"Dark Remains" DVD
An advance look
at "Dark Remains". A pretty big deal, I'd think. We got
it before the DISTRIBUTORS got it!
Okay, I'm gonna sound
like a fanboy one of these days. Because the more and more I see
roll out of Avenet Images that has to do with Brian Avenet-Bradley,
the more I wind up squealing and clapping my hands like one of those
Wolverine fanboys who only crawl out of their parents' basements
for cons and New Comic Day.
This is just the case
with "Dark Remains," the latest from Avenet and probably
the best thing they've done yet.
Now, most of you were
here last week when I did "Cold Blood" and said THAT was
the best thing Avenet ever did and now you get to see me retract
it feeling like a right bloody imbecile because I didn't wait a
damn week to blow my hyperbole wad.
When you start off a
movie with a pair of suicides in the first two minutes, you know
you're in for a wild ride.
But anyway, "Dark
Remains" serves up a vicious little story. A young couple's,
Allen and Julie's, daughter is murdered in a surprising discovery
late one night, and in their grief they move to a cabin in the woods.
Would YOU want to stay
in the same house where your daughter was killed mere weeks ago?
Not hardly, says I.
But of course, when you
move to a cabin in the woods in a horror movie, you can pretty much
forget about a restful experience. Especially when this cabin is
within walking distance of a graveyard and an abandoned prison camp.
I've made trenchant points
before about real estate
and horror movies...this is the perfect underliner. How do you rent
out the house that makes the Amityville property look like Trump
Plaza? In this case, you don't tell anybody.
From there, of course,
Allen and Julie begin to find out more about the area, its bloody
history, and how it relates to their recently deceased daughter.
Now, let me make something
perfectly clear. Calling "Dark Remains" the best thing
Avenet has ever released is not mere hyperbole. This little fella
is going to redefine your standard of creepy by virtue of the fact
that something creepy will happen between every five and ten minutes.
It's like clockwork.
I counted creepy scenes at four minutes ten seconds, eight minutes
ten seconds, nine minutes twenty one seconds, fifteen minutes thirty
seconds, twenty minutes nineteen seconds, thirty minutes twenty
eight seconds, thirty nine minutes twenty five seconds and forty
eight minutes twenty eight seconds.
And that's just where
I stopped counting.
Here's the killer part.
Avenet can't even use the standard array of horror cliches without
making them vehicles for creepy delivery. There's a shower scene.
There's a scene where the grieving mother blows lots of time on
watching home movies of her now-dead daughter. There's a cemetery.
There's an abandoned prison. But Avenet manages to take every scene
that would have so much as a grain of cliche in it and turn it into
this thoroughly cringeworthy affair. He's got stuff coming out of
nowhere at every opportunity.
If you're not scared
by the one hour mark, then you're either way too jaded or just plain
Avenet has a gift for
building tension in the simplest things, and he's supported by the
work of a fantastic cast. Christian, Thompson, Hodges, and Evans,
et al, are just spectacular. There isn't a bum performance in the
lot. Makeup effects are blatantly jaw-dropping, and I only wish
there were more I could say about this thoroughly satisfying and
thoroughly scary masterwork.
Hell, go get a thesaurus
and insert your favorite synonym for good right here:
Go ahead. It'll work.
The ending, in no uncertain
terms, takes the creepy cake. If I elaborate on this any further
I WILL destroy the plot, so I'm sticking to my original statement.
The special features
will include a trailer, audio options, display options and probably
plenty more once a distributor gets hold of it.
All in all, unbelievable.
"Dark Remains" is a suspense film the like of which hasn't
been released in a long time. Direct to video suspense is relatively
rare in the industry, but if "Dark Remains" is the calibre
it can issue forth, then I and my DVD player eagerly await the next
GRADE: 4 stars ****
Directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley
Written by Brian Avenet-Bradley
Starring Cheri Christian, Greg Thompson, Scott Hodges, Jeff Lyons
Produced by Laurence Avenet-Bradley
Video Store Guy knows the best movies you've never seen. Check his
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