Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Axelle Carolyn
UK 2013

 

After a failed suicide attempt, recently-widowed guilt-ridden Audrey (Anna Walton, HELLBOY II) retreats to the Welsh countryside and Talbot Cottage, so named after its "well-respected" previous owner according to nosy caretaker Theresa (Tanya Myers, CONTROL). Almost right away, her sleep is disturbed by sounds of another occupant despite the insistence of Theresa and her physician husband Daniel (Nick Brimble, FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND) that there are no undesirable presences in the house, particularly in that locked room at the top of the stairs. Audrey comes to believe that they are further manifestations of her guilt over her husband's death in a car crash until the noises get louder and more threatening. Daniel indulges her curiosity and reluctantly opens up the locked room where she discovers the belongings and a photograph of previous owner Douglas Talbot. When Douglas (Tom Wisdom, 300) appears to her as a ghost, he turns out to be a seemingly benevolent apparition who is just as puzzled as to how it is that she is the first person who has been able to see him in the thirty years that he has been dead. As ghost and human become accustomed to each others presences and share their past pain, Audrey begins to heal and Douglas finds himself increasingly able to interact with the physical world. At this point, the film could turn into an eighties romantic comedy, but director Axelle Carolyn - making her feature debut - keeps things sober, steering the film away from being a modern take on THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR as Theresa - who admittedly has been pining for Douglas all these years - warns Audrey that the energy feeding this relationship is not positive (that "ghosts don't evolve" and the hurt and anger is just as raw now as it was when Douglas ended his own life). When a renewed Audrey decides to return home and move on with her life, will Douglas be willing to let go of his only connection to the physical world?

An intelligent British ghost story, SOULMATE recalls to a degree other ghost stories like THE CHANGELING in which bereaved characters are vulnerable to hauntings which might be a projection of their psyches. There is a secret betrayal revealed, but it does not drive the action like ghost stories where the truth must be revealed before the ghost can be at peace. The destructive past acts and the tragic ones in the present perpetrated by man and ghost are done not because they are evil but all too human. The execution is not perfect - Carolyn seems to be making concessions to the ghost story formula in rushing the early indications of a ghoslty presence out of the way - but it is nevertheless a compelling debut (especially since I could not quite get a read on what her approach to a horror film would be from her contributions to the "Women in Horror" panel on the Scream Factory release of GINGER SNAPS). Carolyn does adhere to the logic of her story and eschew any final surprise shot, leaving the question of what happens to ghosts when there is no one to see them. Carolyn's husband Neil Marshall (director of DOG SOLDIERS and THE DESCENT) serves as the film's producer.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 12 July 2014 (USA)

 

Reviews                                                       More Reviews                                                     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Revolver Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:43:40
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.66 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: Revolver Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• Short Films:
• - 'The Halloween Kid' (16:9; 7:15)
• - 'The Last Post' (16:9; 11:37)
• Writer and Director Axelle Carolyn Etheria Film Festival Q&A (16:9; 9:36)

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Revolver's dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic DVD of this digitally-photographed production is superficially pleasing. The image is not strongly detailed (and an encoding glitch lasting a few frames occurs early on), but the cinematography is also intentionally soft to a degree. The 2.0 stereo track capably conveys the offscreen sounds, the beautiful score and music stings, and the dialogue.

 

Carolyn appears in a Q&A film festival segment in which she talks about how the location inspired the story (as well as the likely budget), her preference for "old gothic stories that the Brits used to be good at", and the absurdity of the UK censorship issues. The disc also includes two earlier short films by Carolyn: the light-hearted "The Halloween Kid" narrated by Derek Jacobi (I, CLAUDIUS) and features Walton, as well as the more thematically relevant "The Last Post" starring Jean Marsh (UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS) and produced by SOULMATE producer Neil Marshall.

The UK DVD features a 5.1 track and an audio commentary by Carolyn and Marshall, BUT it has been subjected to BBFC-mandated cuts of two minutes and thirty-three seconds.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!