|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - DVD trailer|
|Year Released||1996||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||96:55||Other Extras||None|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 394Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Once you get the taste of the obvious prejudices of the media out of your mouth, this film is a much easier pill to swallow, especially when presented in the DVD format. However, having said that much, you have to have your mind in a really relaxed state to be able to enjoy this film in spite of its stupidity. Shortly before it opened in Australia, the advertising would have us believe that this is a horror film, but nothing could be further from the truth. When I saw it in the theatre, I came to the conclusion that it was a comedy. However, most pagans tend to take an opposite view of this film, and I don't blame them. The ending sequences of the film really sum the whole thing up - we could have had a responsible, reasonable, and entertaining dissection of the dangers inherent to entering a spiritual path of any sort, especially one such as Wicca, with your eyes closed. Instead, what we get is a sequence of totally unjustifiable special effects, extremely bad acting, and possibly one of the silliest endings I've ever seen on a film of this sort.
As it is, there are no artefacts of any sort to be found, unless you consider the deliberate fast-framing of the title shot to be an artefact, and count the mild film artefacts that have resulted from the manner in which this title shot is composited. However, in video terms, the DVD version of this film comes up even better than the original theatrical exhibition.
The dialogue was mostly clear and coherent, although the points where it wasn't could be easily attributed to the fact that the dialogue wasn't meant to be clear and coherent at those points. One particular point where the clarity of dialogue suffers is a party at a late point in the film. During this party, Nancy and Sarah confront each other in the presence of Chris (Skeet Ulrich), who apparently has mistreated them both, but the screaming and tantrums that ensue are more punishment than even he deserves. Most of the other sequences in which characters argue are not much better. In a film where a lot of the so-called scares come from loud noise and jerky movements, cohesive dialogue tends to be a secondary consideration.
The music of this film comes from various sources within the MTV-approved pseudo-alternative "generation X" crowd. The only pieces of music in this film which I found tolerable were to be found in the opening credits (an interesting version of the Beatles' classic (a contradiction in terms in my view but I'm not here to criticise music) "Tomorrow Never Knows" by Our Lady Peace) and the end credits (Heather Nova's "I Have The Touch"). I consider them to be third-rate versions of other songs which I possess somewhere in my CD collection (most notably David Bowie's Ashes To Ashes and Sons Of The Silent Age), and they are the best songs on offer in the soundtrack album. I don't think I need to say any more.
The video quality on this DVD is truly reference quality. I wouldn't be too surprised to see it being used to demonstrate the DVD format at one of the Hi-Fi stores in my local area.
The audio quality is mostly great, but there are moments when you may find it annoying. Except for one sequence, there are occasions when the music also seems to be at twice the volume of the dialogue.
The extras verge on the negative-value and insulting.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D|
|Display||Panasonic 51cm and 68cm sets|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D x2, Sharp CP-303A x2, Sony SS-CN120 Centre Speaker|