Before viewing After Effect (aka The Removed), I was certain that the realization of this film's success would lay greatly on the shoulders of David McElroy. This being his first feature film, he co- produced, co-wrote, edited and directed for this, a burden shared by many other lower budget Indie filmmakers particularly when attempting to break into the business. With a budget of one million dollars, his cast doesn't consist of big name veteran actors, instead it's a mostly unknown group with experience consisting mainly in bit parts. Well one exception being William Baldwin who has had a long career, acting mostly in B grade & TV movies, playing roles that are ultimately forgettable. Even with all things considered, I was still eager to see the final product which turned out to be better than anticipated.
What better a place to advertise how to make some quick cash than placing a bulletin at the local college. The eight college age participants assume it's just your run of the mill research study and sign up for a three day session in exchange for a $1,000 paycheck, Unfortunately they've unknowingly volunteered themselves as human guinea pigs for a top secret ongoing U.S. Military experiment aimed at developing a bioweapon. Which is indeed, a very overused device as of late.
It's a premise that's seen multiple variations, I've seen several in the last few years. After Effect, despite all of the odds against it & it's correlation to other genre films, manages to assume it's own unique identity in dealing with the familiar story of diabolical government experimentation. The small budget is apparent in things like acting quality and continuity, but it still packs some decent entertainment value for fans of this genre. The score was particularly good towards the end of the film. I couldn't help noticing certain characteristics that would have made this film an acceptable prequel to films like 28 Days Later and even a low budget origin to the present blockbuster WWZ. It was a good enough first film from David McElroy to peak my interest for his next horror film, Psychology of Murder, currently in development and slated for a 2014 release.
Review by Jim Davis, special to Influx Magazine
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