Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Animal (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

We’ve discussed what happens when Scream Factory brings forth Chiller TV related features. In general I am forgiving and can find something to enjoy about each of these releases, of course recognizing that they are not typically of the same caliber as Scream Factory distributions of fan favorites from the 80’s. I always give them a chance, and I must admit that I have been surprised. Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear was quite enjoyable for a newer anthology features. I enjoyed the gimmick and the general premise of each story. Monkey’s Paw had some strong moments. I say all this because it’s February and time for Animal, another Chiller Films release that premiered just this last year. What of it you may ask? Did Animal follow movies like Dead Souls or did this surprise me?

This is a “cabin in the woods” horror flick which is to say that a bunch of friends go into the woods and inevitably find themselves stranded in a cabin trying not to be killed by something. That something in this case is a giant animal (you know… the one from the title). From there you may imagine that this turns into a connect-the-dots, kill in sequence, the survivor is the person you would expect and there are not relevant twists.  Your imagination would be correct which is not entirely unheard of in this subgenre or even with a run of the mill horror feature.  Where Animal excels is in the practical effect driven creature that comes off as a lesser version of the creature from Feast. The gore… well it happens and fairly lackluster, but there are some moments of conventional horror suspense that may leave you feeling remotely satisfied. Yes, I enjoyed the look of the creature, but really it’s movements are a bit jerky and one dimensional. I found myself staring at the screen waiting for something real to happen as opposed to the hysteria of various protagonists screaming on queue.

It’s nice to see Joey Lauren Adams in a feature movie though I must admit I didn’t recognize her until the credits.

The disc comes with a couple special features and some impressive cover art that nearly sells the movie (and it looks an awful lot like Feast too). You’ll get an audio commentary with Diretor Brett Simmons, interviews with the cast, the trailer and Behind-The Scenes Footage. This is actually quite impressive given the scope and scale of this release.

You’ll like this for the creature. You’ll expect quite a bit more of it once you’ve seen the big guy, and I’m afraid that simply won’t happen. Remember that this is a Chiller Films release, set your expectation to entertaining, not groundbreaking feature with horror elements, and you’ll do oaky by this one.

Animal is available from Scream Factory now:

 From Scream Factory:

When plans for a weekend getaway hit a dead end, a group of close-knit friends finds themselves stranded in unfamiliar territory, pursued by a menacing, bloodthirsty predator. Holed up in an isolated cabin, they turn on one another as tensions mount and long-buried secrets are revealed. But when the body count rises, the group must put their differences aside and fight for survival.

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