My previous experiences with low-budget, independent horror films have never really gone that great. With poor acting, shoddy effects, and shaky camera work, indie flicks usually leave me wishing I hadn’t even wasted my time pressing play. Now, there are a few occasions where I do come across a hidden gem in the pile of manure that’s out there and lucky for me, Jordan Pacheco’s “Provoked” certainly leans more towards the gem side of the spectrum.
The acting kind of starts off rough in this supernatural investigation story, but things do tend to progress rather nicely as the film rolls on. I am extremely pleased that the focus shifts to Chris O’Reilly’s character, Matt, as he easily delivers the best performance of the entire bunch. That’s not to discount the acting of legendary horror actor, Tony Moran, as the plumber, who briefly graces the screen for us horror fans to swoon over. I wish we could have seen more of him, but it’ll have to do for now!
The effects in “Provoked” are actually pretty impressive and because there isn’t an overabundance of them used, they are much more effective. There are a bunch of cliche ‘haunted house’ tricks pulled in this one, but they do lend a hand to the atmosphere of the tale, so I will forgive Pacheco for their inclusion.
While their are some continuity issues seen throughout the film, I am starting to wonder if they were done purposely, after seeing the Raimi-esque camera zooms utilized towards the end of the film.
I think the idea of ghost stories and haunted houses have been done to death in horror films, pun sort of intended, and while this isn’t the greatest one to watch, it certainly is worth your time. There is great potential here and I look forward to checking out Jordan Pacheco’s future work. I give “Provoked” 3.5 k2 readings out of 5.
Jordan Pacheco is no doubt a fan of the “Paranormal” genre, as well as a talented director. His film “Provoked” has many small, albeit obvious, nods to some of the more well-known haunt films such as Paranormal Activity, the Sentinel, Ju-on, and even Evil Dead.
Richard Griffin’s cinematography and the musical score by Timothy Fife give this film a definite Lucio Fulci vibe. This film has a ton of fresh techniques used to keep it on par with its bigger budget counterparts. The scares are plentiful and the acting is suburb (with the exception of some cheesey one-liners).
Chris O’Reilly steals the show with an honest portrayal of a desperate ghost hunter. Tony Moran of The Original Halloween film makes a brief, but noteworthy appearance as “Doug the Plumber.”
This film is a must-see for horror fans. I personally feel like not enough attention is given to the independent films of our genre. Everybody wants “BIGGER.BOLDER.BLOODIER…” while I’m a fan of all things horror, subtlety is a more acquired taste. This film pulls off subtle, while still managing to push a pace and keep you intrigued.
This film gets the Rottin’ Roger Demarco seal of approval with 3 E.V.P. recordings out of 5.