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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | October 1, 2008

There isn’t much that you can do with the found footage genre anymore. We’ve seen zombies, monsters, giant monsters, cannibals, serial killers, and ghost attacks and we’re at that point where the genre is now just recycling itself. That is until Zac Baldwin came along and added a new twist with the excellent serial killer flick “Hanah’s Gift.” A first person perspective film in the tradition of the found footage feature, “Hanah’s Gift” looks at real time events unfolding in front of the eyes of an autistic girl whose only friend is trying to guide her out of harm’s way. During a group therapy getaway one weekend, two patients, armed with an axe and knife, unleash a fury of violence and bloodshed systematically stalking and killing each of the group members. What makes this movie different from the others is the approach.

Hanah’s ability to read minds gives her an eagle’s eye view through the victims and our heroes. Paired with her best friend Toby, they venture to escape the wrath of the slashers. We not only get to see Hanah trying to escape with other survivors, but we also see the victims being mutilated with assorted tools.

The film is fueled with great performances by Melanie Wise, who is the husky-voiced heroine Tyler, a patient who leads the escape through the woods after surviving the onslaught, while the film falls under the spell of the magnificent Victoria Engelmayer, who plays the hyperactive Toby, first a grating presence who is soon very sympathetic and scene-stealing. There’s also Alina Jailene Herrera who gives a convincing performance as the barely mobile Hanah.

“Hanah’s Gift” never breaks its mission statement; it’s a stunning twist on the found footage feature with a great real time story element that keeps Baldwin’s slasher original and very intense from start to finish.

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