Blu-ray Movie Reviews: “Malignant”, “Haunt” and “Werewolves Within”

Nothing screams during the holiday season like some fun horror movies. Here’s a look at a trio now available on Blu-ray disc.

Smart (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Rated R, 2.39: 1, 111 mins, $ 34.98) – Horror maestro James Wan (“Saw”, “The Conjuring” and “Insidious”) once again stepped behind the camera to give his favorite genre a twist in a monstrous thriller.

The plot begins with a psychiatric patient named Gabriel murdering the staff using pure acrobatic strength and exercising control over electricity.

Step into today’s Seattle and pregnant Madison Lake Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis) struggling with an abusive husband gets beat up and wakes up to find her spouse dead, his head almost broken.

A dark entity appears and begins to stalk her as she also begins to have disturbing visions of other murders orchestrated by her serial killer entity that actually occur.

Let’s ignore the obvious why a single woman would continue to live alone in a house with obvious harm and simply enjoy her descent into insanity.

Mr. Wan orchestrates a creature function in the lore of “Psycho” and “The Manitou” (look at that one, kids) delivering a jaw-dropping twist that was deliciously unexpected.

Sadly, a disappointing ending lands with a rushed thud and almost knocks down the gruesome, gory pleasure.

The best extras: Viewers only get a glimpse of the 14-minute production, but Mr. Wan has plenty of screen time to explain his desire to go back to his low-budget independent roots and make a horror film from 1980s style he would like to see.

He comments on the evolution of the story, explains the themes, the visions of Mitchell, using the spider-cam and the robo-cam, and the macabre creature. All are complemented by interviews with the main cast, screenwriter, visual effects artists and contortionists.

Haunt: Special Edition (Ronin Flix, rated R, 2.39: 1 aspect ratio, 92 minutes, $ 24.99) – A loving ode to the haunted houses of the Halloween season offers a brutal slasher twist in the 2019 effort of filmmakers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck (writers of “A Quiet Place”) now re-released in high-definition and jam-packed with extras.

A collection of college girls come out on Halloween night, pick up a few guys, and find themselves in a maze of extreme horror-themed haunted houses with typical fears.

It’s all about having fun until real masked homicide mad disguised as devil, clown, ghost and witch orchestrate a labyrinth of surprises.

They play deadly games with their prey, leading to violent encounters, as many of the group make fatal errors in judgment as they attempt to escape.

Let’s be serious, it’s hard to find new twists and turns in a horror world led by Jordan Peele, Rob Zombie, and James Wan, but, surprisingly, viewers have an entertaining story with lots of atmosphere, a few scares, a few twists and turns. occasional tributes to “Saw”, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “Halloween”.

The best extras: Two optional commentaries begin the cavalcade with first Mr. Woods and Mr. Beck diving into their effort. They begin by explaining that listening to the songs of other creators was their film school, especially when they appreciated those of Eli Roth (producer of “Haunt”).

That being mentioned, the informative track focuses on how to make a horror movie, concept development, script evolution, casting, planning, budgeting, and details while filming. from production.

The other track is fun but not as informative and features a trio of serial killers from the film – Damian Maffei (devil), Justin Marxen (clown) and Chaney Morrow (ghost) – interviewed by geek and horror creator Justin Beahm .

In addition to the commentary tracks, a 32-minute preview of the production explored through the directors and Zoom interviews with many actors (often too serious and even a shedding of tears over the positive experience), the composer and the makeup artist .

Then, two Q&A sessions with a live audience (approximately 45 minutes in total) feature the actors and filmmakers in one, and the filmmakers and even Mr. Roth in the other.

Viewers also get the couple’s first film, the six-minute alien invasion short “The Sleepover” made while in seventh grade in Iowa, offering a truly unique take on the world of filmmakers.

Other extras to note include a 10-minute director’s diary (cell phone videos and Instagram posts) and 13 minutes of deleted scenes (with optional director commentary).

Werewolves inside (RLJ Entertainment, unrated, 2.39: 1, 97 minutes, $ 28.96) – An obscure virtual reality video game has made the perfect fodder for a live-action horror comedy mystery making its way to a high-definition disc.

Loose adaptation of director John Ruben and screenwriter Mishna Wolff shifts the original story from medieval times to the present day and finds a gracious ranger, Finn Wheeler (Sam Richardson), reassigned to the isolated, snow-capped town of Beavertown. , where he quickly meets new best friend postmaster Cecily Moore (Milana Vayntrub).

After also meeting an assortment of eccentric townspeople such as obsessed craft designer Trisha Anderton (Michaela Watkins) and hermit Emerson Flint (Glenn Fleshler), a vicious blizzard cuts off the town’s electricity and the generators are all mysteriously broken by apparent sabotage.

Residents move into the city’s spacious pavilion for the night, but begin to realize, after finding the chewed remains of the inn owner’s missing husband, that one of them could be a wolf- werewolf.

Whether a lycanthrope exists or not, it’s clear the suspects are all mad, and each has an agenda and could have caused the violent shenanigans.

With a touch of “Fargo” meets “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Thing”, “Werewolves Within” offers a fun genre mix with an engaged (ie should be engaged) ensemble cast.

The best extras: It’s probably worth reminding home entertainment companies that getting viewers to buy a Blu-ray disc these days requires a certain level of extras, as digital streaming is becoming so prevalent.

First problem here, the owners are not getting any extras on the Blu-ray disc. Considering the fun cast, I find it hard to believe that even a Zoom call couldn’t be arranged with some of the cast. Or, how about a short report on the video game roots of the film?

Then the owners are not given any codes to own the movie digitally through a streaming service.

When viewers can watch the movie once for $ 9.99 or less through one of the many services, what’s the point in spending the extra money on a record? The movie is entertaining, but not big enough to add to a permanent library.

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