Scream / Frissons (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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"If this picture doesn't make you scream and squirm, you should see a psychiatrist--quick!" shouts the film's trailer. This time the hyperbole is right. Shivers, David Croneberg's debut feature and Canada's first domestic horror film, is an ingeniously engineered modern horror that, like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), charts a social breakdown by tearing through our most intrinsic taboos. A genetically engineered designer parasite--part-aphrodisiac, part-venereal disease--created by a modern day mad scientist escapes into a colourless, self-contained apartment complex and goes searching for hosts. This monstrous parasite multiplies and invades the alienated occupants, turning them into a pack of Id-driven sex maniacs. Cronenberg's suffocating vision of modern life turns his budgetary limitations--dreary, bland sets, flat lighting and numb performances--into a severe portrait of society out of touch with its physical and emotional existence. Cronenberg pushed the boundaries of gore in 1974, but more insidious is the way he pushes the boundaries of behaviour: under the influence of this insidious, invasive disease families turn to incest and murder, strangers sexually assault the helpless and finally they band together as a pack of bloodthirsty, libido-driven animals. That taboo-breaking display still has the power to get under your skin. The film has also been released under the titles The Parasite Murders and They Came From Within. Cult horror icon Barbara Steele co-stars. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It's also a hard film to criticize, because the answer to almost every complaint (e.g. the actors playing high school kids all look like they're well into in their 20s) can always be 'but that's the whole point, it's always that way in these movies'. But one thing that does annoy me that isn't so easily shrugged off is that the cast seem to be in a number of different movies. Skeet Ulrich, for example, brings a surprising amount of realism and depth to his character, while Courtney Cox as an 'I'll do anything for a story' reporter plays a cartoon of a cartoon. This isn't of issue of 'good' versus 'bad' acting, but it does make figuring out just what the tone of the film is, more muddy than it needs to be.
Probably the best thing about 'Scream' is it knows when to BE best. The opening and closing 15 minutes are the two strongest sections of the film, so if the middle is a little all over the place and sometimes repetitive, and a little more obvious in it's humor, that's not what you walk away remembering.
I knocked off a star because am disappointed that they contain fewer special features than The Ultimate Scream DVD Box-Set from 2001.
MY QUESTION: Aside from price, what's the difference between the March and May releases of these Blu-rays??? I don't know which to order...
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