All Ouija pointers say yes.
Seance is a never-released indie horror film made in 2000, starring Corey Feldman and Adam West. Yes, really. Written by one Rick Vasquez—a man who now works in construction—it languished without finding a distributor, unseen for over a decade.
But after all these years, a miracle has occurred: Vasquez’s son and his friends finally convinced Vasquez to upload the film to YouTube. And Tuesday evening, user neckbeard_le_pirate brought Seance to r/Movies, where it’s gotten over 4,000 upvotes in as many hours.
And what a find it is.
For all you bad film lovers out there, pay attention. In the first 20 minutes alone the film delivers the goods, and how: terrible acting, stilted direction, cheap sets, endearingly awful special affects, and the standard pile of dumb teen cliches on which great terrible horror films are built.
But it’s also easy to see the bones of a genuinely thrilling, entertaining film lurking here beneath the low-budget production values. And those production values aren’t that bad; as one redditor noted, “It has SyFy megahit written all over it.”
According to Vasquez’s family friend, the film is “based on Rick and his brother’s own experience with a ghost in their childhood.” This childhood tale—a storyline about a pair of brothers who have a childhood encounter with a demented ghost child named Michael—lends a few moments of genuine creepiness sandwiched in between inexplicable church vandalism, inexplicable serial killing, awkward non-chemistry between friends, characters whose only purpose is to show up in order to be killed, and, of course, the performances of Feldman and West.
Much as with Tommy Wiseau’s The Room—another terrible work by a non-Anglican writer/producer who raised a mysterious million to finance his own terrible film—it’s easy to see how fans could find the film appealing. To date, Seance‘s sole IMDB review, which gives it 9/10 stars, is from an alleged family friend who never made good on his plans to distribute it. Yes, good: narcissism and nepotism working to inflate the rating of a badly done horror film?
This is truly a film-lover’s dream.
Update 12:30pm CT, May 13: In an email to the Daily Dot, Griffin Lewis, who uploaded the film to YouTube, stated that Vasquez was thrilled with the response the film has received. “Rick has been ecstatic. He absolutely loves this movie and holds it dear to his heart, so to see people take interest in it is just amazing.” Lewis also stated that he had “begged” Vasquez “to let me put it on YouTube. He refused, because he still hoped (even in 2014) that it could have a theatrical release somehow… Nonetheless, I sold him on the idea that it could go viral. And fortunately it has!”
Regarding Feldman’s and West’s involvement, Lewis said, “Rick knew a producer who knew West’s daughter. Basically, Rick promised Adam a lot of money for a bit part, so of course he agreed. Rick says they called him ‘one shot Adam’ on set because he could do all his scenes right on the first take. The director, a child star, knew Corey when they were kids and asked him to read the script. Corey loved it and called Rick personally, asking if he could play the main character.”
Screengrab via SeanceFilm/YouTube