Scream Factory has supplemented their line of special editions for vintage films with new productions from Chiller Films in recent years. These films are better on the whole than SyFy’s original t.v. movies and every now and then they produce a gem like Beneath. The newest addition to Scream Factory’s line of Chiller Films fare is Animal. The result does well by this solid little programmer, presenting a quality transfer with a few extras.
One of the best assets Animal has to offer is the crisp-looking digital photography by Scott Winig. That asset is preserved with care in this transfer, offering impressive levels of detail and depth to color whether it’s a daylight exterior or a dark interior shot. A 5.1 stereo mix is provided in lossless form to accompany this transfer and it makes good use of the multiple-speaker setup, with directional effects in key moments and the electronic score spread out nicely through the soundscape.
A few extras are also included. The most noteworthy is a solo commentary track by director Brett Simmons. At the outset, he reveals his approach was to bring an ’80s vibe to his direction to match a similar feel in the script. From there, he goes into great detail about the various elements of putting the film together, including devising a design for the creature to flesh out what was in the script and plenty of analysis of the scenes and how they influenced his directorial approach. He’s humble about his craft and quick to praise his collaborators, making this track an easygoing yet informative listen.
Elsewhere, there are three brief, video-based extras. The first is a “cast interviews” piece that is a really an EPK that incorporates snippets from longer interviews into a mixture of behind-the-scenes footage and clips from the film. A theatrical trailer runs just under two minutes and offers a snappy set of highlights that combine quips and carnage. The last extra is a novel teaser trailer that is done in the style of home movies the characters are taking: it’s pretty effective, with a nice creepy finish.
In short, this is a nice presentation of a made-for-cable flick, offering a quality high-def transfer with a few supplements that will interest those who might pick it up.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of Animal, click here.