After Dark Horrorfest III (DVD Box Set)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring (Autopsy) Michael Bowen, Jessica Lowndes, Jenette Goldstein, Robert La Sardo, Ross McCall, Robert Patrick; (The Broken) Lena Headey, Richard Jenkins, Asier Newman, Melvil Poupaud; (The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations) Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Daniel Spink, Catherine Towne; (Dying Breed) Leigh Whannell, Sally McDonald, Peter Docker, Nathan Phillips; (From Within) Elizabeth Rice, Thomas Dekker, Kelly Blatz, Laura Allen, Adam Goldberg; (Perkins' 14) Patrick O'Kane, Richard Brake, Michale Graves, Mihaela Mihut; (Slaughter) Lucy Holt, Antonia Bernath, David Sterene, Craig Robert Young; (Voices) Yun Jin-seo, Lee Ki-Woo, Yoon Jin-seo, Seo Ki-Woo, Park Ki-Woong
Directed by (Autopsy) Adam Gierasch; (The Broken) Sean Ellis; (The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations) Seth Grossman; (Dying Breed) Jody Dwyer, (From Within) Phedon Papamichael; (Perkins' 14) Craig Singer; (Slaughter) Stuart Hopewell; (Voices) Oh Ki-hwan
Here we are at Year Three of the After Dark Horrorfest, and things have sadly gone from pretty good to not bad to kind of okay. Frankly, the thought of a fourth fest gives me a case of the shudders. This year there was certainly a lot more bad movies than there was good.
As usual for Horrorfest, this review will be done a little bit differently than our norm. Rather than write new reviews for each film, I'm going to just link to their existing reviews so I can spend my time here giving you a brief opinion and then the skinny on the supplemental materials that await the eager horror hound. The Stabby ratings you see below are for the extras ONLY. Links to buy either the whole set or individual films will be at the end of each respective review.
Let us begin --
Autopsy (review here)
Every festival thus far has had its bright spot. Autopsy is this year's shining star. From the sick minds of Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson, and E.L. Katz comes a tale of murder and mayhem that is laced with enough sick for two movies. If you're only planning on seeing one of the movies from this year's set ... let this be the one.
In terms of supplements this is also the most robust of the bunch. Things kick off with a commentary by Gierasch, Anderson, Katz, actor Ross McCall, and producer Jessica Hororwitz. This is one of those rare times when a commentary is just as much fun as the film. Really good stuff! From there we get an alternate ending, a featurette entitled Behind-the-Scenes: In the Operating Room, and this year's fresh crop of Miss Horrorfest Webisodes (some of which were sponsored by us) YAY!
3 1/2 out of 5
The Broken (review here)
Here's where things start to get a little, pardon the pun, broken. Allow me to clarify ... it's not that The Broken is a bad movie. On the contrary, it's competently made and the acting is top notch. It just tediously boring. Any time an hour and a half feels like an eternity, there is a big problem. It's a real shame, too, because somewhere in this time vampire there's a good film lurking.
Apparently the folks at After Dark thought the experience was prolonged enough too as there's nothing here extras-wise other than the ten Miss Horrorfest Webisodes.
1 out of 5
Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (review here)
There wasn't a need to turn this into a franchise, was there? As if the second film in the series wasn't bad enough, get ready for The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations. Here's a revelation for you -- leave well enough alone. Sigh.
Extras-wise it's the Miss Horrorfest Webisodes for you, and no amount of time traveling will be able to change that.
1 out of 5
Dying Breed (review here)
I dug Dying Breed. Sure, at its heart it's nothing more than your standard backwoods inbred cannibal movie, but the film is damned near meticulous in its execution and pretty friggin' intense to boot. Definitely one of this year's three best features.
Supplements include a producer's trailer and the Tiger by the Tail: The Making-of Dying Breed featurette. Yes, the making-of was fairly cookie-cutter, but it was neat to see the producer's trailer. No matter how you slice it, it's still better than nothing but the Miss Horrorfest Webisodes.
2 out of 5
From Within (review here)
From Within is the official witchcraft entry into this year's quickly becoming dull festival. The movie has its moments but rarely rises above the level of mediocre. That is, until the very end. I love the movie's ending; if only the rest of it was this edgy.
You'll never guess what's here in the special features? SCENE SELECTIONS! Ponder that! Thanks to the advent of DVD you can instantly skip to whatever scenes you like with just the press of a button! Oh yeah, as an added bonus the Miss Horrorfest Webisodes are here in all of their glory!
1 out of 5
Perkins' 14 (review here)
Out of all the films included in the ADHFIII, this is the one I was most curious about. The product of the Massify project, which let viewers follow and decide upon just about every aspect of the flick, Perkins' 14 has a nice throwback vibe going for it. Some really shoddy editing and uneven acting are what holds this one back. Still, for what it's worth, Perkins' 14 exhibits a few flashes of brilliance every now and again. Lord knows we've seen worse. A lot worse. See: the final two entries below.
Extras include ten making-of Massify Webisodes and of course -- you guessed it -- The Miss Horrorfest thingies.
2 out of 5
Slaughter (review here)
If this series of films was a human body with Autopsy as the head, there is no doubt in my mind that Slaughter is the sphincter that waits to foul the air with some form of bile. It comes dangerously close to unseating Lake Dead as the worst film in the history of the Horrorfest. I cannot find a single good thing to say about it. Not a single one.
It boggles the mind as to why this one has almost as much supplemental bang for your buck as the DVD for Autopsy does. Deleted scenes, a making-of, the Miss Horrorfest stuff, it's all present and accounted for. In the end, though, it doesn't really matter I guess. It's still all very much poo. Speaking of which ...
2 1/2 out of 5
Voices (review here)
Now here's a movie that seems literally just shit out. This year's token Asian entry is as generic as they come. Pick any ten J-horror movies that you liked, throw them into a blender, and boom -- you get Voices, a living, breathing affirmation of why I am completely done with the Asian horror trend. UGH!
In case you missed them, the Miss Horrorfest Webisodes are here yet again. Accompanying them are -- hold on to your asses -- English subtitles, scene selection, AND a widescreen presentation! This is digital livin'!
1 out of 5
In the end, what we have here is a flaccid group of films, most of which lack any bite, spark, or more importantly, originality. After Dark Films needs to bounce back and bounce back strong. Here's to hoping for better things next year, but honestly? I'm not holding my breath.
2 1/2 out of 5