Cassadaga Review

Movie: Cassadaga
By: Maniac E
Date: May 4, 2012

Tonight she'll hear the dead

Sometimes when you read things on the internet you don't always believe what is written down. So I started blank with Anthony DiBlasi's "Cassadaga" his earlier movie "Dread" made some nice turns in the right direction but couldn't stick around in my head long enough. They really made this word by incorporating several Slasher and Giallo influences (pretty obvious from the Italian influenced poster artwork) but in the end after watching this it was more of just a ghost story.

"Cassadaga" deals with a deaf girl who loses her beloved little sister in a car crash and heads of for an off-time in a psychic community (the title-giving Cassadaga) to clear her head. After a séance gone wrong she is haunted by visions of a ghost-zombie-girl who won't leave her alone before she clears the story of her death. So up to here this is some really worn out story material but the girls deafness is incorporated in a pretty creative way and the lead character works perfect. Also the story of the nice guy falling for he after she gives his daughter painting lessons is kind of different with him being torn between a girl seeing ghosts and having regular breakdowns and fighting to keep custody for his daughter. Now when the killer is introduced it gets pretty messy since "Gepetto" is obsessed with puppets and tries to build human marionettes by severing limbs and reattaching them to the living dolls in a pretty bizarre way.


There is a lot going on in Cassadaga it is a western ghost story which mostly means bad plot and full of holes but in this case the story was solid. I was a bit amazed after watching this because I suspected it to be a totally different movie and what I got was a movie that really did do the trick right. Yes, there are clichés to be found here but let's face it if you watch movies there is little you can do what hasn't been done. Anthony DiBlassi spares no one in his depiction of the torturous slayings, which take place over several days as the fixated psychopath takes his victim apart and replaces her limbs with doll parts. While the scenes are quite squirm-inducing, they move more along the currents of Silence of the Lambs than, say, Hostel 2.


While I did enjoy most of the things of the movie I really hated some of the acting performances in this flick. Really wooden and as we say in the Netherlands tenenkrommende scenes (embarrassing scenes), it made itself clear this won't be a movie to win any acting prices. Maybe it is because of all the subplots in the story that let the actors be in scenes not natural to them, for instance with the romantic subplot it just takes out the drift of the movie. But the main characters in the movie deliver and what a performance of Louise Fletcher hands down best acting in the hole movie.


To wrap this one up the cinematography and directing are ace here. You will see some of the twists of the movie from a mile away but the ending none the less is excellent. The movie has its gory moments and will make sure you keep on watching the movie till the end. A recommendation for most ghost story and horror fans alike.







Anthony DiBlasi






Louise Fletcher, Kevin Alejandro and Kelen Coleman