Welcome back- to The Stack!
Dave Canfield here with part two of the Halloween 2012 Viewing Guide. Part Two focuses on newer titles that may or may not be worth your precious last few hours of hunting and watching. As always you can link and buy here. Remember just because it's new doesn't mean it's good.
DARK SHADOWS (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)
Dark Shadows looks and sounds great on BluRay but it plays like an overly serious, slick version of The Munsters. I'm not talking classic Munsters like The Fergosi Emerald episode or the one where Herman turns into a woman. This is the kind of clumsily plotted stuff that tries to do everything and accomplishes very little. Despite Tim Burton's unerring aesthetic, and occasionally breathtaking imagery this isn't funny enough, scary enough or moving enough.
THE MOTH DIARIES (BluRay)
A coming of age story influenced by Carmilla and set in an all girls school with the director of American Psycho writing and directing? Listen to the log to hear why it mostly doesn't work. The Moth Diaries has problems with it's writing and it's visuals that make it completely forgettable. Not so forgettable is the ethereal presence of Lily Cole, who commands attention in every scene she's in. There are some extras on this too-tame tale as well.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
This is coming-of-age on the edge. Forget recent movies like The Moth Diaries or Teeth; this film offers a stylish series of grotesque twists and turns which are, even if you may see them coming, impossible to look away from. This is definitely my pick for the film to end your Halloween party on if you're going with something new. But it's not for the squeamish. Tons of gore, and sexually charged content make Excision a film for people who have ears to hear what it has to say as well as the stomach to look at what it has to show. Writer, director and actor commentary here. Looks and sounds stunning.
CHERNOBYL DIARIES (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
Chernobyl Diaries is actually pretty scary in spots if you can get over the exploitive premise. But like Dark Shadows, it falls a little short of being worthy of making everybody at the party sit down and shut up. Why? As effectively suspenseful as it is, the film just doesn't do enough with it's premise. Still, there are some solid extras here and the film is most definitely worth a look.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (BluRay)
Magnolia Home Entertainment
Some might call it boring, but those with an eye for its stunning visual compositions will find this film simply unforgettable. Beyond The Black Rainbow is less about telling a story that it is about offering a chance to get lost in a lot of provocative creepy imagery. The story takes place in a secret lab where a young girl is repeatedly interrogated about her mysterious special powers. In between, she seeks every opportunity possible to escape. The heart of the film lies in it's dreamscape quality. Not much in the way of extras.
FATHER'S DAY 4 Disc Limited Edition Numbered Blu-ray/ 2x DVD/CD
Troma Entertainment/Astron 6 Video
This one's less about story too. Weird funny and gross are words that only begin to describe this movie. Watching it is like having your head walloped repeatedly with one of those old oversize VHS cases. This contains something to offend everyone, much like other great, cheap straight-to-video titles (I'm thinking Street Trash).
There are so many extras on this 4 disc set I can't list them all here, but one of them is a bonus CD Soundtrack which sort of makes it a party in a box. This is definitely the movie to get if you don't mind a tasteless, senseless Halloween.
SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (DVD)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Ever since Clint Howard starred in the low budget horror film The Ice Cream Man I've been leery of mixing dessert and death in my movie diet. This little gem has me thinking differently, proving that revenge really is a dish best served cold- perhaps even by the scoop. With a great cast led by the underused Kevin Corrigan and a number of extras that include commentary, a making-of and the short film that inspired the feature, my only complaint is lack of Blu.
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