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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Michael Bartlett
USA 2013

 

When his wife Sarah (Diane Dalton) gets out of the hospital following the loss of their child, music critic Alan (Randy Schulman) whisks her off on a trip to Italy leaving their mid-century home - which he has been unable or unwilling to sell in her absence - in the care of perky house sitter Kelly (Lindsey Haun, John Carpenter's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED). While the owners did not know her mentally handicapped brother Tim (BREAKING BAD's RJ Mitte) would be staying with her, it is her trashy boyfriend Jesse (DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Blake Berris) who makes himself at home. While both Kelly and Tim experience strange phenomena from the first night, Jesse seems to be drawn in by whatever forces lurk within the house, slowly shedding his own identity seemingly in favor of Alan's (or some other masculine presence using the latter's clothing and belongings). When Jesse goes out shopping in Alan's Thunderbird and comes back with eight year old boy Adam (Micah Nelson), his plan of ransoming the kid seems to be entirely an afterthought since he cannot explain why he took him in the first place. While Kelly becomes preoccupied with keeping the kid calm and monitoring the news for reports of a missing child that are not forthcoming, Tim is assailed with ominous waking hallucinations involving the house's current owners (who themselves are being similarly haunted across the globe). While some might argue that Jesse's personality change is for the better (other than the child stealing), a guilt-ridden Kelly starts to realize that there is more to Jesse's behavior than drugs or psychosis as she starts to feel her own personality slipping away.

What starts out during the protacted surreal opening sequence (musician turned writer/director Michael Bartlett also served as editor) looking like an overindulgent exercise in cinematic gamesmanship gains the viewer interest once the story proper commences and we start trying to connect the present day strands of story to the ones in the past (especially as they seem to be on the way to literally colliding with one another). As the film goes on however, the technique and the many plot and stylistic digressions become tiresome (particularly bits involving a mysterious woman [Michele Mariana, ZERO EFFECT] right out of a David Lynch film). The filmmakers are not making it up as they go along, but the storytelling is not so much complex and stimulating as arty and roundabout. That said, the film does raise some interesting questions as to how much of the characters' knowledge of each others' secrets is preternatural or what was actually witnessed or told to them. As Jesse takes on certain traits of Alan, one also starts to wonder - thanks to the golf course flashbacks - what traits the latter may have taken on while living in the house; ultimately, it's of no consequence in this stylistically ambitious and well-acted but empty film.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 10 October 2013 (Ukraine)

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DVD Review: Revolver Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:49:44
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.49 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 none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Revolver Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Revolver's single-layer DVD features a satisfactory if not particularly stunning progressive, anamorphic encode of this handsomely-lensed production. Audio options include a very active Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a serviceable 2.0 downmix. There are no extras.

The film is available on Blu-ray in Germany but we have no confirmed specs for it.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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