After being kidnapped and assaulted by a serial killer, Laura Kove (Jillian Byrnes) hasbecome acutely agoraphobic, to the point that she is physically unable to leave her apartment.This becomes a real problem when something begins to haunt her home, first by moving thingsaround, later by taking on terrifying physical shape. The ghost hunter she turns to in desperationis a scam artist, who in spite of herself becomes obsessed with solving the mystery and endingLaura’s tormen….
Lions Gate has wrapped an amateur production in a pretty slick-looking package, which insome ways is detrimental to the film: you wind up judging it more harshly than it perhapsdeserves, once its no-budget roots become obvious. To its credit, the film boasts some simplebut effective FX, and a couple of decent jolts. It might have worked very well as a short feature,and its hook is an excellent one. Unfortunately, over 94 minutes its shortcomings becomepainfully obvious, and the running time is finally a painful slog.
Sometimes the music is in surround, and sometimes it isn’t. No huge loss: the DIY synth riffsdon’t really deserve to be artificially enhanced. There are some very strong moments with regardsto the sound effects, however, such as the roar of the train during the David Lynchian opening.Much of the time the only sounds are dialogue, though, so the surround doesn’t get a huge work-out.
This is where the film’s lack of budget is most painfully obvious. The image is 1.78:1 butnot anamorphic. Shot on video, and obviously so, when the film is blown up to fit a 16×9 screen,the image is atrocious: about as soft and grainy and washed-out as is possible to imagine.
Despite the film’s shortcomings, it does make a concerted effort and is clearly a labour oflove, and so the commentary — by writer/director David A. Cross, production designer JasonContino, editor Robert Harari and star Jillian Byrnes is welcome, and would-be filmmakers canlearn a lot from hearing about their travails. There is commentary too with the “Deleted Screams”montage. Also provided are the alternate ending, a gag reel, and trailers for the feature, OpenWater and Ju-On. Not a bad set of extras for a little film. The menu is basic.
In the final analysis, the film doesn’t really work, but kudos nonetheless for the care put intoit and for the rather generous extras.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Commentary
- Alternate Ending
- Gag Reel