Asylum Tapes (2012) Review

The Asylum TapesHalf 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.

The Asylum Tapes
“Just keep driving then we wont have to make this terrible movie!”

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 Asylum Tapes
Pictured Oliver Stone holding up the most scary image from The Asylum Tapes

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!

The Asylum Tapes
Warning this film is so bad you will want your 99p back!

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.

The Asylum Tapes
Behind her head are some ideas for Sean Stone movies to come.

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. 

The Asylum Tapes
Wow the Mobot really has caught on!

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.

Movie Rating: ☆

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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  • I’m probably in the minority here hut I really enjoyed this film! Granted I have a soft spot for found footage horror and films about mental hospitals, but this is the best one I have seen in a while. Yeah it’s cheesy and predictable, but it’s a film that you can just watch, without having to think too deeply about it. A lot of things in the film are left to your imagination, so I guess you get out what you out in – if you expect it to be rubbish it will be, but I gave it a chance and found myself really getting into it. The ending was a bit disappointing, but that’s to be expected from this type of film and was more to do with me not wanting the film to end! I found it intelligent and engaging, and a great first attempt for new director Sean. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. Looking at reviews though I’m starting to think I’m the only one that liked it, probably says a lot about me to be honest! Well worth a watch in my opinion.

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  • I really didn’t like this film, and I agree with you. I wish it wasn’t a found-footage piece. Or handheld, it’s so frustrating and probably would have been scary or it would have at least been improved if it was filmed properly. I.e. We’re watching the story as it happens. Like Woman in Black and The Grudges/Ju-Ons.

    However, I feel that the way that you’ve written this is far too offensive for just a film review. If you have to offend anything, offend the work – not the creators.

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  • Crackpot conspiracy theories? Psychic driving is no theory. Dr. Ewen Cameron and others were working on such programs in mental hospitals with funding from the CIA. Many of the psychiatrists involved happened to have an interest in the occult, thus the presence of such symbolism in the asylum of the film.

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  • Just re-reading this moronic review.

    “Every crackpot conspiracy,” huh? What a joke. Someone needs to brush up on MK-ULTRA. Look up the Allan Memorial Institute and come back to everyone about how psychic driving is a “crack-pot conspiracy theory,” idiot.

    I suppose that also refers to the fact that they employ esoteric symbolism in the film. You’d think that the fact that every part of popular culture includes this symbolism would compel anybody with a scintilla of common sense to abandon the delusion that it’s a “crackpot conspiracy theory.” But then, the rest of this review doesn’t speak for the intelligence of its author. Tell the *scores* of witnesses to shadow people that what they’ve seen was “pseudo-intellectual.” I doubt they thought so while they were being attacked.

    Typical of the personality type that dismisses anything that strays into the realm of the unknown as a pseudo-intellectual crackpot conspiracy theory to have all such subject matter fly right over their head.

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