The Children (2009)/The Offspring/Seventh Moon/The Thaw (Ghost House Underground/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD)
B- & C/C+ & C/C+/C+ & C Sound: B-/C+ & C/C+/B- & C+ Extras: D (Thaw: C-) Features: D (Thaw: C-)
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- Nicholas Sheffo