Chiller T.V.‘s string of made-for-cable films have found a nice home on video via Scream Factory, including some nice blu-rays that do well by these digital-oriented productions (check out their blu of Beneath for an excellent example). The company has released another Chiller title in their 2013 “reboot” of The Monkey’s Paw — and the results maintain the quality of Scream Factory’s other Chiller releases.
Things start off handsomely with a nice transfer of the film. Scott Winig’s cinematography is one of the best elements of The Monkey’s Paw and it registers in a colorful and nicely detailed way here. 2.0 and 5.1 stereo lossless tracks are included for this transfer: the 5.1 track was utilized for this review, and it’s a quality mix that offers surround effects during key scare scenes and spreads the film’s score around nicely.
Scream Factory has added in a few extras, the most substantial being a commentary track featuring director Brett Simmons, actor C.J. Thomason and cinematographer Winig. Simmons takes the lead, talking about how he envisioned the film as a sequel/alternate version of the original short story and how getting to shoot in New Orleans was a major attraction of the gig for him. He also offers details on how weather/location issues led to the restaging of some scenes and how certain script elements were reworked during the shoot.
Thomason offers a detailed appreciation of Stephen Lang and Daniel Hugh Kelly’s performances while Winig offers some interesting technical details about how different shots were achieved. It’s a pretty lively track from the get-go and the three participants give the listener a nice sense of how they all worked together to make the best film the circumstances allowed.
Also included is a trailer used for the film’s brief theatrical engagements and VOD release. It’s a flashy piece of work that sells the film as a rollercoaster, throwing in most of the film’s visceral moments and using lots of digital speed-up effects. There is also a segment entitled “Making The Monkey’s Paw.” It runs just under five minutes and is essential an EPK where Simmons and several of the film’s actors dish up soundbites to promote the film: the director talks about his approach while the actors mostly talk up how they approached their roles.
To sum up, Scream Factory has put a nice little disc for this t.v. production. Anyone into modern t.v.-size terror will appreciate this presentation.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of The Monkey’s Paw, click here.