January 5 sees more than four horror movies hit Blu-ray. I don’t know what it is about the first week of January. I didn’t even get The Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse or some of the catalog titles, but I can review the three from universal and the SXSW hit Deathgasm.
Deathgasm is heavy metal teens fighting demons. It’s fun with Raimi inspired gory kills including, but not limited to, a buzz saw, and some Peter Jackson inspired gore with some bloody poop and barf. It doesn’t quite match the pace of some of its predecessors, but I’m sure there’s some New Zealand slang I’m missing. Kimberly Crossman makes a great badass with demon blood crusted on her face.
The film looks great on Blu-ray. The high school setting is bright with vibrant green colors and bright red blood spray. The music video fantasy sequences look great with the shiny gladiator girls. The transfer never falters during any of the dark demon hunting antics.
See my full review. I loved this movie. While it’s not a visual treat, the Blu-ray looks fine. The mockumentary style means pseudo homemade photography. The visual basicness is part of aesthetic. It’s still clear and sharp, with some good snow cover, but it’s mundane on purpose.
Bonus features include an alternate ending where Mom reads a letter her parents had written her. It is equally effective and well acted by Kathryn Hahn, but it may have been the right decision to have her character confess. Deleted scenes include an extra Ed Oxenbould rap, so five stars for that alone. Otherwise it’s innocuous moments around the house.
“The Making of The Visit” is only 10 minutes and its coated with an odd white haze, but it’s packed with M. Night Shyamalan’s lofty principles versus big Hollywood movies. You get to see the cast audition with the documentary testimonial scenes.
The Green Inferno
It’s been so long ago, I saw and reviewed The Green Inferno a year before I even joined Nerd Report, but still spoke with the stars late last year. It looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. They make the jungle green look like a bright hell in HD, with the red painted natives an almost demonic force set against it. The horror happens in bright, vibrant color but even New York City early in the film looks bright and glamorous. Of course the gore stands out, as well as the scenery like the fog over the river in a simple establishing shot.
The only bonus feature is a commentary, and you know Eli Roth can talk about a movie for 100 minutes straight. We’ve heard mostly about his views on social justice warriors and slacktivism as he was promoting the film, but scene by scene we get to hear specific stories about hacking deleted video cards, stealing shots and prop food. The cast gets to share too, and Kirby Bliss Blanton specifically talks about the scene everyone wants her to talk about. Lorenza Izzo shares some of her own real tummy troubles too.
I can’t say Sinister 2 is a worthy sequel. The characters just walk around the dark with more ghosts and film footage. The dark looks good on Blu-ray with pitch black shadows and the saturated 16mm film effect is a nice contrast.
The sequel falls into a trap of trying to do more than the original. More families are killed on film, not just one. That’s one approach to a sequel, but the wrong one for Sinister. These movies should have been “the case of the week,” or case of the year as it would be with release dates. Personifying the ghosts in an attempt to explain the mythology works against it too.
Sinister 2 is also hindered by some basic awkwardness in the way of fake accents and flirting with hammy lines. But hey, Nightmare on Elm Street 2 made some mistakes too and it bounced back so I have faith in Sinister. I will add that the rat in a bucket scene is actually from 2 Fast 2 Furious, but Sinister 2 actually shows us the rat going all the way through, so I liked it for that.