The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Films- 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Michael Biehn, John Savage, Alexandra Daddario
Directed by: Stevan Mena
Music by: Stevan Mena
Written by: Stevan Mena
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 30, 2011
"There are some evils...so unspeakable...they will scar you forever."
The horrific account of 6 year old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.
My Take:I wonder who pays the electric bills in the abandoned hideout our horror movie killers live and torture their prey in. Thankfully for ”Bereavement’s” killer Graham Sutter, the power is still on in the “supposedly” abandoned old Sutter Slaughter house. Oh and our antagonist walks around outside this abandoned slaughterhouse, drives around town in the truck with its logo on it, and has no qualms about using the lights at night. Thankfully passerby’s must be texting or wearing blinders, or this guy wouldn't have had the chance to keep a kidnapped child for over 5 years and kill many girls on the property.
I guess anything can happen in rural Pennsylvania.
”Bereavement” is the much bigger budget prequel to cult favorite "Malevolence", also written and directed by Stevan Mena. Here we learn how "Malevolence" killer Martin Bristol came to be. He is kidnapped at age 6 and is forced to watch and take part of killing and torturing many women during his five year stay in the abandoned Sutter Slaughterhouse. He is held there by his abductee, Graham Sutter, played quite convincingly by Brett Rickaby (The Crazies), who seems to be killing these woman for his passed father who he might be keeping under covers in a be (insert silly Psycho reference here). Actually ”Bereavement” borrows from a few horror classic like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, never reaching the heights of those films. It seems Martin was abducted so Graham has someone to teach his killing ways, to sort of pass the torch.
All is copasetic in the slaughterhouse until Allison (the lovely Alexandria Daddario of Hall Pass), the token new girl, comes to live with her uncle (Michael Biehn of The Terminator) after the death of her parents (which se never really seems too sad about). For the sake of this amazing story, she discovers there is a boy and a man living in the abandoned slaughterhouse (it seems it takes the new girl to figure that out) and then all hell breaks loose.
”Bereavement” had a cool vibe to it, with a great look by cinematographer Marco Cappetta, who really took advantage of the dark locals and rural country. The film is well made with very good acting and some gruesome effects. It is almost got a higher recommendation if Writer/Director Mena gave this films killer some better motivation other than the clichéd daddy was mean to me drivel. I would expect more back-story on a killer whose purpose in this story is to give another killer a back-story. The never once mentions these missing woman, like no one notices them gone, and there is no police lurking around. No wonder no one noticed the abandoned factory was not abandoned and the Sutter Meat truck driving around town.
Over all this pretty decent slasher/serial killer flick if you can suspend reality. It really could have been much better if it wasn't ruined by a bunch of silly oversights.
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Anchor Bay has been delivering top notch transfers and 'Bereavement' is no exception. Shot in 35mm, the cinematography takes advantage of the film stock and locations, really creating a dark mood. This is a highly detailed release where details combine with a light coat of grain to look sharp yet filmic. Blacks levels were deep with nice shadow details, but did have a tendency to crush on a few occasions. Color-wise, things looked natural and balanced, never swinging warm or cold. The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD was a real fun listen. It was dynamic and aggressive, with some room shaking LFE and spooky atmospherics. The sound-stage was wide, really filling my theater and I was never at a loss for any dialogue. This is a highly recommended release based on its A/V merits.
- (HD) Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary by Writer/Producer/Director Stevan Mena
- First Look: ON THE SET/li>
- The Making of BEREAVEMENT
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
- (HD) TV Spot
- (HD) Previews: Maleviolence, Brutal Massacre: A Comedy , Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf, Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer
Anchor Bay delivers another gorgeous new release with 'Bereavement', too bad the film doesn't live up to its look. Horror buffs should get some mileage here, especially considering some decent extra features such as the Writer/Directors Audio Commentary on the film and over the deleted scenes, as well as a 35 minute making of Featurette. If you can forgive some silly oversights, 'Bereavement' is pretty decent slasher/serial killer flick compared to the slew of terrible independent horror that we are used to. Give it a rental it's up your alley.
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