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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Monster > Science Fiction > The Children (2009)/The Offspring/Seventh Moon/The Thaw (Ghost House Underground/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD)

The Children (2009)/The Offspring/Seventh Moon/The Thaw (Ghost House Underground/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B- & C/C+ & C/C+/C+ & C     Sound: B-/C+ & C/C+/B- & C+     Extras: D (Thaw: C-)     Features: D (Thaw: C-)



Lionsgate continues it Ghost House Underground series with four more features that should have been buried and not released.  Of the four duds, The Children (2009), Offspring and Seventh Moon are just plain bad.  The Thaw could have worked, but most of what could have gone wrong does.


The Children offers us a family enjoying Christmas when a virus starts striking the title characters, one of whom goes wild and kills.  Faster than you can say Village Of The Damned, it is “another Christmas ruined” and another movie as well.  Tom Shankland’s film lacks suspense and the actors are left doing nothing.


Offspring continues to try and convince us Jack Ketchum is a master Horror writer, but fails in this tale of a flesh-eating group returning to eat again.  Settling for people versus a trip to the supermarket, this is amazingly ridiculous and if it were not so bad, would be unintentionally funny.  Pretty fly it’s not.


Seventh Moon is the latest from possibly the Ed Wood of our time, Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez, whose dumb hit ten years ago caused severe damage to cinema as we know it.  He has (no surprise) had no hits since and this dud will continue that track record as a trip to China for a group (headed by a character played by Amy Smart) unleashes a supernatural horror in the (here we go) middle of nowhere.  Talk about repeating yourself, again!


That leaves The Thaw, whose cast includes Val Kilmer, Aaron Ashmore and Blood Ties star Kyle Schmid in this tale of global warming unleashing a killer ancient bug in the melting n the Arctic and having to fight back.  Writer/Director Mark A. Lewis has some good ideas, but has no idea where to go with them.  The actors are misdirected and not in sync with each other, the digital work is bad, there is no suspense and this adds up to The Thing ultra-lite.  Too bad, because with serious effort and energy, this could have worked enough to be at least watchable B-movie.  Oh well.



The 1080p digital High Definition Blu-ray picture on The Children (1.85 X 1), Offspring (1.78 X 1) and Seventh Moon (1.78 X 1) and The Thaw (2.35 X 1) fail to impress overall, with The Children just barely looking better, though it is one of the worst looking in its anamorphically enhanced DVD form.  Moon fares best on DVD, but also barely and the debased look is more about technical deficiencies than anything attempted artistically.  At least Thaw has some good shots.


Each Blu-ray offers DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mixes and here too, the films poorly underperform, though again, at least Children and Thaw have some kind of soundfield at times.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on the DVDs are poorer, but in the case of Moon, the sound is so underwhelming that the difference in sound codecs did not matter.


Extras in all editions include trailer galleries, micro videos and Making Of featurettes, with The Children adding four more featurettes, Offspring adds webisodes, printable script (no paper waste here?) and audio commentary by Ketchum, director Andrew Van den Houten and Producer/Cinematographer William M. Miller, Seventh Moon adds audio commentary by Smart & Sanchez and two more featurettes and Thaw adds nothing.



For more Ghost House Underground releases, try this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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