Gabrielle Anwar is a children’s author (of the Edward Gorey school, from the looks of things) who is haunted by intense nightmares. When she sees the house of her dreams on television, she heads out to the small town where it is located and rents the place. Sure enough, there are ghosts there. Fortunately, Forest Whitaker is also in the neighbourhood as a psychic investigator.
Moody, blue-black photography, sudden jump cues in the score, ominous shadows, equally ominous flashbacks:…it’s all there, and over-familiar. But as gothics go, The Changeling this is not. Some of the scenes are needlessly portentous (such as Anwar’s early conversation with her psychiatrist, shot in irritating extreme close-up), though there are some nice elements as well (I like the scarecrow). It’s not a terrible film, just rather “feh” as far as horror goes.
Now this is odd. The dubbed French track is presented in both 5.1 and 2.0, but the only option in English is 2.0. What gives? It’s a decent-enough 2.0 track, suitably atmospheric, particularly when it comes to the score. The job is done, but no more, and I can’t help but shake my head over this odd decision. This isn’t the first time this has happened though – take a look at the options on Session 9 some time (and then watch the movie, which is much better than this one).
The colours are naturalistic and quite strong, and the contrasts are good, if not spectacular. The night scenes have great blacks, and are almost, but not quite, murky, so the balancing act is successful. That said, the film looks a bit dim, even in the daylight sequences. There is no grain, and the image is sharp.
Not much: a bunch of trailers, including the feature’s, and a making-of featurette cobbled together from smaller puff pieces.
Not actively awful, but hardly compelling. There are worse ways to lose 90 minutes, but there are many that are much better.
Note: This disc is distributed in Canada by Alliance Atlantis
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette