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Monday, February 8, 2016

HANGMAN (Alchemy Blu-ray and DVD) - Your Orange Juice is Tainted!

I really like that Jeremy Sisto fella. He's quite the actor and usually he seems to play someone kind of sort of sleazy that I can't help but enjoying a whole lot. Loved him in Six Feet Under, and now I really enjoyed his performance in Hangman, a film that employs numerous stationary and mobile cameras to convey an effective and chilling tale of home invasion. While I think Sisto gave a great performance, this Hangman is actually perfectly creepy because it feels real. Alchemy has released this one on DVD and Blu-ray, available now and ever so upsetting.

The whole family in this picture stands out as accurate. I have kids, a wife and a house, and I can tell you that without a doubt the pitfalls that befall this family are easily within grasp. The family function is spot on and the dynamic between all actors is perfect. That means you can identify with the characters as a family unit rather than hoping they die sooner rather than later. I always say that the best Horror gets the audience rooting for someone. Sometimes it's the victim. Sometimes it's the killer, and if it it is neither you better hope someone hired a great effects person to give you something to watch for 90 minutes. Hangman offers you a family to root for, a madman to despise who even goes so far as to tamper with the family's OJ (you'll see how).

It's important to realize that some of you will be turned off immediately by the shooting style or at least the suggestion of using cameras, en scene. Yep, it's found footage through and through, but it's done with the storytelling in full focus. That means you're not dealing with another ghost story, using poor focus and camera angle in place of actual scares. There are plenty of scares on screen. The cameras are clear and rarely shaky, and beyond that there is emotional connection with characters often removed by using the static camera style employed here.

While the picture isn't overly shocking, and the extreme violence is saved for some fine tuned moments later in the picture, you'll have plenty to squirm about. Kate Ashfield is brilliant as the mother of a family. I hadn't seen her in years, but her paranoia will quickly become yours and the ick-factor directed at her had my wife leaving the room as I watching the movie in our bedrom, "saying nope, uh uh, nope...no way". She was absolutely disturbed by Ashfield's performance, her innocence and her ability to convey a character who was real and thus ever more a victim with which to identify.

To a fault the movie can't seem to find a way to finish itself off without going to the generic. The build up may leave you feeling like you were slightly cheated, but, without spoiling the finish, I think it's important to reflect on the very ending and how a story like this come full circle and perhaps be more possible than we let ourselves allow it to be in our mind's eye. What it may lose in the final moments is made up for by a sicko stalker who has some habits that are completely off-puting. The look appears generic at first, but there's something of a slenderman in this lone wolf's appearance which screams "real boogeyman".

I offer my strong recommendation to Hangman. It took me by surprise, and while home invasion related Horror usually leaves me feeling upset (I can't watch the stuff ever since having kids), I think it was worth the minor emotional trauma.

You can order a copy of Hangman now HERE.


From Alchemy:

Alchemy is thrilled to announce the home entertainment release of the gripping film, HANGMAN, directed by Adam Mason (Broken, The Devil’s Chair, Blood River) and starring Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Crank, Road Trip), Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn, TV’s “Wicked City”) and Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead, The War Zone, Secret Smile). The film has a running time of 85 minutes, is not rated and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on February 9, 2016.

Returning from vacation, the Miller family find their home has been broken into. After cleaning up the mess they continue with their lives, shaking off the feeling of being violated. Little do they know the real nightmare has just begun.

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