[Review] Eerie Found-Footage Meets Mockumentary In 'Butterfly Kisses'

March 19, 2019

This ghoulish film may just persuade you to try to not blink. “Peeping Tom”, “Mr. Blink”, and “Blink Man” are just a few of the names for this mysterious figure only seen if you stare, for one hour, down the Illchester Tunnel in Maryland. After you’ve done this, he comes closer and closer to your proximity every time you blink, until he kills you. We’re led through a narrative through two lenses throughout the film that keeps you guessing the legitimacy of both Peeping Tom and both narratives.

 

One narrative through the lens of two film students from 10 years prior, and the other through the lens of a man nearing the end of his rope. There were lots of instances where the film was a crossover of Blair Witch Project meets Sinister with the creepy perception of Peeping Tom, and the world trying to figure out if he is real or fake.

 

A mysterious box labeled “DON’T WATCH” was found under the furnace of aspiring film maker Gavin York’s mothers’ new house. Ignoring the warning, York eagerly watched the tapes left in the box and decided to finish editing the footage together, to finish the project. On the tapes, we grow familiar with two film students Sophie Crane (Rachel Armiger) and Feldman (Reed DeLisle), who are working on a project of proving the existence of Peeping Tom. Throughout the tapes, they slowly appear to become concerned that they actually summoned Peeping Tom, seeing images of him appearing to slowly get closer and closer towards their location in the camera lenses. The question of if they were truly being slowly stalked by Peeping Tom and died grows as more doubt of Gavin York (Seth Adam Kallick) grows as well.

Thoroughly convinced the project was real, York gets a film crew to document the progression of this film he’s now trying to sell to make into a better production. He makes the effort to reach everyone involved in the found-footage tapes, tries to bring awareness to Peeping Tom in the Paranormal Community, and to figure out what really happened to the film students. Gavin spirals out of control when his financial crisis looms over his and his wife’s heads, he starts losing support from friends and family and professional connections , and his obsession with Peeping Tom grows. With rising negative popularity about the film from showing a free preview online, and a disastrous radio interview that actually featured Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez, served divorce papers finally set Gavin over the edge and leads the documentary crew on a wild goose chase that results in the discovery of Gavin’s murdered body.

 

This was a different film that had lots of different twists and turns and it made it incredibly intriguing. I loved having the alternating cuts between the doc crew and the found footage. It gave the genre of “found footage” the fresh vibe it desperately needed. There is a lot to be said to watch someone who found the footage slowly become enveloped in the story, like an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. I liked that there were a lot of different ideas to help distinguish the creepiness of Peeping Tom, such as there being “weird noises” on the tapes after they visited the tunnel, and that they translate to English in Morse Code. There were lots of great horror elements too that aren’t normally seen a lot, such as with the deaths of Sophie and Feldman.

 

Erik Kristopher Myers' Butterfly Kisses was released on October 23rd, 2018 from Gravitas Ventures.

 

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