Wednesday, August 31, 2011
DVD Review: BEREAVEMENT (2010)
Written & Directed by: Stevan Mena
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
I watched the film BEREAVEMENT last night and all I can say is....WOW! This movie is intense! I had no clue what to expect from this film. I knew nothing about it and had not even seen a trailer for it. I went into it after just reading the DVD back cover to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I expected this to be another run of the mill, straight to DVD killer flicks, just like all the rest. Well I was put in my place last night by this film. BEREAVEMENT made me eat those words and proved that a film doesn't have to a be a huge blockbuster in the theater to be a good..no, GREAT horror film! Before I go any further, here is the basic plot from the Anchor Bay website:
In 1989, a 6-year-old boy is lured into the vehicle of a stranger. The stranger is a serial killer with a tendency of butchering teenage girls. In the basement of a rural Pennsylvania slaughterhouse, he will teach the boy everything he knows. Five years later, teen Allison (Alexandria Daddario of Hall Pass) comes to live with her uncle (Michael Biehn of The Terminator) following her parents’ death. In time, she will discover the boy and his madman mentor. And they will all be plunged into an unimaginable evil from which there may be no escape. Nolan Gerard Funk (Deadgirl), Brett Rickaby (The Crazies), Valentina de Angelis (“Gossip Girl”) and John Savage (The Deer Hunter) co-star in this graphic and acclaimed shocker from writer/director Stevan Mena about family, torment, and the nightmare absolution that is BEREAVEMENT.
The movie starts off strong and never lets go. The acting in this film is amazing, especially from all the girls who are tied up and tortured by the crazed madman. Their screams of terror sound frighteningly real and they remarkably convey a felling of helplessness and fright. You really feel for these girls, as the torture scenes are very graphic and extremely well done, even down to the sound effects of knives ripping through clothing and flesh. One scene in particular was when the killer caught a girl who was trying to escape and when he did, he put her on a huge meat hook...but he hung here there by putting the hook through her lower thigh area, thus making her hang upside down while squirming and shrieking in pain. This scene was so well done, that I literally squirmed in my seat and looked away for a few seconds just to catch my breath. Most things don't bother me too much, as I know they are fake, but the way this was done with such realism, it made me squirm for sure. And please don't this is another "torture" film like HOSTEL, or the SAW films. While the film does have an element of that, BEREAVEMENT is much more than that. There is much more substance to this film than just the torture and killing.
The movie is scary for sure, but more than anything it is very disturbing. The fact that the killer kidnapped this 6 year old boy to teach him the "tricks of the trade" is very disturbing, and seeing the boy have to witness these brutal murders brought a sinking feeling to my stomach. The fact that this could all actually happen makes it that much worse to me. Slasher flicks usually don't bother me, as they are so absurd we know they could never happen, but this could happen. This HAS happened. People kidnap and people kill....and being thrown in to such a tremendously realistic view of these real life horrors was very effective.
Writer/Director Stevan Mena has created what should be considered one of the finest modern day horror films, at least in this reviewer's opinion. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the ending....that is something you will have to see for yourself, but was one of the best parts of the film for sure.
Beautifully shot and well crafted overall, this is a must have for all you horror fans. Do not miss this one. BEREAVEMENT is out now on DVD and Blu-ray and contains the following special features:
* Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Stevan Mena
* The Making of Bereavement
* First Look: On the Set
* Deleted Scenes
* Theatrical Trailer
* TV Spot
* Still Montage
* Screenplay (DVD-ROM)
CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website and watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray