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directed by Cody Calahan
Canada 2013

 

Medical student Mark's (Cody Ray Thompson, BAD NEWS BEARS) New Year's bash only nets four guests: childhood friend Sam (Michelle Mylett), fratboy Chad (Ry Barrett, EXIT HUMANITY), prankster Jed (Adam Christie, HILLS GREEN), and sex tape hopefuls Steve (Romaine Waite) and Kaitlin (Ana Alic); the reason being that the campus residence hall is on lockdown, the news is instructing people to stay in their homes, and those out on the street are exhibiting symptoms of an unknown, rapidly-spreading virus that is causing them to murder each other. While fending off attacks to their barricaded house, the quintet are well-informed about the global goings-on via the internet, particularly the popular social networking site "The Social Redroom". Soon, however, it becomes more and more evident through a series of news reports, amateur video, and the live video feed on the blog of seemingly the earliest victim that their now primary mode of communication and connection is the pathogen for this particularly nasty kind of "computer virus". They soon realize that barricades are useless as the virus is already inside, but they may not live to succumb since the onset of paranoia proves to be just as deadly.

Predictable yet tense, ANTISOCIAL works because it manages to make the same people who do all of those stupid things like posting drunk partying selfies on Facebook sympathetic if still shallowly-sketched characters. The film possesses an appropriately chilly Canadian feel to it but the aural and visual horror elements suffer from over-familiarity. The film only briefly touches upon a Cronenbergian idea of forming more intimate connections even ultimate connections via the virus during the grisly climax, and it implies a reason why cyber-bullying victims were among the first to exhibit symptoms; but it's ultimately all in the service of a new spin on the post-28 DAYS LATER/DAWN OF THE DEAD remake infection/transmission-focused pseudo-zombie side of the genre. That said, ANTISOCIAL is definitely worth a watch even if it has nothing new to say or a new way of saying it (although Steph Copeland's Tangerine Dream-esque score is an inspired touch).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 January 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: Vicious Circle Films/Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Vicious Circle Films/Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:29:24
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.34 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 none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Vicious Circle Films/Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by writer/director Cody Calahan and cinematographer Jeff Maher
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 16:42)
• Photo Gallery
• Trailer (16:9; 1:48)
• Trailers for 'Daddy's Little Girl', 'Jump', and 'Unhung Hero'

DVD Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Breaking Glass' dual-layer disc features a good encode of a film that has a patchwork look to begin with (a mix of Red Epic 5K and Canon DSLR, with a lot of video degraded to simulate streaming quality and electrical interference). The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is forceful enough and does perfectly well without surround bells and whistles (English closed-captioning is also available.)

Extras include a commentary with director Calahan and cinematographer Maher. Calahan discusses the technical challenges (including programming the smart phones), location shooting (and combining locations) and finding a house they could do some damage to, decorating the set with products they could not clear for onscreen use (turning labels away from the camera), and some less noticeable visual effects while Maher goes into detail about the lighting and his reticence to shoot the entire film handheld. A brief behind the scenes segment offers up talking heads which offer up some additional background about the performers and director Calahan's earlier short works, as well as additional shooting anecdotes from other crew members. The film's trailer is also included along with a photo gallery and trailers for other Breaking Glass titles.

The film is available on Blu-ray in Germany HERE, and Australia, while U.K.
Blu-ray HERE and Canadian DVD release HERE is set for April.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Vicious Circle Films/Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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