Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DVD Review: LUCID. (2013)

LUCID. (2013) 

Label: Big Biting Pig Productions
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 87 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: PJ Woodside
Cast: Brittney Saylor, Bill Johnson, P.J. Woodside, Michael Coon, Steve Hudgins, Felicia Stewart, Scott Cummings, Megan Jones, Craig Angel, Jim Foreman, Janet Corum

Lucid. (2013) is director P.J. Woodside's third feature film and it's focus is a young woman named Monica (Brittany Saylor) who's nightly slumber is disturbed by repressed memories of a traumatic childhood and terrifying dreams of slaughtering her boyfriend. When awake she seems quite happy with but her subconscious is definitely working overtime thinking about his bloody demise. Fearing she might hurt her boyfriend she attempts to seek help from a noted sleep therapist named Dr. Aaron Night, but is refused. Shortly afterward her life spirals out of control as her dreams and reality start to mesh,  each day is a waking nightmare and her boyfriend's life may be in serious danger, but there's more to the story and there's something quite a bit more sinister than just nightmares at play here. 

P.J. Woodside's previous film The Creepy Doll (2011) was a decent chiller and Lucid. (2013) steps up with better visuals and some very nice performances, particularly from lead actress Brittney Saylor who's portrayal of a woman haunted by nightmares and struggling to come to grips with reality is quite good, I totally bought into it. Woodside herself makes an appearance as a sketchy dream therapist, there's some strong performances here and while some of it comes across as a bit amateurish it doesn't completely unhinge the film. Also making a notable appearance as Monica's father Paw Paw is none other than Bill Johnson who played Leatherface in Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), and while it's not the greatest performance in my opinion it's unsettling and gives the film another layer of atmospheric creepiness.   

The film's subject matter goes into some pretty dark places, I was surprised just how elaborate and labyrinthine the story became as it plugged along, a real spider's web of psychological terror. Afterward it made me think quite a bit about the power of disturbing dreams and nightmares and their adverse affect on the psyche, it's an intriguing subject and it makes for a decent watch. Woodside keeps things chugging along at a decent clip with just a few slow moments, she's seems careful to keep things anchored within budget and not overstep the technical bounds of what they could achieve on film, not a perfect film but a decent watch. 

Special Features: 
- Blooper Reel (5:48)
- Deleted Scenes (1:12)
- Audio Commentary with director/screenwriter/actress P.J. Woodside and cinematographer/actor Steve Hudgins

Verdict: A decent low-budget psychological horror film from P.J. Woodside and the Big Biting Pig Productions crew, can't wait to see what's up next for 'em, this is low-budget movie making with a lot of heart. 2.5
 Outta 5