries to piece together the visions she is getting
that will lead her to the killer.

The way the killer treats the girls is horrific but never really explained and why the ghost attached herself to Lilly is also unexplained.

It was a satisfying film, I just think there is too much going on and you start wondering when you think back to the film, how much was actually pointless to the plot.

There is a scene at the very end of the credits which many people may have missed so keep watching. It seems it wasn't just one ghost that attached himself to Lilly....

There is a behind the scenes feature and a trailer as extras. This was one of the better After Dark DVD's that I watched.
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First of all, I am an avid horror movie fan. I have around 400-500 horror films, I have seen wepl over a thousand.

Cassadaga isn't anything spectacular. It's the typical Person suffers tragedy, moves back to hometown/moves out of home town, gets harassed by an entity, has to find out what the spirit/s want, find the cause of their deaths, stop the killer or killers, end scene. Only thing really original here is the fact that the main character is deaf, although she can lip read really well, talk perfectly, so it doesn't really have any impact on the story.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of movies with this kind of storyline. I own a couple of dozen like this one. Cassadaga isn't really an atmospheric, or tense film. Couple of good ghost effects, acting is ok, neither really good or bad. Characters are amicable.

I personally got bored really quickly, was tempted to turn it off a couple of times. For me, it's a regurgitation of a plot line I've seen dozens, and dozens of times. Two stars for amicable characters. If you haven't watched many horror films then you might enjoy this one.

I would not recommend for the more "seasoned" horror movie fan, but if you have only seen a couple of horror movies then you might enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2013
The main actress Kelen Coleman is amazing in this film, its a shame the film wasn't amazing! It'a a decent enough watch but its predictable, generic and barely creepy or scary but there is much much worse out there!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2012
I was a little reluctant to give this one a try based on only one other review but thought i'd take a gamble. As it turns out it's a decent film. The synopis itself gives away the plot so I don't think drawing parallels with Gothika will give much more away. In essence, our heroine tries to make contact with her dead sister via a medium but ends up being hooked-up with a vengeful spirit out for revenge; said spirit being the victim of a serial killer in the town of Cassadaga (hence the rather odd title).

So what you have is a blend of whodunnit, serial killer flick and supernatural horror in one; which all works reasonably well. The lead actress does a good job of carrying the picture along with a cameo from Louise Fletcher (my has it been that long since Cuckoo's Nest?).

The intro scene is rather bizarre which makes more sense as we find out what our particular serial killer's pecadillos are. Very gory and disturbing in equal measure; the whole torture porn genre has a lot to answer. Although medically impossible but, hey, I watch horror films to suspend belief.

In short, a decent watchable horror-ish film that does what it says on the tin. Oh, and the rather toothsome female spends most of the film wearing just shorts which is always a winning plot device in my opinion...
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on 3 April 2015
Now this Is a good one. Solid acting and story! Surprised how much I liked it as I was not expecting much as some muppets left poor reviews on this purchase site! Really enjoyed it. Scary and odd throughout! J Counsell 👀
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