DVD and Blu-Ray Releases: March 29th - Scream if You Are a Black Swan - Dread Central
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DVD and Blu-Ray Releases: March 29th – Scream if You Are a Black Swan

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a black swan or a white swan; we’re sure you’re going to want to bring home the dementedness that is Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

The film also stars Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder. If you live in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco or Chicago, you can participate in the Black Swan Experience on April 2nd.

Since Scream 4 is coming out in theaters shortly, it is only appropriate that the Scream trilogy is being re-released in glorious Blu-ray. Bring home the franchise created by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson that gave the horror genre a booster shot back in the mid 1990s. A trio from the original cast — Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette — will be gracing the big screens with a whole new cast soon enough.

In addition, don’t forget to watch “Scream: The Inside Story” directed by Dan Farrands on the BIO cable channel on Wednesday, April 6th.

There are a few other new titles dropping on the 29th as well, some noteworthy and others barely. Check them out, too.


Black Swan on DVDBlack Swan (REVIEW)
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder

Black Swan follows the story of Nina, a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother, Erica, who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily, who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Still want more? Check out our Black Swan CENTRAL.

Buy the Blu-ray or the regular DVD.


The Scream Trilogy on DVDThe Scream Trilogy
Scream – After a series of mysterious deaths befalls their small town, an offbeat group of friends led by Sydney Prescott (Campbell) become the target of a masked killer in this smash-hit “clever thriller” (The Washington Post) that launched the Scream franchise and breathed new life into the horror genre. The Blu-ray Disc features audio commentary, a production featurette, behind the scenes footage, a Q&A with cast and crew plus the theatrical trailer.

Scream 2 – Away at college, Sidney Prescott (Campbell) thought she’d finally put the shocking murders that shattered her life behind her… until a copycat killer begins acting out a real-life sequel. Now as history repeats itself, ambitious reporter Gale Weathers (Cox), deputy Dewey (Arquette) and other Scream survivors find themselves trapped in a terrifyingly clever plotline where no one is safe – or beyond suspicion – in this “delicious, diabolical and fun” (Rolling Stone) sequel. The Blu-ray Disc features include audio commentary, deleted scenes with optional audio commentary, outtakes, a featurette and the theatrical trailer.

Scream 3 – While Sidney Prescott (Campbell) lives in safely guarded seclusion, bodies begin dropping around the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the latest movie based on the gruesome Woodsboro killings. The escalating terror finally brings Sidney out of hiding, drawing her and the other survivors once again into an insidious game of horror movie mayhem that’s a “suspenseful, clever and very entertaining” (NBC-TV) installment in the wildly popular Scream franchise. The Blu-ray Disc features include audio commentary, deleted scenes and an alternate ending, outtakes, behind the scenes footage and the theatrical trailer.

Buy the Scream (1996) Blu-ray or the Scream 2 Blu-ray or the Scream 3 Blu-ray.


The Resident on DVDThe Resident (REVIEW)
Directed by Antti Jokinen
Starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace, Christopher Lee

After separating from her husband, pretty young doctor Juliet Dermer (Hilary Swank) moves to Brooklyn, settling into a new life in a stunning and spacious loft apartment that seems too good to be true. It is. Mysterious occurrences lead her to suspect that she is not alone in her home, and quickly her fears become all too real. In a chilling revelation, she discovers that her seemingly charming, young landlord, Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), has developed a dangerous obsession with her. A terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues as Juliet fights to free herself from Max’s sinister intentions. Watch an exclusive video clip from The Resident.

Buy the Blu-ray or the regular DVD.


Dario Argento's Inferno on DVDDario Argento’s Inferno
Directed by Dario Argento
Starring Leigh Mccloskey, Irene Miracle, Daria Nicolodi, Alida Valli, Veronica Lazar

A young woman stumbles upon a mysterious diary that reveals the secrets of “The Three Mothers” and unleashes a nightmare world of demonic evil. As the unstoppable horror spreads from Rome to New York City, this unholy trinity must be stopped before the world is submerged in the blood of the innocent.

Buy the Blu-ray or the regular DVD.


Embodiment of Evil on DVDEmbodiment of Evil
Directed by Jose Mojica Marins
Starring Jose Mojica Marins, Jece Valadao, Adriano Stuart, Rui Resende

After serving a 40-year prison term, Coffin Joe is finally released from the mental health wing of the Sao Paulo State Penitentiary. Back on the streets, the sadistic undertaker is set upon fulfilling the goal which sent him to jail in the first place: find a woman who can give him the perfect child. Accompanied by his faithful servant, the humpbacked Bruno, Coffin Joe leaves behind a trail of horror and is haunted by ghostly visions and the spirits of his past victims. This is the third film of the ‘Coffin Joe Trilogy’ which began with the classic At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964) and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967)

Buy the Blu-ray Combo.


Dead Awake on DVDDead Awake
Directed by Omar Naim
Starring Nick Stahl, Rose McGowan, Amy Smart

What if a stranger held the key to the darkest moment of your life? Dylan (Nick Stahl) is haunted by his past. While searching for answers, he befriends a mysterious woman (Rose McGowan) and is reunited with an old love (Amy Smart) who seem to raise more questions than they answer. Now on the brink of madness, Dylan is transformed by supernatural forces and discovers that no one is who they seem. Read our chat with Amy Smart.

Buy the Blu-ray or the regular DVD.


Scar on DVDScar 3D
Directed by Jed Weintrob
Starring Devon Graye, Christopher Titus, Angela Bettis, Kirby Bliss Blanton

Local town legend says that Bishop used to stash teenage prisoners in the basement of his morgue, keeping them tied up in cabinets meant for dead bodies. He would cut, scar, and torture his unsuspecting victims and then show them the damage to their own bodies with a small mirror. When Joan, one of Bishop’s young teenage victims, freed herself and killed Bishop, his reign of terror was thought to have ended. But when Joan returns to her hometown for the first time in 16 years to see her niece be crowned Prom Queen, the past eerily begins to repeat itself.

Buy the 3D Blu-ray.


Husk on DVD Husk
Directed by Brett Simmons
Starring Devon Graye, Wes Chatham, C.J. Thomason, Tammin Sursok, Ben Easter

When a murder of crows smash into their car windshield, a group of young friends are forced to abandon the vehicle, leaving them stranded beside a desolate cornfield. Hidden deep within the cornfield they find a crumbling farmhouse Ð but they soon discover that instead of a sanctuary, the house is actually the center of a terrifying supernatural ritual that they are about to become a part of. Watch an exclusive clip.

Buy the DVD.


Prowl on DVDProwl
Starring Bruce Payne, Sazon Trainor

Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where bloodthirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are.

Buy the DVD.


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News

French Thriller Series Glacé Now Streaming on Netflix as The Frozen Dead

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New to Netflix this month to kickoff the year for the killer crime genre and miniseries streams, is “The Frozen Dead,” translated from its original French title, “Glacé.” It made its debut on our screens as the next foreign language series to bring us chills and thrills since the German-language time travel series, “Dark,” released in October of 2017. It looks like we can look forward to more of these international inclusions on our bloody palette.

So, if you are looking for a serial slasher in an icy setting to hold you over this winter and give you an investigative mystery fix, watch “The Frozen Dead” for a six-episode look at the bloody chaos the mind of a disturbed killer spews on The French Pyrenees.

From the very first introductory scene and the creepy children’s chorus that accompanies the goosebumps – inducing snowstorm view that is in the show’s theme, the eerie tone is set pretty early on. If that does not offer enough incentive to go watch, the camerawork and imagery alone throughout the show are incredible and worth appreciating. These striking visuals are significant if you know it is a television adaptation based on Bernard Minier’s dark novel. All-embracing, the series carries an increase in dread and suspense all throughout, so be prepared to be uncomfortable and most of all, confused as you unravel.

If you happen to enjoy this chilling setting that forces a detective to confront an unsettling past, you’ll be happy to know I found that same cold-evoking, murder mystery intrigue in Christopher Nolan’s work on Insomnia (2002), a film in which Robin Williams unconventionally and successfully jarringly plays the enigmatic man being chased by Al Pacino’s detective character. There’s a film to check out (if you haven’t already that is) if that parallelism interests you – after bingeing the six hours of “The Frozen Dead” that is.

Synopsis:
A grisly find atop a mountain in the French Pyrenees leads investigator Martin Servaz into a twisted dance with a serial killer in this icy thriller. Starring Charles Berling and Julia Piaton. Available now on Netflix.

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Editorials

We Need to Stop Our Alarming Obsession With Child Actors

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On Sunday, January 21, Buzzfeed tweeted an article with the byline “Millie Bobby Brown just Insta-confirmed her relationship with Jacob Sartorius and I have butterflies”. Quite quickly, the tweet was met with a barrage of comments, ranging from mild tuts that it was in poor taste to extreme condemnations of pedophilia and sexualization of a minor (Brown is 13-years-old as of this post). I personally weighed in on the matter.

Earlier that day, CNN ran a video and story where actress/director/producer Natalie Portman opened up about her own experiences being a young girl in Hollywood. Portman’s breakout role was at 12-years-old in The Professional, a movie that celebrated her phenomenal acting abilities. Per CNN, she received her first fan letter a year later, after the film had come out. In it was a rape fantasy. Her local radio show began counting down the time until her 18th birthday, when she would be of legal age. Mind you, she was 13 when all of this was happening, the same age as Millie Bobby Brown.

The parallels between these two stories should immediately be understood and seen. The sexualization and fanatical obsession with children, much less celebrities, is a plague that can only cause damage and harm to those who are on the receiving end. It is time that we recognize that this practice needs to stop. It is time that we all held ourselves accountable.

A cursory search of Browns’ name on Buzzfeed will bring up at least 50 separate articles, on top of the one previously mentioned. These include what was said between “Stranger Things” co-star Finn Wolfhard and herself before their kiss in the second season. There’s a strange obsession with Brown’s instagram account and the conversations between her and other celebrities. There’s even one that states Brown looks like a young Natalie Portman. The irony here is undeniable and it seems very difficult to say that the site doesn’t have an obsession with the young actress.

Hollywood is under a great deal of pressure, rightfully so, from the #MeToo movement as well as Corey Feldman’s pursuit of revealing the truth about widespread pedophilia in that world (watch as he’s shut down by Barbara Walters). His claims have been echoed by Elijah Wood, although he himself states he did not suffer at the hands of any abusers.

Eliza Dushku’s alleged abuser Joel Kramer was recently let go from his agency twenty years after supposed events took place. When those who wonder why the actress didn’t come forward sooner, they overlook the fact that she went to authorities at that time. She details everything in an emotional post on her Facebook page.

The issue, however, does not just lie within those who create in Hollywood. It is exacerbated and pushed on by those who report on Hollywood’s actions and those that read it, lapping up the non-news proclamations with unabashed glee, not recognizing that they are feeding the same system that many are fighting against. Then, even more worrying, is that these “fans” feel entitled to these children, as though they are objects for their pleasure at any time, puppets that need to dance when beckoned.

Sophie Turner weighed in with her thoughts on the matter:


Wolfhard himself has asked that the infatuation and near assault of him and his co-workers come to an end:


And yet even on that particular tweet, Wolfhard’s fans responded with, “Ma babe trust no body“, “I love the right person bixo ♡“, “Love you finn“, and more. “Fans” are declaring their love for a 14-year-old boy that they’ve never met, a person that they’ve only really seen playing someone other than himself.

A culture has been established and reinforced that celebrities are somehow open for our sycophantic obsessions. This needs to stop. We need only to remember our own experiences as children so that we can apply them to these kids today. As Kevin Brown so wonderfully put it on Twitter:

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Reviews

Ruby Blu-ray Review – ’70s Drive-In Psychic Shocker From VCI

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Starrign Piper Laurie, Janit Baldwin, Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis

Written by George Edwards and Barry Schneider

Directed by Curtis Harrington

Distributed by VCI Entertainment


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and director Curtis Harrington’s Ruby (1977) is paying it to a few of the ‘70s most notable horror films. Cribbing liberally from such better pictures as The Exorcist (1973) and Carrie (1976), this is a picture that could have worked well despite being a pastiche because it begins with a decent setup and the elements for something interesting are present. Unfortunately, nothing ever gels like it has to and Ruby loses focus early on, dashing from one death scene to the next and allowing for little salient connective tissue to tie it all together. The big mystery presented early on should be easy enough for horror fans to deduce, and the film never brings the scare factor. A few of the deaths are novel in their inventiveness, especially the use of the drive-in theater surroundings, but a couple kills do not a movie make and Ruby spends too much time middling and being weird to be of any note.

Florida, 1935. Low level mobster Nicky Rocco (Sal Vacchio) is gunned down by a lake as his pregnant girlfriend Ruby watches on in horror. Just before dying, Nicky swears vengeance on whoever did this to him. Cut to sixteen years later and Ruby (Piper Laurie) runs a drive-in movie theater and lives in a home nearby with her daughter, Leslie (Janit Baldwin). Ruby is a tough broad, quick-witted and foul-mouthed; able to hold her own with the guys. But those guys are beginning to vanish one by one as the bodies start piling up at the theater. Ruby suspects there’s something off with Leslie, so she brings in her own psychic doctor, Dr. Paul Keller (Roger Davis), to examine her daughter. Leslie, as it turns out, is acting as a conduit for the wayward soul of Nicky, who blames Ruby for his ultimate demise. Possessed and programmed for vengeance, Leslie and Ruby have an all-out battle in a search for the truth.

The second half of this film is where things go right off the rails, with scenes aping The Exorcist so much it feels like a knock-off. This isn’t always such a bad thing because knock-offs of better films can always turn out great (see: most of the post-Gremlins little creature features), but Ruby never makes a clear case for introducing these fantastical elements in the third act. This is a story that could have worked better by exercising restraint, playing closer to something like J.D.’s Revenge (1976), a similar gangster-soul-out-for-justice film, than a wild, possessed ride.

What does work, for me, are the drive-in theater setting (I’m a sucker for movies that also involve the craft of film in some way) and the kills, a few of which make great use of the theatrical setting to deliver fitting fatalities. One employee winds up stuffed into a soda machine, with his blood getting pumped into a dark, syrupy drink and served up to guests. Another meets his end on the screen, impaled by the pole on which car speakers are kept. Harrington does inject this picture with a strong sense of atmosphere, too. The locale is woodsy and feels remote; the countryside is dark and foggy, the perfect setting for something grim to occur. None of these elements are enough to fully save the feature, though they do bring enough production value to ease to burden of a poor script.

Personally, I’m a sucker for almost any horror from bygone eras – especially the ‘70s and ‘80s – so, deficiencies aside, Ruby is still worth a spin if you enjoy reveling in this particular era. This is far from an unheralded gem or little-seen treasure, but it does, at the least, rip-off good pictures in spectacularly bad fashion.

This is a rough film and every bit of work done for the 2K restoration still can’t do much to polish it up any better. First, a note: there is a video drop-out for approximately ten seconds around the 21-minute mark. VCI is offering replacement discs via their Facebook page, so check there for further details. Future copies will be corrected, and those should already be on “shelves” now, so consider this an FYI. The 1.85:1 1080p image is frequently soft and murky, darkly shot and poorly lit. Shadow detail is virtually non-existent. The color temperature looks a bit on the warm side. Film grain is noisy and occasionally problematic.

An English LPCM 2.0 track carries a clean & balanced audio experience. Voices sound a touch muffled at times, though nothing too severe. The murders scenes are accompanied by creepy ambient sounds, adding a slight chill. The film’s closing theme song is awesome cheese that must be heard. Subtitles are available in English SDH.

There are two audio commentary tracks; the first, with David Del Valle and Nathaniel Bell; the second, with Curtis Harrington and Piper Laurie.

The film’s original trailer is included in HD.

Also included are a few interviews with Harrington, conducted by David Del Valle, including “2001 David Del Valle Interview with Curtis Harrington”, and “Sinister Image Episode Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: David Del Valle Archival Interview with Curtis Harrington”.

Special Features:

  • NEW 2K RESTORATION from the original camera negative
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Curtis Harrington & Actress Piper Laurie
  • New Audio Commentary with David Del Valle and Curtis Harrington historian Nate Bell
  • Two Interviews with Curtis Harrington by Film Critic David Del Valle
  • Photo Gallery
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Ruby
  • Special Features
2.3

Summary

A simple plot becomes wildly unfocused but Ruby does have intermittent camp value fans of ’70s horror cinema should dig. VCI’s Blu-ray is no beauty by any means, though it’s likely to be the best this poorly-shot feature will get.

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