★★★ Directed by: Ray Ragenious Written by: Ray Ragenious Starring: Ray Ragenious, James Luna, Gabe Perdue, John Garner, Eddie Gomez, Irene Frederik Indie Film Review by: Chris Olson
Found footage meets Dexter in Homicide Evidence 3, an indie horror/thriller, written, directed by, and starring Ray Ragenious. Depicting the exertions of a doctor-cum-scientist as he goes about numerous experiments on human body parts, all of which have been documented and, supposedly, lost in a police evidence locker. We witness his numerous tests through the window of a video tape (yeah, remember those?), and start to piece together the magnitude of his maniacal ministrations.
The undiscovered crime tape method is a nice entryway into a found footage movie. It allows the story to circumnavigate the typical pitfalls of the genre, such as the “why keep filming such horrific events?” conundrum. With Homicide Evidence 3, filmmaker Ray Ragenious is able to further add to this by not utilising the traditional cop camera approach (e.g. End of Watch) and instead explain his footage under the guise of a science experiment - which would indeed be filmed.
Whilst the use of static, low-angled shots were repetitive, it did lend a superb sense of authenticity to the indie film, allowing the central character’s clinical control over the storytelling to be cemented. The sound design is largely made up of droning machinery, television static, and Ragenious’s creepy voice, all of which were brilliantly chilling.
Overall, he manages to create a believable and authentic atmosphere that is compelling.
The aesthetic of the visuals has a strange filter utilised throughout that makes the film look like it's part X-RAY. Whilst bold and intriguing at first, over the course of 80-minutes this becomes a little tiresome. And this leads on to the key issue with Homicide Evidence 3, which is the lack of fundamentals. The narrative never develops much beyond a scientist doing his crazy thing, with barely any connection made with his victims. The obscured visuals and lack of supporting characters made it impossible to understand the central character or his motives, which is going to make a feature length film where he makes up 99% of the screen time difficult to fully love.
Too much of the film is spent showing endless behaviours and quirks of the main character without giving the audience anything to gnaw on. Had the movie opted for a murder mystery narrative, asking for the audience’s involvement in actually solving something or piecing events together in some meaningful way, Ray Ragenious’s aesthetic approach could have been hugely affecting. Instead, the result is a bold and methodically immersive viewing experience that doesn't cut deep enough.
Watch the official movie trailer - https://www.horrorsociety.com/2014/10/03/homicide-evidence-3/