House on Willow Street - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
    Staff Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 4, 2017
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    House on Willow Street

    Movie: :3stars:
    Video: :3.5stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :1star:
    Final Score: :3stars:

    [​IMG] Movie

    “Evil has an Address”…..or at least a P.O. Box for short letters and the like. From the director of Indigenous comes another tale of criminals in over their head with a kidnapping gone awry. I have a love/hate relationship with horror movies. I literally LOVE the genre and can’t get enough of them, but I also readily accept the fact that it is a heavily flawed genre. More junk and garbage comes out of the DTV horror genre than the action and drama categories combined. A big of gore, a dash of supernatural terror, and some low budget shooting and acting and there’s your next horror film. House on Willow Street is not an ingenious film, nor does it try to really deviate from the standard norms, but it brings us a solid little horror flick that delves into the classic tale of a heist gone awry when the criminals find out that they’re up against something not of this world.

    4 criminals (including You’re Next’s Sharni Vinson) have planned for MONTHS a kidnapping. They plan to take a jewel mogul’s young daughter and hold her for ransom so the 4 of them can escape over seas and live off of the riches for the rest of their lives. Simple enough? Well, these things are a pain in the neck to plan (or so it seems), as everything has to come off JUST right in the execution .Well, these 4 criminals finally have it planned out to the letter and on goes the heist. They go in, grab the girl, and get out of there before anyone knows that they’re gone. The only thing is, they may have bit off more than they can chew. The young girl (Carlyn Burchell) is a bit strange. She keeps whispering dire threats of extinction and terror, and before you know it, the 4 low lifes come to realize that this little victim may not be the victim at all, but rather the master.

    Yup, you guessed it. Carolyn (the kidnapped girl) isn’t a victim. Instead she’s a demonically possessed girl with the spirit of the tormentor of grieving souls within her body. And she only needs a few more souls captured before she’s free to roam the earth once more. Now all this demonic being needs to do is consume the rest of the criminals and regain its freedom once more.
    House on Willow Street is your typical horror film related to evil possession. 4 low lives come into the picture, kidnap a young girl, then find out the tables are turned after its too late. The movie is nothing new, and you can see every twist and turn coming, but its still rather delicious in the way it plays out. The actors are in the same boat. There’s nothing new the genre, and the actors really aren’t A list actors, but they display enough sense of terror and trepidation to sell the premise of a demonic victim gone wrong. Carlyn Burchell is twisted and sickening in her role as the poor little Katherine, and You’re Next’s Sharnin Vinson gives a solid performance.

    What makes the movie almost interesting is the grungy and “dilapidated” feeling to the movie. It almost feels like a Rob Zombie flick without all of the redneck perversion that he loves to dabble in. the ambiance and coloring gives it a decidedly “scummy” feel and the almost worn out look of the 4 criminals adds to that cheap feeling. The inclusion of yet another demon who wants to take over the world does the movie no favors, but it is a capable flick that is more than terrifying in a few spots. I DO have to fully admit that the ending was a bit weird and lacked a coherent ending (as do many a horror flick), but it was satisfying enough to give me more than a few skin crawls along the way.


    Not Rated by the MPAA

    Video: :3.5stars:
    House on Willow Street is a technically competent and well done transfer, but it’s not a PRETTY looking image if you know what I mean. That’s basically saying that there’s nothing wrong with the encode, but the filming style lends itself towards gritty and grungy, with a golden and orange overtone that makes the whole thing feel a bit sallow. Fine detail is actually quite well done, and while there is some mild softness, the image is mainly free from banding and artifacting. Skin tones are a bit orange, and black levels solidly inky, but I do notice some slight wavering in the areas around faces, as well as a digitally grimy look that intentionally puts the low budget picture into “dirty” territory. Scream did a solid job on the transfer as I can see no digital issues, it’s just a simple fact of a low budget horror film shot to LOOK grungy and nasty.

    Audio: :4stars:
    [​IMG] Scream Factory has given us the obligatory 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD MA tracks that they are known for, and naturally I’m going to lean towards the 5.1 mix (the original mix). The track is well done, with a solid sense of space and depth, that really lends itself well in the horror genre. Bass drops are deep and impactful, while the surrounds are filled with the clanking of chains and the screams of victims. Vocals are firmly placed in the center channel and honestly I can’t see anything wrong with the mix. The budget is low so there’s not a WHOLE lot of digital trickery, but the simple 5.1 mix is quite effective and steeped in ambiance.

    Extras: :1star:

    • Behind the Scenes
    • Theatrical Trailer

    Final Score: :3stars:

    Is House on Willow Street a mind blowing horror film? Not at all. In fact, it’s really rather typical, but the unique visuals and strong performances give it at least a fun watch for horror fans. It won’t light the world on fire, but is at least worth a watch for gore hounds and creep fans alike. The Blu-ray is solidly done from with the visual s and audio, but the extras are a tad trim for normal Scream Factory offerings. Worth checking out as a rental, though.

    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Dimitri Bajlanis, Zelma Bezuidenhout, Carlyn Burchell
    Directed by: Alastair Orr
    Written by: Catherine Blackman, Jonathan Jordaan
    Aspect Ratio: 2.40.1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Studio: Scream Factory
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 86 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: August 1st, 2017

    Recommendation: Rental

    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

    Jul 13, 2017
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    Thanks for the review. I will catch this once it is on amazon prime or netflix. :)
  3. Asere

    Asere AV Addict

    Apr 14, 2017
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    Same here :)

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