Mark ( Dávid Fecske) is a video blogger who has been obsessed with The Whispering Man, a painting belonging to his grandparents since he was a child. Now with the death of his grandmother, the painting is his. Thus begins The Surreal Project, the latest film from Hungarian filmmaker József Gallai (Spirits In The Dark, Moth).
Of course, the painting has a dark history and might even have been responsible for the deaths of his grandfather. And the disappearance of his father. As he digs into the painting’s history he becomes the focus of strange events. He sets up cameras to get evidence of these events. This doesn’t sit well with his girlfriend Dora (Ágota Dunai) and skeptical brother Tommy (András Korcsmáros).
What is the secret of The Whispering Man? And what is the connection between it and the abandoned asylum the haunts Mark’s dreams?
Like most of the director’s other films, The Surreal Project is a found footage film. The script by Bálint Szántó hits all the genre’s expected plot points in a quickly paced and efficient manner. Running only 73 minutes there isn’t time to waste. So we’re spared the endless talky scenes that ruin a lot of films like this. There are plenty of dialogue scenes, but they tend to fill their purpose and then let the plot move on.
The scenes in the abandoned asylum are especially creepy, but I wish just what was going on was better explained. It’s effective in and of itself but feels out of place within The Surreal Project as a whole. As if it’s just a plot device to lead him to his father’s tape.
The Surreal Project is very polished looking given its $7,000 budget. In films done on this kind of a budget proper lighting is often a problem. But despite the numerous night scenes, there’s no problem with making out what is going on.
Found footage fans should enjoy The Surreal Project, it delivers what’s expected right up to the final text on the screen. The film is currently looking for distribution, you can stay updated on its Facebook page.