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Dark Reel (Ws)
Dark Reel
Director: Josh Eisenstadt
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     2009     1hr 48min

Studio: North American Motion Pic Release Date: 03/10/2009 Run time: 108 minutes Rating: R


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Movie Details

Director: Josh Eisenstadt
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: North American Pict.
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/10/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Lance Henriksen and Tony Todd are wonderful together! | 03/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I always urge people not to judge movies by their covers (and in some cases, trailers). Even with this notion, you still can't help but take interest because it's the cover that gives the first impression. Typically direct-to-video flicks will have a good cover. That doesn't necessarily mean that the movie is going to be as good. There's a reason why most of these things never make it into the theatres any. Some studios put cleavage or graphic violence on the cover to lure you in. I guess where I'm going with this statement is that the cover for Dark Reel looks just as typical as any other straight to DVD horror cover. It's horrible, and doesn't really do it justice. If you were to judge it, you would think that it's nothing more then a low budget mess. That's actually what I thought Dark Reel would be like. Surprisingly, Dark Reel is not all that bad. Yes it is low budget, but it sure doesn't look that way.

In the movie we follow Adam Waltz's unsure journey as he wins a contest for a walk on part in an upcoming pirate b-movie called "Pirate Wench." There he meets his favorite actress Cassie Blue (Tiffany Shepis). Later in production, Adam meets the rest of the cast and crew and begins to rehearse his "one" line. In the meantime, there's a serial killer running loose on set, killing off some of the cast members. The lead investigator on the case is Shields (Tony Todd), and along with his partner they question the crew as to who might be the one responsible. When one of the pirate wenches turns up dead on set, the studio calls for re-writes and decides to give Adam a much bigger part, complete with more dialog. The story later ties in with the real unpublicized murder of actress Scarlett May, who was killed in 1958.

The "Scarlett May" side of things is a nice touch and really sets the tone during the opening credits. The problem is that I couldn't piece it together with the plot involving Edward Furlong's character. For awhile it just made no sense to me. The movie really didn't need the backstory or supernatural elements. It just feels like a recycled homage to Wes Craven's "Scream." There is a killer loose on set going after the actresses, but the death scenes are so few and far in between. After the first hour I forgot that I was even watching a horror movie. The opening credits display severed body parts and an ounce of blood, but it just takes way too long for the killer to appear later on screen with the mask that's displayed on the DVD cover. The pacing is way off and if you're expecting to see a "blood and guts" kind of movie, you will be very disappointed. There's hardly any horror in this horror story. Perhaps that's the most horrific thing about it.

The movie needed some trimming here and there, because it drags on a little too much for a slasher flick. It does focus a great deal on the characters and that's always a good thing. The problem with that is it's too much. Maybe I should have expected a character study. The main focus of the plot is the relationship between Furlong and Shepis' characters. They build a friendship which eventually leads to romance, and then love. Now, I love both Furlong and Shepis, but their on screen relationship is hard to believe. Well, maybe just in parts because I actually thought the love plot worked. Seeing Adam and Cassie together was kind of cute. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and some decent acting can make it better. Tiffany Shepis continues to impress me with her work and her talent just gets better with every film. I say the same thing about Furlong, though I still want him to go for the much larger roles. He's too good for this kind of job."
Dark Reel: Great comedic horror
TheJim | 06/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dark Reel is a "reel" pleasant surprise. Instantly in watching the credits you will recognize a cast of genre favorites. The cast does an excellent job of playing their roles. Every character is a little off-beat creating a world where anybody is a potential suspect. I went back and forth trying to guess the identity of the murderer. I may have guessed it because I guessed everyone at least once! The best word I could use to describe Dark Reel is fun. It is a very fun ride- one worth taking more than once. You will be laughing one second and scared the next. Also, make sure you watch the dvd extra called "the Making Of Gnome Killer 2"- a hilarious mockumentary."