The 16th Episode (2019)

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Three YouTubers get the experience of a lifetime, with potentially deadly consequences in this thriller from filmmaker Jerome Cohen-Olivar.

Helen, Einar, and Mark are a trio of YouTubers who have created an adventure show. When their latest video, shot in Brazil, results in them getting robbed, they begin to struggle. However, when they are invited to Casablanca, Morocco, for the adventure of a lifetime, they jump at the opportunity. Arriving, they meet the very kind-hearted Mrs. Frangier, who offers to let the three stay in her home while they begin their adventure.

As the trio begin their adventure, strange things begin to occur, mainly involving Helen. Helen begins to slowly change before Einar and Mark’s eyes. Soon enough, they learn that Helen is the apparent last member of a bloodline that is meant to be possessed and Helen slowly begins her transformation. Einar and Mark are determined to save Helen and along the way, learn something of a shocking secret involving the woman who offered them her home. Will Mark and Einar be able to save Helen, or will they become victims of an adventure gone awry?

This indie film from Jerome Cohen-Olivar does something very intriguing in terms of meshing themes of social media and its outlet, the demonic possession, and adds some comic relief when needed to churn out this tale of three YouTubers whose latest adventure of their channel takes a turn for the potentially worse. Cohen-Olivar even adds a few mind-blowing twists here and there that will keep the viewer engaged and yet, they don’t end things on a former Shyamalan note, but something even more better.

Rebecca Roman is both good and at times scary as Helen, the young woman and YouTube star who tends to be the big sister who is protective of her friends who slowly transitions to a monster in the sense of her manners as she is the one who is possessed by a demon. Einar Kuusk’s namesake is the level-headed member of the group as he attempts to make everything right and is the one who becomes the most outspoken member when necessary.

However, what really helps drive the film in terms of chemistry if that of Kuusk and Cody Heuer’s cameraman Mark. These two, in the midst of figuring out why Helen is possessed and how they will be able to save her, bring the comic relief just to give the film a sense of unleashing an outlet that doesn’t involve any anger or fear. Well, in Mark’s case, the humor is a defense mechanism for his fear. They unintentionally refer to the demon possessing Helen in a racist manner of sorts, but perhaps it’s just out of that fear. The major twists come in the form of the matriarch-like Mrs. Frangier, excellently played by Rosine Young. Young pulls off a performance reminiscent of something that Lin Shaye would gladly pull off when it comes to scary roles and it works perfectly here.

The 16th Episode has its scary moments, but thankfully, the team of Einar Kuusk and Cody Heuer get to show off some much-needed comic relief in their roles as outlets for their fear and anger. And Rosine Young is both kind and creepy at the same time.

WFG RATING: B

Gravitas Ventures presents a Dark Island Films and Majick Films production. Director: Jerome Cohen-Olivar. Producers: Jerome Cohen-Olivar and Yasmina Hadimi. Writer: Jerome Cohen-Olivar. Cinematography: Adil Ayoub. Editing: Julien Foure.

Cast: Einar Kuusk, Cody Heuer, Rebecca Ramon, Rosine Young, Aouatefe Lahmani.

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