Monster Pictures Reviewer : Glenn Misztal Across the River (2013)
Directed by Lorenzo Bianchini
Movie : 3/5
Across the River is an Italian speaking language movie that follows Marco, a forrest ethnologist and trapper that decides to take his occupation a bit further and drive across a river (hence the titled the film) in his RV and look into an unexplored region of the forrest. The movie also doesn't try to be one of those fake found footage movies either. There are no ‘jump moments’ or ‘jump scares’ in this movie either - I feel that a director can betray it’s audience when you do that. It's eeriness is achieved by night shots and subs scenes of the ghosts and animals that appears in it.
The movie is more concerned about the what and also explains the who and why. Yes, it's a ghost story and there are two little ghost girls hunting him (hardly a spoiler either, they are right on the cover of the DVD) but who are they? How did they die? It does get explained but there is the element of mystery is still there throughout.
Audio 2.5/5 The soundtrack is composed of Angelic signing which is almost Celtic in it’s nature. As the movie is in Italian and there is only one character to be focused on in the movie, and a couple of dust scenes with a radio reports and a few more characters, there isn’t much is the way of being a dialogue movie. Marco carries a tape recorder around with him, again there isn’t much speaking at all, only into his recording equipment. Packaged together in Dolby Digital 2.0, the sounds of nature really dominate the audio and it comes across as very relaxing.
Video 3/5 The movie is shot in a combination of night vision and digital camera. Added to this, the intricacy of the forrest settings, to be honest, this is a nice setting.
- Making of : Very interesting stuff here. The writer of the film talks about how he came up with the idea of the film by looking at the location. In this case, it's the village that appears throughout the film and he talks us on a tour of it.
- Introducing A Night with Friends.
A night with friends - a short film in which two men talk (again, in Italian) about life, sex and other things in a car. Without giving away spoilers, there is more to it than what is described. Overall : 3/5 Movie : 3/5 Audio : 2.5/5 Video : 3/5 Extras :2.5/5
If you like movies like Troll Hunter, you will find some comfort in ‘Across the River’ with it’s rich forest setting. BUY FROM MONSTER PICTURES
Beckoning the Butcher (2013)
"The film makers would like to thanks the families of those that went missing”. With the exception of Cloverfield and Chronicle, I’m not a fan of ‘found footage’ films - the reason being that the movie makers try to convince you that the people in it are missing and the footage is real. Nice try, but it didn't work with me for the Blair Witch project or this film either. You know the type of movie - a bunch of teenagers with a video camera film their ghostly adventures. I should point out that this is an Australian film. A lot of it was filmed in Victoria. The film is made up of the interviews of the family and friends of the missing people. The problem here is they are great actors - they aren't very convincing (or too convincing as actors) as the family at all. Neither are the situations they are in -there is one scene with q petrol station attendant asking the main character Chris to turn off the camera comes across as a professional actor. The dialog is too fluent and flowing. Again, the acting is too good. I thought these actors would be better of in something like ‘Home & Away’ or ‘Neighbours’ and after looking at imdb, some of them were - just another nail in the coffin that the film wasn't convincing. Video 2.5/5 There is lots of running around in the dark. There is lots of screaming. There is lots of shaky camera due to this. The movie has a Widescreen 16:9 ratio. Audio : 2.5/5 The movie has a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Extras : 2/5 A couple of extras here :
Cast and Crew audio commentary
Overall : 2.5/5 Movie : 2.5/5 Audio : 2.5/5 Video : 2.5/5 Extras :2/5
Someone out there will love this movie. I’m just sorry I wasn’t that someone.