Half an hour into Asylum Tapes I was so bored and annoyed at the repetitious, lame, found footage nonsense on screen my mind and fingers wandered over to my laptop. My goal was to search out the person that had made this piece of pitiful piffle, possibly with a view to doing something a lot more scary and horrific to them than what was happening in their film.
Upsettingly the revelation that greeted my irritated eyes made Asylum Tapes even worse than I had original thought it was. The hateful figure tormenting me with his pretentious waste of time masquerading as a movie was Sean Stone, the son of legendary director and writer Oliver Stone.
My suspicions had been aroused early on in Asylum Tapes in one of the many, many awful scenes, as Sean sat around a dinner table with friends and family and discussed the supernatural in a conversation as unconvincing as it was pompous.
Low and behold there, telling a tale about Creepy Kate was Oliver Stone himself, either having agreed to be in the film to help out the rotting fruit of his loins or being unwittingly filmed by his son who also wrote and directed the movie.
The reason that Sean Stone being Oliver Stone’s son makes this film even worse than every other shockumentry movie littering our pound shop shelves is that he should have known better. This is the man that wrote and directed such classics as Scarface, Platoon, Wall Street, JFK and Natural Born Killers. Okay he’s gone off the boil recently with the 7 hour long Alexander and World Trade Center but still, Scarface, come on!
Having a father with this much experience, knowledge and talent, as well as connections up the hoo-hah should mean that his son would have a hell of a lot of advice and help when it came to making his first feature film. Yet somehow Sean Stone’s first foray into movie making is a rancid, rotting, rusted toilet full of the same shit we have seen a million times before.
The plot is the same as every other plot in these films, except somehow worse. A bunch of friends spend the night in a closed asylum Greystone Park, which just happens to be the original title of the film, where the… Oh seriously, who cares?
Sean plays Sean and his friends Alex and Antonella are played by Alexander Wraith and Antonella Lentini. See what they did there? They made it more real by using their real names. Man that’s clever I bet Oliver told them to do that!
Made up of jerky terrible camera work, shots of horror staples such as dolls, occult symbols and religious iconography are blended with rubbish sound and scene after scene where a irritating character screams and yells “what was that!” as the camera swivels around to reveal nothing, yet again.
All this is added on top of ostentatious affected, pseudo-intellectual’s dialogue about ‘shadow people’ and every crack-pot conspiracy ever invented, inserted I suppose just in case you weren’t uninterested and aggravated enough by the movie already.
An unoriginal rip-off with no redeeming qualities at all Asylum Tapes, much like Staunton Hill by George A. Romero’s son Cameron Romero, does prove one thing – that talent is definitely not hereditary.