The Frightening, as the DVD cover says, is “a new class of horror”. This play on words foreshadows the premise of the movie. There’s a “new kid” at Hallows End High School. His name is Corey (Matt Twining), and he’s having a few problems “adjusting”. Corey has a “past”. But that’s not the “real” problem of this school. Okay…I’ll stop using quotation marks. The major problem at Hallows End High School, nicknamed “Halloween High” (sorry…I couldn’t stop), is that the corpses are piling up. Someone…or som… thing…or some group of things….is killing the students. Who or what is behind these murders? Why are students being killed? It’s just one spoiler note away, or you can just rent the movie.
The Frightening is direct to DVD horror cheese. It’s laughable and not to be taken seriously. The deaths aren’t realistic, as every corpse-to-be (no matter how they die) seems to spurt fake looking blood from their mouths. The acting is mediocre at best, even though Matt Twining has a natural Ryan Phillippe pouty quality. And I guess…a nice bod? This is why (I gather) there are many scenes of Twining, among other male cast members, walking around in nothing else but boxer briefs. The writer, Matthew David Walsh, pulls out elements from a lot of horror movies like The Shining to downright ripping off The Sixth Sense.
I’ve seen a lot of boring horror movies recently. But at least this one has an agenda: hot male bods, cheesy effects, and an intriguing premise and payoff. As a wise man once said, “the opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference”. The Frightening is definitely not art, but it’s definitely not indifferent.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is nothing special. Rear speakers are mostly used for the movie’s alt/techno soundtrack. There’s the occasional sound effect, but that’s it. Front speakers are dominant. Music and dialogue are fairly clear and clean. Not a mind blowing audio track.
You will find a tiny bit of speckling in this 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer. The colors are fairly representative of the budget; the fake blood looks fake and the flesh tones are standard issue. But my big pet peeve…the picture is cropped and squeezed so tight that there is a blurry quality to a few scenes. Even the high school sign is chopped off in several shots. The sign reads “Allows En Igh Schoo”. This is the kind of thing that I thought DVD was supposed to fix. I didn’t think I was watching this movie late at night on some cable station. A little disappointing.
Just a trailer. Has a “trailer” type narrator too. Menus are scored.
Not the greatest horror movie. But at least the filmmakers were committed to their low budget, low originality intentions; the movie takes on kitsch of its own. Video and audio are whatever. The Frightening doesn’t have a lot of bite, but at least it has the moxie to give a bit of tongue.
Special Features List