Fever
Trimark // R // $24.99 // May 22, 2001
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted October 22, 2001
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Graphical Version
FEVER

Synopsis:

Nick is a struggling artist living in a rundown tenement in New York City. One morning, Nick awakes to sirens blaring and a great commotion in the entryway of his building. Apparently, Nick's landlord was viscously murdered the night before and the police are asking the tenants if they heard or saw anything that could help their investigation. When Detective Glass (Bill Duke) interviews Nick, their discussion centers on the mysterious tenant who moved in above Nick's apartment, as well as the drunken tenant that fought with the landlord the night of his murder. With this information in hand, Detective Glass sets out to piece together the rest of the events of that evening. The death of the landlord has taken its toll on Nick. Not that his life was going all that well prior to the murder but now, it seems that Nick's whole life is rapidly falling down all around him. Physically, he's gotten sick and can't seem to get better. Mentally, he's in a very bad place. Who killed the landlord? Is the question everybody is asking. More importantly, will the killer return or better yet, did he or she ever leave? Fever is a whodunit that chronicles one man's rapid descent into madness and death. Genuinely creepy, Fever is a dark and brooding film that truly captivates the viewer.

Audio/Video:

The audio for the feature is listed as DD5.1 on the case however, it is actually only DD2.0. The resultant audio texture is loud but not enveloping. The Director's Commentary is by none other than "Bill" of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures, Alex Winter. Not heavy on tech talk, it centers mostly on a scene-by-scene dissection of character relationships, POV (point of view) achieved to create the necessary imagery as well as the existence or non-existence of some of the characters on screen. The video portion of the disc is very dark. There are a lot of black and green hues employed throughout that bring the film emotionally and visually down. The widescreen transfer is artifact free with good color saturation levels as well as rather pallid fleshtones (intentionally so).

Extras:

Understanding the actor's and director's impetus is a necessary tool to identifying the final version of the film itself. Herein, Henry Thomas, Teri Hatcher, David O'Hara and Alex Winter discuss the style of the film, their character's drive, the theme of the film, the use of multiple cameras to get a "real" emotion out of the actors as well as the anticipated audience reaction. Each segment runs 35-45 seconds.

Overall:

This is a seriously creepy film that conveys a sense of dread beyond the TV screen. It's very moody and atmospheric and while you think you know the answers to the questions there are still a few jolts and scares that will take you by surprise. I must say that I found the commentary very helpful in deciphering a lot of the finer points of the portrayals and suggest watching it immediately after the film. Rent it



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