Maria Bello Arrives in Wales with teen daughter Sarah in tow to visit estranged husband Sean Bean. Relations between mother and daughter are tense, to the dismay of the father, who senses something is wrong but can’t divine what it is. Then tragedy strikes, when the duaghter disappears, apparently drowned. While Bean searches frantically for her (or for her body), Bello becomes convinced that Sarah has been abducted into the Welsh land of the dead, and that another girl, dead these fifty yea…s, has returned in her place.
Director John Fawcett has previously given us Ginger Snaps, arguably the best werewolf movie on record. Here he demonstrates that his handling of that film was no fluke. The tone here is completely different – there is none of the satirical humour of the other film. Instead, this is full-on supernatural creepiness, and a story that works itself out with a terrible inexorability. The performances are excellent (Bello’s in particular), and the imagery is worthy of the Silent Hill video games. And yes, Fawcett pulls off his stated goal in making sheep scary. Believe it.
Be prepared to drown in a virtual surf. The sea is almost a character in itself, and it pounds away in full, glorious surround. The score has a very impressive sense of physical space as well. There are plenty of very startling FX cues, and the placement is excellent too: there’s a wonderful moment where a creepy girl’s voice travels from speaker to the other, surrounding the viewer in a most discomfiting manner.
The picture is very strong as well. The contrasts are excellent, and the picture is never murky (which is good, given how dark many scenes are). The image is extremely sharp, free of both grain and edge enhancement difficulties. Flesh tones, and colours are both good, too. In sum, this is an extremely atmospheric transfer, one that does full justice to the film.
Sadly, nothing but a clutch of trailers. The menu is basic.
This is a film that deserved a full theatrical release, never mind something better than a bare bones disc. But it looks and sounds good, and horror fans owe it to themselves to hunt this down immediately.
Special Features List