The plot unfolds with the logic of a nightmare, thereby defying linear description. Roughly,what happens is that a group of teens stage a violent escape from a rehab centre, and wind upat the house of our heroine (Lizzy Mahon). Here reality breaks down completely, as Mahon andthe others are tormented by one supernatural event after another, all of which seem to havesomething to do with the actions of Mahon’s father and grandfather. There are many strikinglybeautiful and/or …urreal moments here, and an equal number of wonderfully creepy sequences(most especially a bit involving a painting — you’ll know it when you see it). There plot is sodreamlike, however, that the set pieces feel disjointed and rarely frighten. As well, casting TheAmazing Kreskin as Mahon’s grandfather is an intriguing move, but once he starts performinghypnotism tricks, we become all too aware that we are watching Kreskin. Still, while Tomaselli’sreach may have exceeded his grasp, the sheer imagination and love of the genre on display areengaging.
Given the film’s (very) low-budget, the sound (in 5.1) is very impressive. There is good left-right separation, the music and dialogue are clear, and the sound effects are strong. Again, takinginto consideration the source material’s limitations, the sense of environment is quite remarkable.Most successful of all is the spooky wind, which swirls around on all sides and aids theatmosphere no end.
A 1.85:1 transfer and, as with the sound, the result is pretty good, considering the source.The colours are good (within limits), and the blacks are excellent. There is some edgeenhancement visible, most notably around the black goat that keeps showing up. We also havespeckling, and there are plenty of extremely grainy moments. Again, this is not the fault of thetransfer: the movie was shot in 16 mm.
The director’s commentary is informative up to a point — Tomaselli does leave manyquestions about what the heck is going on in the film deliberately unanswered, there arenumerous silences, and the tenor of the discussion is often more than slightly weird. Interesting,though. Behind-the-scenes footage is complemented by a segment of Kreskin doing his thingwith cast members. Also on offer: a photo gallery, a clip from the Desecration in itsoriginal form (a short feature), and trailers for Desecration and Horror. The menuis fully scored and animated.
A small film with limited means, but full of big ideas and over-the-top imagery. Horror fansmight well want to check it out. The director bears keeping an eye on.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Still Gallery
- Backstage Peak at The Amazing Kreskin
- Clip from Desecration