Friday, October 20, 2017

OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2017) (DVD review)


Label: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Code: Region-FREE NTSC 
Rating: MA 15+
Duration: 88 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Dee MacLachlan
Cast: Goran D. Kleut, Jake Ryan, Lisa Chappell

Australian export Out of the Shadows 92017) starts off strong enough, with Detective Eric Hughes (Blake Northfield) arriving at the scene of a grisly murder, father Charles Winter (Jake Ryan) has murdered his wife and three children, including an unborn child that has been torn from her womb and which is nowhere to be found. The case haunts Detective Hughes, his own wife Katrina (Kendal Rae) is pregnant with their first child, and they've just moved into a new home in a rural area, but they're unaware of the home's tragic past and soon find themselves amidst ghostly visitations and a demonic presence hungry for the blood of their first-born child. 

Katrina is left on her own quite a bit while Hughes is investigating the Winter's case, she begins to experience strange happenings around the dilapidated house, seeings shadowy figures and the frightly spirit of a seemingly malevolent nurse with ties tot he home. Katrina seeks medical help, but doctors attribute the visions and fears to pregnancy related psychosis, but when the medication doesn't make the visions go away Katrina seeks the help of a reticent clergy member (Helmut Bakaitis, The Matrix Reloaded) and a renegade demonologist (Lisa Chappell), meanwhile her husband attributes the happening to more earthly culprits, until thy literally flip his car upside down. 

The film benefits from some scenic drone-enabled shots of rural Australia and the look of the film is quite good for a low-budget production, and the special effects and make-up work that aren't too shabby at all, but despite the strong start and decent build up eventually it all descend into the usual haunting cliches with very few surprises in between, we get an exorcism, a demonic presence that's sort of cool, but there's an awful lot of 'been there and done that' familiarity about this one. 

Audio/Video: The disc from Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in anamorphic widescreen framed in scope 2.35:1 and looks good for a low-budget indie-horror, the special effects are decent and the surround audio is serviceable. There are no subtitles and no extras, this is about as bare bones as you can get.

There's nothing about Out of the Shadows (2017) that sparks or stands out, obviously this is hoping to trade-in on the goodwill of better films like Insidious (2010) and The Babadook (2014), but at the very best this is only a decent Netflix one-and-done watch.