DVD Stalk: Planet Terror, 1408, and 28 Weeks Later
We kick off this week's batch of horror DVD reviews with Ian Jane's take on the DVD release of the other half of Grindhouse, Planet Terror. Here's some of what Ian has to say about the film: "Hot on the heels of the 'un-rated and extended' two-disc release of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof comes the 'un-rated and extended' cut of Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. While it would have been nice to see the theatrical experience that was Grindhouse maintained, that didn't happen and the two films have been given individual releases. So with that said, let's take a peek at what we have been given, rather than lament what we have not...By taking all the insanity of zombie/infection films like Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City and turning things up about two hundred percent, Rodriguez has made a deliriously fun splatter film that takes itself just seriously enough to work but not so serious as to overshoot its intentions. This is an homage to films from the likes of Romero, Fulci, Lenzi and even Antonio Margheritti (parts of the picture feel a little bit like Cannibal Apocalypse) with a dash of John Carpenter thrown in for good measure, and on that level, it works quite well. The film doesn't shy away from the gore or the gratuitous language and it peppers the film with clichés and outlandish characters (the marketing material, even the DVD cover, completely give away what happens to Cherry once her leg is gnawed off) and if the whole thing feels like cheap exploitation, well, so much the better. There's no real deep subtext to Planet Terror nor is there really much of a message to the picture - but sometimes there doesn't have to be. What Rodriguez has crafted here is plainly and simply a fast pace, bloody, bullet riddled horror thrill ride that starts with a bang and holds the breakneck pace for its duration...As far as the performances are concerned, we're given an interesting cast to watch with Rose McGowan stealing the show. She's sultry, sexy, and sympathetic enough to work as the female lead but when it comes time to tear it up towards the end of the film proves equally capable in an action intensive role...From the intentionally degraded look of the print to the well placed 'missing reel' gag (note: the missing reel has NOT been restored in this un-rated version) Rodriguez has done a good job of replicating the fleapit theater experience - this big budget Hollywood film looks like a worn out print you'd see at a second run inner city movie house. He's given us characters to like, a story that provides tension and gore galore to provide shock value - and in the end, has crafted an insanely entertaining film. Who cares if it's deep when it's this much fun?...Judged on its own merits, Planet Terror is a gooey, gory good time. As over the top as anything to come out of Hollywood in the last decade the film is exactly what it should be, and that's sheer entertainment."
"Horror films don't need to beat us over the head with blood and guts to be scary, as proven by Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, Stanley Kubrick and countless others. The latter directed Stephen King's least favorite adaptation of his work in The Shining, in which a haunted hotel drives a writer to smoldering insanity. We encounter a similar situation in 1408 (2007), Mikael Hafstrom's adaptation of King's short story of the same name, in which quasi-celebrated horror writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is tormented by supernatural forces. In this case, however, our protagonist is actually hoping to get spooked...Of course, not all is as it seems, and it's to the credit of Hafstrom and company that 1408 delivers plenty of thrills and chills. Enslin (and Cusack, by extension) is really put through the wringer, tortured with physical trappings and bitter flashbacks from his broken family life. Even detractors of the film have to admit that 1408 goes for the throat on many occasions, often doing so with plenty of style and energy to spare. Cusack shines in what might be his most impressive dramatic role to date: torn between cynicism, doubt and feverish paranoia, Enslin remains a likeable protagonist and a fairly three-dimensional character. If nothing else, Cusack's performance - as well as the minor but memorable showing by Jackson - is practically worth the price of admission alone...Still, it's hard to sit through 1408 without noticing a few nagging faults. This isn't the first "questionable reality" horror film to trick us with a false ending or two, but they often create an awkward pace that causes the third act to stumble. Additionally, Enslin's back story (which revolves around a broken marriage, severed by the death of his young daughter) feels a bit forced in all but one noteworthy sequence. These faults can't help but tarnish the film's eventual resolution, which leaves us with plenty of questions...but not always in a good way. The result is a somewhat plodding and awkward conclusion to an otherwise serviceable horror film - and though it may not be as troublesome upon repeated viewings, the first time leaves a bitter aftertaste...Either way, fans of Stephen King should enjoy 1408 for its thick atmosphere and Cusack's dynamic performance."
"Outside of Romero's catalog and Boyle's 28 series, zombie flicks really lack something in my eyes. It must be the added dash of sociological critique in these works that hook me. After I watched 28 Days Later, the original anarchistic London thrillfest, it wedged into my cache of favored horror films...When I found out that Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Sunshine) would shift his control down from director to production status for 28 Weeks Later, I was a bit skeptical. It's a shame I doubted Juan Carlos Fresnadillo at the helm, because he delivers an equally riveting continuation to the original narrative that I didn't expect. Though 28 Weeks Later doesn't carry the same consistent flow of disturbing sociological dialogues as its predecessor, this high octane flick can really unnerve you with vicious grotesqueries and spine-tingling tension...28 Weeks Later crafts a seamless shift from terse anarchistic sketch to a stomach-churning thriller with the blink of an eye and the splattering of blood. Much like its predecessor, it grasps a gritty style that relies on aggressive filth to soak us into the situation's madness. Fresnadillo's film is more crisply shot, but it's still dirty as hell. If you liked the first film's style, then you'll feel right at home with 28 Weeks Later. You'll have to watch out for some really sporadic editing, however, that pumps the film full of convulsive choppiness. Lots of jittery handheld camera work takes us into the action, exasperating our breath as we run with our characters through towns and winding tunnels littered with the infection's afterthoughts...What stands out well is how stringently the 'infected' are portrayed here once again. As with the original film's no-holds-barred aggression, these aren't lumbering, brainless sloths coming to chomp the flesh slowly from your bones. No, these are ravenous, thirsty transformations that bolt at their victims with ridiculous fervor. These things invoke legit fear, something akin to a sickly discomfort in your gut at the thought of being their prey. Within that stands the core power of this horrific 'zombie'-esque flick, much like with 28 Days Later. Even though they're not in vision nearly as long as we'd like, these infecteds are a truly alarming menace... wanted even more from 28 Weeks Later. It's a wholly satisfying piece of action-filled horror that fumes with terrifying vigor. Though it weighs heavily on the bombast action side instead of the more terrifying option, the film imposes a similar grinding pulse on you that Boyle's flick offered. Fresnadillo's venture into the 'infected' world gave me some unexpected jolts and, thankfully, a bloodcurdling blast of a time."
"It's obviously horror season on DVD, as this is the third Stephen King title I've reviewed in just over a week - and fittingly enough, the best has been saved for last. Many fans of the celebrated author regard Misery as one of King's most engaging novels, so it's no surprise that Rob Reiner's gripping adaptation does it visceral justice. The director certainly didn't seem like the obvious candidate on paper, having cut his teeth on films like This Is Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride several years earlier, but it was Reiner's Stand By Me (adapted from a King short story) that first caught the author's eye in 1986. As he would soon learn, Reiner certainly had plenty in common with the protagonist of Misery: though never terrorized by a sledgehammer-wielding psychopath, he was indeed a creative mind who longed to branch out in new directions...Wheelchair-bound and almost completely helpless, Caan portrays Paul Sheldon with genuine smugness and frustration. We're stuck in the house with him during the bulk of Misery, hoping he'll manage to escape when Annie drives into town. Paul is a likeable enough protagonist, whose sharp wit and clever planning elevate him above your average dumb-as-a-post horror victims. Misery is made all the more potent and affecting by Bates' performance as Annie, who manages to create a truly unpredictable, quirky (and dare I say sympathetic?) villain with a convincing physical and mental presence. She plays the rabid Sheldon fanatic with enthusiasm to spare, rounding out a strong debut performance that netted her a Best Actress Oscar right out of the gate...Boasting an irresistibly bleak atmosphere and a taut script by the incomparable William Goldman, Misery still manages to become more than the sum of its parts. Though the film's ending has always seemed about two minutes too long, it's hard to complain when the other 105 are this entertaining...Easily one of the finest Stephen King adaptations to date, Rob Reiner's Misery has aged quite gracefully during the past two decades."
"Originally published in 1977, Cujo is regarded as one of King's bleakest novels. Luckily, the oppressively dark ending was changed for the film adaptation...and with King's blessing, no less. Even so, the film's distinct division between personal drama and suspense works well, as the family's crumbling foundation makes the dangerous canine standoff all the more gripping. It's also largely due to the strong performances by Wallace and the young Pintauro, who manage to create a realistic mother-son dynamic and sell the terror with energy to spare. Certain plot points seem a bit convenient (Vic drives a Jaguar, they've got a huge house by the ocean...and Donna drives a hatchback?), but the meat of Cujo's story is surprisingly fluid and believable. Here's the bottom line: though certain elements of the production appear dated as Cujo approaches its 25th anniversary, Teague's stripped-down adaptation still packs quite a punch...Though it did for Saint Bernards what did for beach recreation, Lewis Teague's adaptation of Cujo remains a tightly-wound film with terrific leading performances. The film's clever division of family drama and nail-biting suspense works well for the dramatic second half, creating real characters dropped in the middle of real danger. Certain elements of the film haven't aged as gracefully (and there's always the argument that the first half could've been trimmed slightly), but so much works well that it's tough to complain overall."
"My only vivid memory of seeing the whole thing was its original theatrical release in 1992, though I am sure I caught pieces of it [Bram Stoker's Dracula] on cable in the interval. In that time, my memory of the film was that it was visually stunning but a little muddled as far as story; upon reaching the closing credits this time around, I was pleasantly surprised to have found that it was only my memory that was muddled, and that Coppola's bodice-ripping horror tale was successful on just about every level...The greatest thing to recommend Coppola's adaptation of Dracula is what a stunning visual tour de force it is. You can actually see some early foundation work for the kind of gonzo super-cutting that Oliver Stone would utilize a couple of years later in Natural Born Killers, but the truly impressive thing about Coppola's film is that all of the effects were done "in camera." A film historian, the director dug into the bag of tricks left behind by the past masters, creating a surreal, psychedelic string of special effects that recall the impressive moves made by the architects of the old Universal horror films but also silent cinema pioneers. Coppola, along with expert cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and second-unit director Roman Coppola, achieves an effectively antique look in the movie without ever really calling attention to it. The careful construction of the heady narrative allows for a seamless package where we are stunned by the effects enough to wonder how they did it, but sucked into the story enough that we can barely pause for the question...What this does is immerse the viewer in a complete state of "otherness." Dracula isn't just luring Mina and Lucy over to the dark side, but Coppola whips up an atmosphere of murderous passion and tempestuous desire for his audience, transporting us out of our comfortable chairs and into a dizzying world of sensory overload...Oldman is a force of nature unto himself, truly shining as the mercurial Count. The character has multiple guises, and the actor makes every hideous costume work...By the extremely satisfying and gorgeous final shot of Bram Stoker's Dracula, I felt bloated with the visual feast I had partaken in. The release achieved in the final, heinous deed works as a release for the audience, too. I was so wrapped up in what was happening, I can only applaud Coppola for his avoidance of any coda or denouement. Better to rest on the power of that last image, let it sit in our brains, than spend any time reassuring us that life goes on. Sure, in that sense, Bram Stoker's Dracula wins, but such is the case of any great villain. For as nasty as their comeuppance can get, they remain as vivid, insidious, and alluring as they were at the height of their powers--and we remain their disciples."
"It's a shame that the success of the Hostel and Saw films inspired some marketing genius at Lionsgate to promote William Friedkin's adaptation of the Off-Broadway play Bug as an 'extreme' horror film - because it's not. While there are a couple of grisly moments in the picture, this is an exercise in cinematic claustrophobia and paranoia, not a gore picture or a slasher film. If the recurring theme in Friedkin's work is how circumstance can change a person, Bug fits right in with the rest of his work but on many other levels, he's treading new ground with this film and, quite frankly, he does a damn good job with it...Bug starts off as more of a character drama than anything resembling a horror film. We learn about Agnes' past, her issues with her ex-husband, the details surrounding the mystery of their child and about her lifestyle in general. From there, we learn through Agnes' conversations with Peter about his background and about some of his more unusual character traits. It's only once the characters are established that Friedkin lets things get strange. While neither Peter nor Agnes are saints, we get to know them enough that even if we don't necessarily like them, we're at least able to feel for them and we certainly know enough about them that they matter to us for the hour and forty minutes for which the film runs...Aside from the pacing, the character development, the twists and the cinematography, the film also really benefits from two fantastic performances. While Ashley Judd comes dangerously close to going over the top during the finale, she never quite goes there and for the bulk of the film she does very well as the sympathetic downtrodden lead. We can believe that Agnes is, quit simply, a very broken woman and this is important in setting up her relationship with Peter. It also plays a key role in why things turn out the way they do, her absolute need for a resolution to the mystery of what happened to her son hanging so heavily over her head that she'll accept any answer, no matter how insane it may sound. The real star of the show, however, is Michael Shannon. As Peter he's quiet for much of the film but is always completely in character and he is simply perfect for the part. He looks like you'd expect someone in this situation to look, somewhat distant and aloof, and his performance is nothing short of amazing. Solid supporting work from Harry Connick Jr. (who is quite menacing here) and Lynn Collins flesh out the cast quite well...Those expecting a film about man-eating insects will certainly be thrown for a loop with Friedkin's film but fans of psychological horror who don't necessarily need everything spelled out for them should find much food for thought here in this creepy, slick and well acted thriller...A bleak and unsettling psychological thriller, Bug is a far more intelligent and effective film than it got credit for during its theatrical run."
"Restored some time ago but unfathomably delayed for several years, the DVD release of Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General (1968) is a major event. A remarkably well-made if unremittingly bleak historical drama, it was shot on a low budget and erroneously marketed as a typical Vincent Price horror movie. Co-producer American International Pictures (AIP) had enjoyed what today would be called a franchise with its Edgar Allan Poe movies, most of which were directed by Roger Corman and starred Price. Corman had moved on to other things by 1966 but AIP, beating a dead horse, continued slapping Poe's name on movies into the 1970s, including this one. Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General became The Conqueror Worm, with narration from Poe's poem shoehorned onto the beginning and end. When the movie was first released to home video it suffered yet another indignity: because of perceived rights issues, the entire score was replaced by a cheaply thrown together synthesizer one.* There were other issues as well, as even the original British version was heavily cut while a "continental" version included alternate scenes shot against the director's wishes...Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General (and yes, that's the onscreen title) is impressive on many levels: its historical verisimilitude, in spite of the low budget; Price's atypically restrained performance; the ambiguity of his character (as opposed to Stearne, a gleefully savage sadist); the still-disturbing scenes of casual sadism and torture, and the even more disturbing passiveness of authorities and bystanders who let Hopkins' heinous acts go unchallenged...Thanks to obvious historical research and the good use of 17th century structures, the film maintains a high level of period authenticity, this despite the fact that things like TV antennas and other anachronisms are visible in a few shots, most notably electrical wires in the background of the first shot of Hopkins...Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General was The Wild Bunch of European horror films; though not a horror film per se, it (along with Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils, still MIA on DVD) begat a long line of artless and unspeakably violent imitators (The Bloody Judge, Mark of the Devil, etc.). The difference is that the violence here is dramatically justified, if no more pleasant to endure than in those films. Though it walks a fine line between an honest examination of violence as a kind of highly infectious disease (i.e., Hopkins becomes the very thing he so sanctimoniously condemns, rather like certain world leaders today) and distasteful exploitation, the picture ultimately falls squarely in the former category...It's a film about how in a largely lawless society a handful of thugs are able to terrorize with implied government consent an entire region, how such actions will largely go unopposed by the masses. The scenes of torture aren't really all that graphic (and what blood is shown tends to be an unreal bright red, quite unlike real blood); rather, what's most disturbing is the fact that the townspeople watch the burnings and hangings and drownings and do nothing. The fact that we the audience know that none of these people are guilty of anything only adds to the tension...Had Reeves not died so young and after such an abbreviated career might he have lived up to the promise on full display in Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General? It's really impossible to say, but even as his lone major work, the film remains a hugely influential piece of cinema that MGM's DVD at long last presents in its definitive version."
Criminal Minds follows a team of FBI profilers who tackle serial killers on a federal level or when invited by local authorities...A solid freshman effort established the serial killer drama as a weekly destination for quality storytelling, and left the audience hanging with a finale that took full-advantage of the show's genre roots and pulp sensibilities. But what would it do for an encore, when expecations for a series are higher? Anyone who guessed what it would do is beat out Lost in the ratings to become one of TV's most-watched shows probably does pretty well at lottery too. After all, there are plenty of procedural series out there that tread similar ground. But what sets Criminal Minds apart from the pack are the creepy cases, terrific cast and genuine mysteries, all of which areratcheted up in season two...With just one season of history, albeit an effective one in terms of establishing the characters, the series' creators felt comfortable shaking things up in terms of the team, and no one was safe, right off the bat, with the season premiere, the continuation of the previous season's cliffhanger finale. In fact, being part of the show's main cast is practically a guarantee of personal hardship...Criminal Minds is a unique series as it tells very compact, cinematic stories while unfurling a larger, more involved story about people confronting the darkness, yet never getting bogged down in the pacing issues that a serial series can get caught in. It also features a fantastic cast that has such chemistry that it survived a mid-season shake-up and came out stronger for it. There's some terrifically scary stories in the second season of the show, and some of the finest detective work seen on TV today."
"From the director of The Machinist and Session Nine comes a very different entry in the ongoing Masters Of Horror series. While director Brad Anderson hasn't been around long enough to quality as a true 'master of horror' he's certainly off to a strong start with the two aforementioned features and this clever and well directed offering, Sounds Like...Unlike other episodes of Masters Of Horror, Sounds Like is not particularly gory or bloody save for a few minutes towards the end of the film. That said, it's probably one of the most disturbing entries in the series and it manages to accomplish this not with visuals so much as with sound. Add to that strong performances from Bauer and Margolis, who fashion the Pearce's into a fairly sympathetic if obviously very trouble couple, and you've got a strong, character driven piece that not only makes us feel for the central characters but which also brings us along for the male leads rather rapid descent into madness. As the sounds envelope and eventually bombard Larry, so to do they envelope and bombard the viewer which makes his predicament all the more unsettling...The film is well paced, it builds very nicely to a slightly predictable ending but one which definitely fits well within the context of what has come before it, and there's enough style and craftsmanship behind the cinematography to ensure that the film also looks quite good. The result is a very original take on what a horror movie can and should be and while those looking for monsters, jump scares or gore galore might not find much here, fans of more subtle, character driven psychological horror should find the feature quite rewarding...Brad Anderson has done a fantastic job creating a unique and unsettling horror film that toys with genre expectations and scares us not with what it shows us, but by what it makes us listen to."
"Made at the height of the splatter craze inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Halloween (1978), and especially Friday the 13th (1980), The Burning (1981), is strictly by-the-numbers sex and gore exploitation. Though its shock scenes are undeniably effective, thanks to Tony Maylam's direction and Tom Savini's makeup effects, the script is criminally stupid bordering on extreme tastelessness. The film is primarily notable in that many of the people associated with it would soon move on to bigger and better things...The Burning's main claim to fame is that it was the very first film of Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein, and marked the feature film debuts of Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, and Fisher Stevens. Hunter's role is insignificant, but it's interesting to watch Alexander's wiseguy character which very much is like a teenage George Costanza (from TV's Seinfeld)...The Burning was inspired by a story told around campfires throughout the American Northeast, though variations of it have been around since time immemorial practically everywhere. Unfortunately, the script adapts it in the worst possible, least logical ways...In what could only be described as an awesome lack of taste and sensitivity, the film implies burn victims unlucky enough to survive their injuries have no other recourse than to become horrible teen-slashing monsters...The dramatically logical way to go from here would be to follow Crospy seeking vengeance against those that disfigured him. Instead, Cropsy and his garden shears make a beeline for Camp Stonewater and innocent, alternately likeable and annoying teens who did him no harm whatsoever. Film theorists types with nothing better to do have read all manner of conservative themes in these films, that the genre implies that teens engaging in forbidden fruits like smoking and premarital sex are "punished" by such horror characters, but movies like The Burning merely are following the the established patterns of the genre, figuring what worked before would work again: from scenes of titillating nudity followed by gory killings set to a Halloween-esque synthesizer score, with subjective camera angles, roving camera work from the killer's point-of-view...Splatter fans will be glad to see The Burning in all its uncut, widescreen glory, but less devoted horror devotees might want to steer clear of this routine dead teenagers picture, of little interest except as a curiosity for the soon-to-be famous people behind it."
"Showing a startling willingness to cast his undisciplined directorial net over a wide range of subjects, including the environment, conservative and liberal politics, and recreational drug use, Arquette creates an initially dazzling melange of seemingly disparate viewpoints, which unfortunately grind down to a rather conventional last act of slasher antics and broad, obvious politicizing. Always good to look at, The Tripper delivers the slasher gore goods, while hitting a few of its myriad, scattershot targets...For about the first half hour of The Tripper, I was quite astounded at the palpable atmosphere of giddy homage that Arquette was throwing around, with a seemingly sure handling of mixing 60s drug-out flicks like The Trip, with no doubt countlessly re-run showings of Friday the 13th and Halloween. Variations in film stock, unique lighting effects, and a marvelously assured feeling of place (the woods feel dangerous at first), made me sit up and take notice of this directorial debut...But eventually, the sight of Ronnie throwing out one of his catchphrases along with a deep blow to the chest of a screaming victim, wears thin - as do most of the increasingly strained political allusions in The Tripper. The originality of the first half-hour of the film is gradually overtaken with a tepid second act, where the mechanics of the various killings are worked out in the woods, followed by a final act that looks more like the films Arquette is supposedly parodying than he'd probably like to admit. I really admired Arquette's frequently spookily-accurate approximations of 1960s drug exploitation flicks (Samantha's wig-out in the woods after someone shoots acid at her looks and feels exactly like those drive-in classics of old), but soon, even his technique begins to wane in favor of obvious satirical shots. Worst of all, The Tripper can't even get scary enough to gloss over Arquette's rapidly diffused intent. The gore scenes are more than competent (I particularly liked the chainsaw-to-the-neck of the tree hugger at the beginning of the film), but The Tripper's chills are strictly from hunger. And a slasher movie without genuine scares - even if it's a parody - ultimately fails...At times startlingly original in its spooky channeling of 60s drug films and 80s slasher flicks, The Tripper starts off quite wonderfully, with plenty of funny quips, a scattershot approach to the satire, and a teasingly opaque directorial intent - which all eventually goes south as director David Arquette gets bogged down in the actual mechanics of the killings, as well as mired in his increasingly pat political polemics. But he definitely has 'an eye,' as they say in the business, and The Tripper being his first effort, he's someone to watch."
"Bishop's feature film debut, The Other Side, made the rounds of the festival circuit in 2006, where it earned a well-deserved reputation as being a stand-out movie. And if the filmmaker-with-no-money story hadn't been done to death a decade ago, then maybe we would have heard more about Bishop and The Other Side. But as it stands, even without the hype of Hollywood, it is safe to say that Bishop has managed to take the "you made that for how much" crown that Rodriguez has worn comfortably for 15 years. Now, all that remains to be seen is if this guy can catch a break, and show if the talent exhibited in The Other Side was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, or if he really has the goods...Effortlessly mixing several genres, including supernatural thriller, action, mystery and romance, The Other Side kicks into a high gear with a terrible car accident. Bishop then goes back in time just far enough to introduce us to the accident victim, Sam North (Nathan Mobley), a recent college graduate who is returning home to Georgia to be with his long-time girlfriend, Hannah (Jaimie Alexander). Having a set a romantic candle-lit dinner by a picturesque waterfall, Sam waits for Hannah to show up at their reunion. But when she is late to arrive, Sam, sitting in his car, starts to worry. Suddenly, from out of the darkness, a van emerges, slamming into Sam's car, pushing it over a cliff into the river below. And this is where things begin to get interesting...From the very beginning there is never any doubt that The Other Side is a low-budget film. But that doesn't stop the film from being impressive in and of itself. Bishop sets up an interesting premise early on, and executes it with enough competence and efficiency that the film effectively captures your attention from the start...The Other Side would have been an impressive film if it had been shot on digital video for a budget of around $50,000. But, as is revealed in Bishop's tell-all audio commentary, The Other Side was shot on Super-16 millimeter film stock, at a cost of $15,000. That right there, given the scope of what Bishop and his cast and crew pull off, makes The Other Side all the more impressive. The fast-paced story is engaging enough that even though there are a few plot elements that could be called into question, all is pretty much forgiven. This is a film that you want to like, and that counts for a lot...By the measure of independent films made for very little money, The Other Side is a good movie. When you study the film, and understand exactly how much was really pulled off and executed, and what the cost actually was, The Other Side goes from being more than just an entertaining little supernatural thriller, and emerges as an incredibly impressive achievement in the world of indie cinema. Clearly, Bishop and his talented cast and crew put a lot of time and energy into making this movie something special, and they succeeded."
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