One year after Ronald De Feo slaughtered his family, the Lutzes move into the creepy house. George (Ryan Reynolds) soon feels cold and starts acting cranky, and before you know it is looking like he might dish out some violence of his own. Meanwhile the youngest child is developing a troubling relationship with the ghost of a little girl. A frantic Kathy (Melissa George) is desperate to find out what is wrong with the house before it all ends in blood and tears.
Well done, boys. Yo…’ve managed to make the 1979 original, by no means a classic, look good. Of all the 70s horror films that are being remade, this is the one project I thought had promise. The first film left plenty of room for improvement, so maybe we could have something here. Instead, one is left thinking that Ryan Reynolds is no James Brolin, that Melissa George cannot possibly be the mother of three (including one teenager – what, was she 12 when she had him?), and that American filmmakers should stop trying to do the Japanese-girl-ghost thing. Philip Baker Hall wisely tones things down in comparison to Rod Steiger in the role of the troubled priest, but he could hardly do otherwise, and the role has been reduced to insignificance. At least the house looks neat, and the opening sequence isn’t badly done.
If the film does manage to generate any shivers at all, it will be largely thanks to the impeccable 5.1 soundtrack. The thunder shakes the walls, the wind blows from one speaker to the next, and the music is appropriately big and ominous. The dialogue remains clear as a bell throughout. Nice job here.
Nice job here, too. The image is razor sharp. Colours and contrasts are very strong indeed, a joy to look at, with natural flesh tones and terrific blacks. No trace of grain or edge enhancement. In other words, a damn fine picture.
Ryan Reynolds, acting more or less as moderator, handles the commentary and is joined by producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. The discussion is informative and engaging, which is more than can be said of the film. One can also watch the film with the “On-Set Peek” function engaged – at nine separate times, one can watch the scene in question being filmed. The two featurettes are disappointing. “The Source of Evil” is the usual making-of promo, while “Supernatural Homicide” is a short piece about the original murders whose purpose is to generate interest in the movie and to pander to the gullible. The documentaries on the original’s DVD are much better. There are 8 deleted scenes (with optional commentary by the same three as the main track) and three galleries of art and stills, divvied up into “Crime Scene,” “House Interior” and “Ghosts and Torture.” Finally, you have 14 trailers for other releases. The menu is fully animated and scored for the first two levels of screens.
Nice transfer. Nice sound. Feh movie.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
- On-Set Peeks Feature
- 2 Featurettes
- Still Galleries