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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Revenant" )

 

directed by Derek Cole
USA 2012

 

When struggling writer Paul (Stephen Twardokus, 3-DAY WEEKEND) finally does ask his girlfriend Stella (Liesel Kopp), it is into the haunted Browning house - where one of the previous owners murdered his family and then killed himself - in which Paul hopes to write a book about his experiences with the paranormal. Having realized that at thirty he has never followed through with anything, Paul is not subtle about his attempts to contact the dead. He has Stella redecorate the childrens' bedroom as it was when the Browning family were alive in order to make the spirits more active, and is as thrilled as Stella is terrified when things start to go bump in the night. Paul needs something bigger than sounds, half-heard voices, moving objects, and the occasional humanoid shape under the bedsheet to sell books, however, and it may be all to late before he realizes that the force in the house is not content just to scare him.

Also known as REVENANT - and possibly retitled in reference to the popular FX network show - AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY is a modest yet effective chiller. It's a refreshing change from the "found footage" films as well as those that either spend the duration terrorizing a female lead or questioning their sanity (in fact, the girlfriend makes the most sensible decision early on). Writer/star Twardokus and director Derek Cole exploit the fears of the dark and silence that make a normal-looking suburban home as creepy as a Gothic mansion, as well as the equating his desire for "something big" in his paranormal encounters with the audience's curiosity at what this little film is capable of. It's not a masterpiece, and we are left really knowing less about the protagonist than the ghosts, but AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY more capably achieves the sort of chills that big budget films have aspired to with busy surround mixes and an overabundance of "subtle" visual effects.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 1 October 2012 (USA)

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DVD Review: Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:29:30
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.43 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 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (CC), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Derek Cole, writer/star Stephen Twardokus, and producer Jon Gale
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 40:04)
• Deleted Scenes (16:9; 27:29)
• Photo Gallery
• Trailer (16:9; 1:16)
• Trailers for 'An Affair of the Heart', 'Silver Case', 'Diablo', and 'From the Head'

DVD Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 15

 

Comments

Breaking Glass' dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic DVD features a good-looking transfer of a digitally photographed film shot with a skeleton crew (the director and star for much of the duration) and household lighting. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is refreshingly restrained for this type of horror film (English closed captioning is also available).

The film is also accompanied by an audio commentary track with director Derek Cole, writer/star Stephen Twardokus, and producer Jon Gale (who also plays the landlord). They discuss changes made as they were putting the film together, shooting in Cole's own home (with his family either off in other rooms or off-camera for the practical ghost effects), and the resulting tight coverage (lighting was aimed through the windows so they could not be in the shot during scenes supposed to be set at night). The "Behind the Scenes" featurette is not a compilation of on-set video and cast/crew interviews but a forty-minute discussion with Cole and Twardokus; however, it's a very entertaining and rewarding listen for low-budget filmmaking hopefuls as the two discuss and display their homemade lighting equipment, how they achieved the practical effects as well as the digital ones (including the use of split-screen to merge up to three continues moving shots into one composition since Twardokus himself played both the protagonist and the ghost and had to occupy the same frame at times) with sometimes free and accessible software, as well as how they more simply realized shots that they failed to achieve with a greenscreen suit.

The near thirty-minutes of deleted scenes are not alternate takes or bloopers, but entire scenes that would likely have resulted in a two-hour running time if retained. They include one skeptical character's encounter with the ghost which was removed along with all references to it in the final cut, as well as more screentime for actress Liesel Kopp as the protagonist's girlfriend. Also included are a photo gallery, a trailer for the film, as well as trailers for other recent Breaking Glass releases.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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