Casadaga is an extremely unsavoury film! The creep-fest from director Anthony DiBlasi and penned by Bruce Wood who co-produced the film with Scott Poiley, is ninety minutes of schlocky, woman-in-peril torture porn, (unsuccessfully) masquerading as an atmospheric ghost story.
Lily More (Kelen Coleman) is a deaf woman who, after the death of her young sister Michele (Sarah Sculco), leaves her teaching job and returns to education as a student. Whilst at college she meets and seeks help from a local spiritualist community called Casadaga, hoping that they can put her in contact with Michele. However, instead of finding the solace she was looking for through the community, she is visited by the ghost of a young local woman whose mysterious disappearance was never solved. As the days pass the ghost continues to haunt Lily, forcing her to investigate and discover the truth behind the missing woman and her connection with a twisted serial killer called ‘Geppetto’.
I’ll keep this critique as brief as possible, as I don’t want to dwell any longer than necessary on what amounts to little more than an extended exercise in sub-standard supernatural scares and gratuitously toe-curling torture-porn. Any promise the film may have had as a result of the haunting / supernatural thread (which is admittedly atmospheric), is soon lost when the action cuts to the killer and his bizarre workshop.
I shan’t give away too much about the puppet-master and what he does in his sick and twisted lair. However if I say director DiBlasi was producer of the infamous Vinnie Jones shocker The Midnight Meat Train (2008), and that it features amongst others J Larose who starred in Saw II (2005) and Saw IV (2007), I think you can work out that ‘Geppetto’ isn’t making little wooden boys in his dungeon of depravity.
Some muted camera work, captures beautifully the surroundings of Florida where the film was shot. However, as mentioned already, any points in the film’s favour are quickly sullied by the excesses of brutality it tries to pass off as horror. Take my advice, this is one puppet show you should not pay the admission price to see.