Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jay's Review: Cravings

Another of my DVD reviews for the fantastic Have you seen it?

Nina, a troubled teen, is fixed on an uninterrupted feast of destruction when she's forced to confront her immortality and twisted bloodlust. Trapped between light and dark, psychosis and reality, the living and the dead, she'll stop at nothing to satiate her cravings. Every addiction has a price, and usually it's the cost of a life. Her price will be life too... but never her own.

The DVD packaging is a little misleading as true vampirism isn't what's going on in Cravings. Steven, a recently widowed psychiatrist who's about to lose his mother, starts also losing his grip on reality when he's confronted with Nina, a teenage cutter who's harboring some very nasty appetites. Is she a vampire teenage frustrated with a single mom? Is he being haunted by the wife who's image is everywhere? Is she signaling him from beyond the grave or does he just need a better plumber?

Subtler and quieter than most horror films coming out lately, Cravings is more a psychological study that gets more disturbing as it unfolds. Sound, pacing and atmospheric imagery full of rich reds, blues, and pinks give the film's mundane Welsh reality a haunting edge. They add a sophisticated edge to this creeper of a sinister story. With questions of what's in one's head and the violations of medical ethics, you won't be sure if madness is on the agenda in Steven's mind or Nina's. With one truly great "oh, no, she didn't" moment 68 minutes in* and an ending that takes a nasty turn a la Audition put a tasty, rewarding cap on this chilling little thriller. Worth a watch for any fan of dark, character-driven horror.

Not much, as is typical for a Lionsgate horror release. The DVD auto-launches the following trailers (which are ALL RED BAND, so you know they show something approaching the goods)

-jarring trailer for a Halloween rip-off featuring campers and a killer in a clown mask named FRAYED
-A conspiracy flick involving Danny Trejo and Lance Henriksen and reanimator fluid in a mind-fuck movie called NECESSARY EVIL
-Lots of trailers come together to spoof Blair Witch one AND two with A little Evil Dead mixed in DEAD WOOD
-THE LAST RESORT (see the last blog post) and commercials for BREAK.COM and FEARNET
The menu offers scene selections and subtitles in English and Spanish, along with a previews page featuring Cravings and "Also from Lionsgate", which leads back to the autolaunch trailers.

You'll be trying to decide if the horrors of drinking blood or the total violations of medical ethics are scarier in Cravings. That aside, it's a dark little thriller that takes some nice veers into nightmarish imagery.
With lots of blood, some nudity, and a few salty words, it's not one for the kiddies, but it is a disturbing little drama of a horror film that you may well find worth the ride. It's quiet, but it has a lingering bite.

Movie: B
Extras: D

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