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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Doll > Murder > Dark Comedy > Supernatural > Drama > Machine > Found Footage > Giant Mons > Cult Of Chucky (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/A Ghost Story (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/The Glass Coffin (2017/MVD DVD)/One Million B.C. (1940/Hal Roach/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)/Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017/Lio

Cult Of Chucky (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/A Ghost Story (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/The Glass Coffin (2017/MVD DVD)/One Million B.C. (1940/Hal Roach/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)/Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ & B-/B+/B-/C/B+ Sound: B+ & B-/B+/B-/B/B+ Extras: B/C+/D/C/B Films: C+/B/C+/C+/C

Here's a new group of horror and monster films on Blu-ray...

Cult of Chucky

Unlike Jason, Michael Myers, and Freddy, Chucky and the Child's Play horror franchise has yet to be totally reimagined and rebooted and is still pushing forward from its initial storyline with this new seventh entry. Bringing back some favorite actors from the original series and some old school practical movie magic (and puppets!) too, Cult Of Chucky (2017) at least remains faithful to its source material with the original creator Don Mancini back at the helm.

Cult of Chucky features franchise favorites Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Alex Vincent, and Grace Lynn Kung. The disc features Rated and Unrated versions of the film.

Following the legacy of Chucky which began with serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) and his infamous death at a toy store in the '80s, which lead to black magic and his demonic spirit being reborn in a Child's Play doll... known as Chucky.

Over the years, Chucky's mythos has grown: he's tormented his original owner Andy (Vincent) time and time again (and does again here), he's had a Bride (Tilly), a Son (let's try to forget that entry), and now he has his own Cult. Taking place in a mental ward, Cult of Chucky features the reincarnation of Chucky once again only this time in a new body. When new deaths and two Good Guy dolls show up, a whole new power comes to Chucky as he becomes even more unstoppable than he was before as he's now able to possess other dolls and even other people. This time Chucky has manifested himself into more and more entity... and is more dangerous than ever before! On a side note, there is an after-credits scene.

Director Don Mancini, who wrote the original film and recently worked on the fantastic Sy-Fy Channel series Channel Zero (which you should definitely check out if you're a horror fan), tries some new filmmaking techniques in the film that work surprisingly well. There are a few stylized death scenes, including one where a victim is being by falling glass and another where a guy's face is kicked in with high heels, that stand out as pretty brutal in the unrated version.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a great sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track. The film has a great cinematic and high budgeted look to it and could easily play nationwide in theaters. In a way, it's a shame that Universal doesn't have a little more faith with the franchise to push it to a wide release. Nevertheless, the home video presentation is up to par with the format and doesn't leave to much to be desired with nicely balanced and stylistic colors as well as a rousing score.

Also in the set is the standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Compression issues are of course evident in that version but its passable for the format. Also included is a digital UV copy of the film.

Also available is a new Child's Play collection, which includes all of the films on Blu-ray and DVD respectively from Universal.

Special Features:

Inside the Insanity of Cult of Chucky - Viewers will discover what it was like to film inside an insane asylum and the challenges production faced on set. They'll also hear from the cast and filmmakers as they discuss why they were attracted to this story and how the filmmakers' vision brought this fun-filled horror film together.

Good Guy Gone Bad: The Incarnations of Chucky - This featurette offers a peek into Alterian's workshop, the studio behind Chucky's puppeteering, to see how the magic is created and focuses on how the look of Chucky has evolved over the years.

And a Feature Commentary with Director and Writer Don Mancini, and Head Puppeteer Tony Gardner.

Cult of Chucky is a lot of fun and I hate to admit how much I enjoyed it. Cool special effects, a great performance by Fiona Dourif, and the usual mix of mayhem and madness. At no point does this movie take itself too seriously... it knows exactly what it is and follows that path and thats what I was hoping for. Come on, Mr. Mancini, bring on part 8!

A Ghost Story

Academy Award Winning actors Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star in Director David Lowery's A Ghost Story (2017). Artsy, slow paced, not scary, and surreal, the film is at first an acting showcase for both actors with long shots that linger without cutting (including five minutes of watching Mara cry and eat a pie) in an attempt to heighten the impact (and patience) of the audience. Then in its second and third acts becomes something else entirely without giving away too many spoilers.

A Ghost Story also stars Sonia Acevedo, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke, and Brea Grant.

Death separates a loving couple C and M (Affleck/Mara) as C is suddenly killed in a car accident. Grief-stricken and struggling to move on, M moves out of the home they had once shared together. Little does she know but C has been with her the whole time only as a mute ghost (literally with a sheet over his head and two black eye holes). As she moves out of the home they had together, C is stuck in the house with new tenants moving in time after time as he is stuck in a sort of purgatory with time advancing forward... from there things start to get weird... and well... just see it.

Presented in 1080p high definition with an unusual aspect ratio with a 1.37:1 frame thats rounded at the corners in the middle of a 1.78 X 1 frame (bookended with black bars) and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the look of the film is certainly experimental. Shot with washed out colors and a desaturated yet cinematic look. The score is appropriately haunting and emotional, and the presentation is up to par and looks nice on Blu-ray. A Digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Director David Lowery, Cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo,

Production Designer Jade Healy, and Composer Daniel Hart

"A Ghost Story and the Inevitable Passing of Time" Featurette

"A Composer's Story" Featurette

and a Deleted Scene

Definitely a film for an intelligent audience, A Ghost Story is interesting and depressing. While its images are beautiful and the acting impressive, it also tries hard to pull at the heart strings. At least one thing can be said and that is that it's an original work that sticks with you after it ends.

The Glass Coffin

The foreign thriller, The Glass Coffin (2017), takes place in one location and is pretty effective. Carrying a vibe akin to the Saw franchise, The Glass Coffin centers around an actress (played by Paola Bontempi) who is en route by way of limousine to an award ceremony where she is to be presented with a lifetime achievement award.

After a few moments in the limo, and a few drinks later, the doors lock and a voice in a TV starts to threaten her. As she travels towards the destination, a red eye (a tip of the hat to 2001: A Space Odyssey) in the car shows her things on a TV monitor from her filmography and seems to know an awful lot about her personally. She's not alone in the limo though... there's also a six foot tall man with a leather mask and a club who isn't afraid to rough her up... will she survive?

The film is directed by Haritz Zubillaga (She's Lost Control).

Presented in standard definition with a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.1 Spanish Stereo track with English subs. The look of the film is pretty neat with dark blacks mixed with greens and a clean and sterile environment inside the limo. Compression issues are evident, which comes with the format, but all in all the film looks fine for DVD.

No extras.

This is a pretty clever thriller that I could most definitely see getting remade in America in the not too distant future. If it doesn't, then I would be surprised.

One Million B.C. (1940)

Not to be confused with Fox/Hammer's superior Raquel Welch-starring classic One Million Years B.C. (1966), this Hal Roach production of One Million B.C. (1940) has been remastered from the USC Film archives and available on Blu-ray disc courtesy of MVD. Made in the days of classic Hollywood before a Mr. Ray Harryhausen was around, the film features real giant lizards with long tongues that were groundbreaking special effects for the time.

While some aspects of the film are a bit archaic as compared to today's standards, there's still a lot to fondly look back and love about this film. It even won two Academy Awards for best Special Effects and best musical score back in its heyday. Heck, even Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) tried to remake this movie!

One Million B.C. stars Victor Mature, Lon Chaney Jr., and Carole Landis to name a few.

The film centers around the barbaric Rock tribe, the strongest cave people to receive the best of everything, while the scraps are left for the weaklings. When Tumak (Mature) fails to protect what is his from the tribe's leader, Akhoba (Chaney Jr.), the Rock people send Tumak into exile for his dastardly deeds. Discovered by Loana (Landis), a member of the peaceful Shell tribe, Tumak reluctantly joins her strangely kind people. As Tumak struggles to adapt, Loana will not give up on changing his savage ways to make him more compassionate. Sounds a little but like James Cameron's Avatar... eh?

The film is presented in its original 1.37:1 full frame aspect ratio with a black and white film presentation that is murky and compressed. The film looks a bit dark overall and compression/de-interlaced lines are evident on characters and titles, much like a standard definition DVD, however this a Blu-ray disc. The sound is fine with an original Mono PCM track that isn't full of noise. Too bad the picture isn't as nice as other black and white presentations I've seen on disc. What happened? Either the film isn't in the best of condition and this was the best they do or the disc was rushed and the transfer not fine tuned. Either way, it's nice to see the film in HD but it leaves much to be desired.

Special Features...

Photo Gallery

Commentary by Film Expert, Toby Roan

Ambitious for the time in which it was made, the film could look better on disc in all honestly. Still, it's nice to see it restored for a new generation to check out.

Open Water 3: Cage Dive

Last but not least, another sequel.

The Open Water series continues with this third installment, Open Water: Cage Dive (2017), which is sharking its way on disc as a direct-to-video release. Due to last year's success of the Blake Lively shark-thriller, The Shallows (2016), this film hopes to earn some of those shark-loving film fanatics that are bored from shark week re-runs and watching Jaws (1975) for the millionth time. The film stars Joel Hogan, Josh Potthoff, and Megan Peta Hill.

Using the found footage technique that was used for the Paranormal Activity films, Cage Dive crafts a story of some LA friends who go on a vacation trip to Australia. While all eyes are on the gorgeous Megan (Hill), of which every guy in eyesight is in love with, it turns out that she is sleeping with both guys right under each of their noses. What starts out as a fun trip ends up in disaster as they are stranded at sea with their lucky handy cam (that never runs out of battery or suffers from getting wet ironically) as their friends are picked off one by one. As these three star crossed lovers struggle to keep their heads above water, sharks are all around them. Can they survive the ocean waters or will they be great white shark dinner?

Admittedly, the film has some fun moments, including a few nice shots of the sharks eating characters, every shot of Megan Peta Hill in a bikini, and a humorous flare gun mishap. Other moments are cringe-worthy bad, including one scene where Megan cries into the camera addressing her family that is ripped off from the original Blair Witch Project. As the danger heightens, there are many 'turn the camera off' quotes that grow tiresome as well, but this happens in every found footage movie.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation and a great sounding English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track, the film looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray disc. The film is supposed to be shot on a prosumer camera so some of the shots have some heavy noise and are in soft focus to reflect realism. In this sense, the film looks fine on Blu-ray.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features include:

Audio Commentary with Filmmaker Gerald Rascionato and Actors Joel Hogan and Josh Potthoff

Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Deleted Scenes


Trailer Gallery

Open Water 3: Cage Dive isn't the worst direct-to-video sequel ever but needs more shark action than what it has. So much of its time is spent trying to sell the 'found footage' filmmaking gimmick when it should be more concerned with being scary.

- James Lockhart



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