“Blue Hour: The Disappearance of Nick Brandreth”

This movie was screened at Panic Fest.

“Blue Hour: The Disappearance of Nick Brandreth” is such a well done faux true crime documentary that for the first half hour, you’ll think it’s real. The fictional mystery at the heart of the story grows into an overly complicated, bizarre theory about time travel and the occult. Once writer-director Dan Bowhers starts going down the path of science fiction and horror, the film loses focus, tries tackle far too many things, and becomes a total mess.

The film tells the story of true crime documentarian Olivia Brandreth (Morgan DeTogne), who decided to make a film about her father Nick’s mysterious disappearance that happened over 25 years ago. Olivia has returned to her childhood home in Rochester, New York to find closure and create an accurate record of what really happened to her dad.

The “documentary” follows the film crew as they interview friends, family, and officials who investigated the incident, but a disturbing truth is uncovered in the process. Supernatural forces may have been at play, and the evil that lurks in the woods begins to put the film crew at risk as they inch closer to the truth.

The film is a missing person mockumentary that’s just not that interesting. The first part plays like a tiresome family video, and Olivia’s father isn’t all that compelling. The plot thickens about twenty minutes in, so stick with it. Things start to sound fishy when it’s learned that Nick’s death was ruled a suicide, yet a body was never recovered. Law enforcement admits they found a handgun that featured the man’s fingerprints, but there was no indication of foul play.

The film picks up steam when Olivia talks to the private investigator that was hired by the family, a man who swears that her dad is trapped in an alternate dimension. Dismissed as a crackpot, she decides to interview him anyway. This leads the film crew down a rabbit hole of mysticism, cults, and disturbing rituals, and Olivia starts to believe that there just may be a real doorway in Rochester that leads to a parallel dimension.

The film is just too long, and neither the true crime “documentary” angle nor the genre themes find much success. There are some interesting elements in Bowhers’ film though, including criticism of the media, the scourge of sensationalism in news and entertainment, and the public’s obsession with morbid stories. But as a whole, “Blue Hour: The Disappearance of Nick Brandreth” has a disjointed vision that simply doesn’t work very well.

By: Louisa Moore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s