Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CONVERGENCE (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

Label: Dark Sky Films
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 99 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Drew Hall
Cast: Clayne Crawford, Ethan Embry, Mykelti Williamson, Gary Grubbs, Chelsea Bruland, Casey Myers, Catalina Soto Aguilar Kind, Alysha Ochse

Convergence is a pretty ambitious thriller that is set in the city of Atlanta in 1999, where we have an off-duty detective named Ben Walls (Clayne Crawford) who is called back on duty after a horrendous bombing at an abortion clinic. While at the crime scene he is caught in a secondary bomb blast, awakening some time later at the hospital, where he discovers he's been surprisingly uninjured by the blast, though he does seem a bit disoriented. His Captain Saul Miller (Mykelti Williamson) is in the room when he wakes up and encourages Walls to stay in bed, but Walls gets dressed an wanders out into the hallway of the hospital ...right away something seems off about the place,  the halls are empty, and there's not a soul in sight. He does happen upon the Southern-voiced Nurse Delilah (Bruland), she has the most striking eyes, and her nurses uniform seems straight out of the 1950s. Ben asks where his friends might be and the nurse directs him to the Chapel, where he eventually finds Miller with a group[ of strangers, who like the nurse seem to be dressed in clothes from a different decade, they're also having a cryptic conversation that doesn't make sense at first. 

As Walls continues to explore the hospital he encounters more odd character, including a security officer named Peter Grayson (Gary Grubbs), who is gunned-down in front of Walls. Shortly after the murder walls runs into Miller who doesn't seem to believe Walls, attributing the incident to trauma from the blast. Turns out there's a menacing EMT named Daniel (Ethan Embry) at the hospital who seems to be a cult-leader with a group of acolytes  willing to kill for him, he refers to himself as the "Hand of God". Embry is a frightening guy, which seemed like an odd turn for the guy whose gone from '90s comedies like Empire Records and Vegas Vacation to pure badassery, appearing in the Incident on and Off a Mountain Road episode of the Masters of Horror TV series, Embry has a lot of range, able to go from aloof to murderous, and he is probably the most striking performance here, which is good, because in all honesty our lead Clayne Crawford as walls is a bit on the bland side.

Wall must contend with not just Daniel's growing legion of murderous followers but also with a mysterious supernatural component by way of shadowy mist figures who appear from time to time, the images of the mysterious mist figures are striking and well composed. I don't think it will spoil too much if I say that there's a point in the movie when a group of amateur paranormal investigators arrive, and I liked very much where it went from there, it was unexpected but effective. The movie juggles elements of both an action-packed crime thriller with more supernatural horror, it's not a perfect marriage but it is potent. This is the kind of movie I struggled to wrap my head around the first go around, it took a subsequent viewing to fully appreciate the scope of it, and I liked that, this is a challenging movie in a good way, it doesn't drop everything in your lap, you have to do some of the thinking for yourself, but in a good way. 

Convergence arrives on Blu-ray from Dark sky Films looking crisp in HD, the 1080p presentation offers a solid A/V presentation, the surround sound mix is strong with some good use of surrounds used for atmospheric effects, nothing too dramatic though. There are a few extras on the disc, we have a brief making of featurette and seventeen-minutes of deleted and extended scenes, in addition to a handful of Dark Sky trailers for One Eyed Girl, Deathgasm, Applesauce and the '80s rocker doc I Am Thor, which I am dying to see. 

Special Features

- Making Of (7 Mins) HD 
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (17 Mins) HD 
- Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Dark Sky Films Trailers: Applesauce (2 Mins) HD, One Eyed Girl (2 Mins) HD, I Am Thor (2 Mins) HD, Deathgasm (2 Mins) HD

If you're looking for something not quite horror, something more psychological with some supernatural trappings and some decent action I think Convergence might be just the movie for you. It holds up to a second viewing, revealing things I didn't catch the first time around, this one might make you think a bit about life and what happens after death, and that can't be a bad thing. 3/5

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