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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ghosts" )

 

directed by Silvana Zancolo
Italy 2007

 

Marie Dumont (Hayley J. Williams) has never gotten over the death of her son Maurice's (Laurence Belcher) twin Jacques at birth. Their lonely rural French village has been hit by an outbreak of diphtheria that has claimed several of the town's children (while many of the husbands have been recruited by the army). Maurice has always had a special relationship with his dead twin that frustrates mother who behaves coldly towards him; wishing that Jacques had been the one to survive. A quartet of mothers grieving for their children lead by Madame Armand (Bonny Ambrose) convince Marie that Maurice's contact with Jacques will allow him to serve as a medium to contact the town's other lost children. Jacques refuses to speak to them but afterward Maurice tells his mother that Jacques is not alone anymore. When one of the mothers turns up mysteriously dead, it becomes obvious that Jacques and the other children want to be reunited with their loved ones: but on the other side.

While the adult performances are okay, it is Belcher's extraordinary lead performance that is most striking, skillfully embodying both the threatened and sinister child archetypes of the horror genre. Pier Luigi Santi's cinematography is attractive and the color saturation is refreshing given the recent horror movie trends of bleach bypass and digitally drained color palettes. Both the interior and exterior settings are consistently striking and give the impression of having been depleted of existence (appropriate given the recruited men and dead children). Where the film does stumble is firstly in the use of the teacher Prevost (Rod Hallett) and his doctor wife (Beth Winslet, sister of Kate) musing about Maurice from their respectable professional perspectives (pseudo psychologist and physician) throughout. There's also a lamely choreographed climactic fight. The use of CGI is well-conceived but not so well-realized and it is in these and the possession scenes that the film could be mistaken for a more mainstream American horror entry. On the whole, it's a nice (if somewhat predictable) little horror film with a unique if not always convincing setting (shot in Italy but set in France and cast with English actors playing rural French villagers). Think of THE OTHERS without the pretension.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 15 November 2007 (Italy)

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DVD Review: MTI Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:30:09
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MTI Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (16:9; 2:31)
• Trailers for FIREBALL, METAMORPHOSIS, and SISTER'S KEEPER

DVD Release Date: 25 May 2010
Amaray

Chapters 20

 

Comments

MTI's DVD features an interlaced, single-layer, anamorphic transfer with 5.1 and 2.0 stereo options (as well as optional Spanish subtitles), and some nice menu transitions. The 5.1 track is recommended, but surround effects are largely confined to the effects sequences and some subtle atmosphere. The film's trailer and trailers for other MTI releases are the only extras.

The film is also available in Germany as a Region B-locked bare-bones English-friendly DVD and Blu-ray HERE.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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