C Sound: C+ Extras: D Film: D
War and Horror is usually a failed match, unless you add Science Fiction (James
Cameron’s Aliens) or has a point
(Bob Clark’s Deathdream) so if you
are being explicitly supernatural, the War part usually kills the suspension of
disbelief in the Horror segment, especially if it is supernatural. One of the rare recent cases was the cult hit
Dog Soldiers (all three reviewed
elsewhere on this site) where a military unit takes on werewolves, but the mix
is like oil and water or Horror and Hip Hop/Rap. Alex Turner’s Red Sands (2008) tries it out, but cannot make it work.
being boring, muddled and badly paced, a relic they shoot up unleashed a Djinn,
which eventually goes after all of them.
That could have been interesting if the effects were not a bad version
of the tired Brendan Frazier Mummy
films, bad writing, wasted actors and there is zero suspense to speak of. Turner had directed some supposed cult Horror
piece called Dead Birds. We’ll have to see if that was any
better. Skip this one.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks much weaker than expected with
softness throughout, poor video black and detail issues that are bad even
before the image is stylized for some kind of otherworld/war world/Middle
Eastern world look that is too unfocused to ever be effective. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is the default
highlight and it has music that outdoes its dialogue in fidelity all the time,
plus has sound effects that are lacking.
Extras include deleted scenes, two making of featurettes and audio
commentary by Turner and Writer Simon Barrett.
- Nicholas Sheffo