Outlander (DVD) - Dread Central
Connect with us


Outlander (DVD)




Outlander DVD review!Reviewed by Johnny Butane

Starring James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, John Hurt, Ron Perlman

Directed by Howard McCain

Distributed by Genius Products

Viking, monsters, space men and the guys who played Jesus and Hellboy (and Hellboy’s dad); not a bad pitch for a movie, is it? And in most respects, “>Outlander lives up to be exactly the kind of movie you’d expect it to be, it’s just a little too long in the tooth and takes itself a bit too seriously to be considered anything great.

In the year 709 AD, a spaceship crashes in the middle of a lake in Norway. On board said ship is a man who was traveling with the bodies of his people to some unknown location, when his ship was attacked by a Moorwen, a monster that eats or destroys anything that crosses its path.

Our hero, Kainan (Caviezel), quickly looses the badass high-tech sci -fi weaponry he could use to potentially take down said monster and is forced to rely on the tribe of Vikings who at first take him prisoner to help him fight the beast before it eats their whole village. Seems simple enough, right? If only…

Amidst this struggle there’s also a feud with a neighboring village led by Gunnar (a woefully underused Perlman), a cocky upstart who wants to be king but needs to learn how to control his temper, a bullheaded princess (Myles) who is supposed to marry said upstart but just wants to think for herself, and the disturbing backstory of why Kainan is carrying the monster across the universe with him in the first place. All of these various plotlines melding together helps explain the film’s near 2-hour runtime, and the exclusion or drastic reduction of most of them could’ve made Outlander a helluva lot of a better movie.

Outlander review!The monster design for the Moorwen is badass, plain and simple. We’ve known what it would look like for a while, since we’ve been reporting on this movie for the better part of 2 years now, but it still didn’t diminish the impact the first time it’s shown in its full glory. And don’t worry, they do show the monster plenty … when there are scenes that actually have something to do with it, which are far happened far too infrequently for my liking.

Outlander’s most fatal flaw is that it just takes itself too seriously. There’s way too much going on to try and elicit sympathy from the audience for characters that its very difficult to form any kind of bond with. You really don’t care for any of these characters no matter how hard director McCain tries to make you. I can’t even really pinpoint why, either; it’s not even that the performances are bad cause they’re not; it was just very difficult for me to really formulate any kind of empathy for the people on screen.

The other big drawback Outlander suffers from is pacing. It is way too long and goes all tonally over the place far too often. If it could’ve pick and stick with one particular tone or pace it would’ve helped immensely. Instead it just seemed like no one could stand to cut anything out of the film for fear of loosing or confusing the audience, so they just left everything in.

Outlander review!I know it seems like I’m being overly harsh to Outlander. I think that’s because the premise of it was so simplistically cool that I was disappointed with how overly complicated it became so early on. I wanted a fun movie about someone from another place and time having to learn how to work with humans in the Iron Age to fight an unstoppable monster; instead I got a little bit of that mixed in with a whole lot of useless drama.

In terms of special features on the DVD there’s lots more useless stuff to be found except for the audio commentary which includes writer / director Howard McCain, writer / executive producer Dirk Blackman, and producers Chris Roberts and John Schimmel. That was pretty robust, but the rest? Not so hot. Other than the extra audio track all we get are several useless deleted scenes, some animatics, and production galleries. A making-of would have been nice, but alas it wasn’t in the cards.

Still I can’t say Outlander isn’t fun. If you can go into it knowing that there are parts that will drag but that they will be followed by parts that are just out-and-out cool, a good time is more than possible. Really that’s all I want from a monster movie; a good time. The best of them can give it and sneak some human drama or socially aware subtext into the story and not have it get bogged down. Outlander just isn’t one of them.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with writer / director Howard McCain, writer / executive producer Dirk Blackman, and producers Chris Roberts and John Schimmel
  • Deleted scenes
  • Visual test animatics
  • Production design gallries


    3 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

    Discuss Outlander in the Dread Centra forums!

  • Continue Reading


    American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review



    Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

    Directed by Colin Bemis

    Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

    The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

    As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

    Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

    Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

    In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

    On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

    In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

    Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

    • Strawberry Flavored Plastic


    Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

    User Rating 3 (1 vote)
    Continue Reading


    Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)



    We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

    In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

    Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

    If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

    The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

    Continue Reading


    Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View



    Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

    Directed by Marcel Sarmiento

    Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

    17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

    What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

    • Film


    Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

    User Rating 0 (0 votes)
    Continue Reading

    Recent Comments


    Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

    * indicates required

    Go Ad Free!

    Support Dread Central on Patreon!


    Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC