Farhope Tower – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ NIFF Review
The second half of my own personal NIFF double feature was Farhope Tower.
The Unspecters are a team of paranormal investigators who are close to having their filmed exploits and investigations turned into an actual network reality show, but in order for the network to give the show the green light, they need to see something bigger from the team, and that means an investigation of Farhope Tower. Jake (John White) leads the team, with his best friend and paranormal expert Andre (Evan Williams), camera operator Judy (Lauren Collins), tech guy Simon (Tim Doiron), and rookie investigator Zoe (April Mullen) into the long abandoned Farhope Tower, which as become locally known as the “suicide tower” due to the abnormally high number of suicides that took place on the site before forcing the building to be closed. Once they enter the building, naturally (or should I say supernaturally?) things begin to happen, as stairways appear where there should be none, doorways disappear, and noises in the dark; all forcing the team to follow the cryptic writings that appear on the walls telling them to “go up”…
Now, most of my regular readers probably know that I’m not a horror fan. I scare easy, my house creaks a lot at night, and I don’t need to be jumping at the sound of every one of them, so I tend to avoid horror films. I don’t like gore, and I simply don’t like being scared. I don’t need nightmares. That all being said, I do like April Mullen and the works of Wango Films; and that is why I wanted to see Farhope Tower in the first place. So I put on my big boy pants and watched a horror film, and really quite enjoyed it. I probably wouldn’t even call Farhope Tower a horror film, I’d say it was a thriller. It was suspenseful, well paced, and well filmed. There were some creepy moments, and some scenes of pretty brutal violence at the film’s climax (which the director warned the audience about ahead of time), but all in all it was a good film.
Farhope Tower was technically sound, with a great look and great score to the film. But, as very few films are perfect, I did find a few small faults, though one of the faults may lie with me instead… I was a little frustrated while watching the film that Judy the camera operator for the team’s reality show wasn’t constantly filming. How are they supposed to land this big network gig if she’s having to be told constantly to turn on her camera!? My other problem was that there were several tropes that even I, an unseasoned horror/thriller watcher, picked up on right away. Though, this could just be because I’ve seen a lot of movies. As soon as one character said that another character was adopted, I knew exactly where the story was going to go. That was one, but there was another example in Farhope Tower that had my mind grimacing for a moment because again it seemed the resolution of this particular plot point was going to be incredibly obvious. But, kudos go to the film for basically acknowledging that, and then dealing with the trope immediately so it didn’t linger around in the audience’s brain, killing the suspense by having us remember this obvious point. One thing to note is that Wango Films did not write Farhope Tower, it was shopped to them, unlike their previous works (Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser, Gravy Train, Dead Before Dawn, and 88) which they wrote themselves.
For me the whole experience of Farhope Tower was excellent, as director April Mullen did a Q&A after the film with the audience which I believe was largely made up of crew and friends and families of the cast. That I believe was the reason for her warning of the violent and cringe worthy climax before the film. You don’t particularly want your mom to see things like that. After the film closed at the theatre, April and co-star (and Wango teammate) Tim Doiron signed posters and took pictures with the fans at a bar across the street from the theatre. As always, they were very gracious, very friendly and very accommodating with all who attended. That’s just #WangoBaby.
Bottom Line: incredibly enjoyable, especially the Q&A and meet & greet after the show. Plus, I watched a proper horror movie out in public and didn’t scream or cry in fear!
Posted on 16-06-17, in 4.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged April Mullen, Ari Millen, Brittany Allen, Evan Williams, Farhope Tower, John White, Lauren Collins, Niagara Falls, Niagara Integrated Film Festival, Niagara Region, NIFF, Tim Doiron, Wango, Wango Baby, Wango Films, WangoBaby. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.