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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Satan's Playground (2004)

Satanís Playground (2004)

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: C†††† Film: C

 

 

A feature about The Jersey Devil inspired the awful Blair Witch Project, but the former was at least original.Dante Tomaselli decided to make that older entity part of his feature Satanís Playground, an awkward 2004 attempt to combine the supernatural and slasher film.The result is a big missed opportunity that was not well thought out, could have worked and sadly implodes.As with the original Hills Have Eyes, a family travels and breaks down in the worst possible place and all hell (literally?) breaks loose.

 

The problems get worse when it cannot pull off suspense, humor or a narrative that is more effective.At only 81 minutes, that is surprising.As compared to the longer and far more effective Hills Have Eyes remake (reviewed elsewhere on this site in two versions), it is amateur hour.That is a shame, because we do not learn enough about his idea of The Jersey Devil to make the film work or have that added suspense or suspension of disbelief that a supernatural thriller needs.The unknown cast is not horrible, but you know how off-kilter acting can make such films work in odd ways.This might be worth a look for the most diehard fans and filmmakers, but others should just skip it.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image was shot on Super 16mm film and that gives it a look above most such productions of late.†† The color is richer than even some 35mm productions we have seen lately that gut out their color, but the Video Black is limited in darker scenes.I wonder if this is because of a digital internegative (DI) or just the DVD transfer itself.The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix has some moments, but is not great, but better than just standard stereo.Extras include poster/still gallery, trailers for this and a few other Anchor Bay titles in the genre, two featurettes and audio commentary by the director.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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