After Dark Horrorfest 4 (2009)

Genre(s): Horror
Lions Gate || R - 733 minutes - $159.98 || March 23, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Feature Commentaries
  • 10 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Widescreen
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

A few years ago I was dating a girl and the first After Dark Horrorfest series came out on DVD after the brief theatrical run it enjoyed and decided to each night rent one of the films to see if they were any good. We enjoyed them enough to rent all of them and then one night we watched them all back-to-back and thoroughly enjoyed them. Now, years and Iím sure 40 plus girls later, the series returns for the fourth time with After Dark Horrorfest Vol. 4 to scare people now and again. Disappointingly enough though, the series has lost the appeal it once had years ago and now isnít scary, entertaining, or any combination of the two that the previous series were.

The films contained in this volume are as follows: Dread, The Final, The Graves, Hidden, Kill Theory, Lake Mungo, The Reeds and Zombies of Mass Destruction. You can read the individual reviews by clicking the names.

Iíd like to first start off by saying that the series has taken a dramatic downturn in terms of entertainment and value. The movies from the past three series were all watchable and fun, but this time around they are mostly mundane and boring. Seven out of eight I deemed unwatchable, even as I am the resident horror reviewer around here, which means that there were some major problems with each of them. The entertaining part of the first three series were that the movies were kind of scary yet still fun enough to watch with a loved one. This time around the movies try to be either too comical, too horror, or just a combination of the two that clearly doesnít work. I know it must be hard for the company to produce eight movies on a yearly basis and have all of them be scary but it just seems like they really missed the ball this year.

Iíve come to love most horror films that I see, except for the ones that truly suck, and this year there are just too many of them to warrant a purchase of this set. I currently own the other three series and think that this year has gone so downhill that I kind of want to forget about this yearís series and move on. Yeah, thatís how bad the majority of these films were to me.

Finally, Iíd like to bash the directors of the film for continually putting the opening of the movies that revealed the ending in front of the dang films. Not only did they ruin the movie for me on the most part, they revealed way too much of what was going to happen and took the fun out of everything which was about to be shown on screen. Whatís the point of horror or suspense films if you take out both right from the start?

I think that, even as dedicated of a fan as I am to the series, it would be nice if the quality people are paying for was deserved. The past three years have had some great films and this year instead we are treated to some college made films that were boring and felt outdated for the most part.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

If you so choose to purchase the entire set, you receive a nifty box that stores all of the films inside. I unfortunately didnít receive one of the boxes but have seen it in person.

THE GRAVES ***Ĺ / *****

Commentary with Brian Pulido: Pulido is quite entertaining to listen to (except for one feature below) during this entire track and kept me entertained enough to make it through the whole thing without yawning. He talks about everything to do with the film that I could think of and I strongly urge a listening to if you can manage to watch the film again with the valuable free time people consider useful.

Commentary with Francisca Pulido and Adam Goldfine: Iím not sure why there are two commentaries, and I think for the first time in writing reviews, I actually prefer Brian Pulidoís solo track rather than these two batting off of one another. They donít seem excited to talk about the film and tend to drag on about certain topics that arenít that entertaining.

Behind the Screams (21 minutes): This incredibly lengthy documentary goes behind the scenes of the movie to show you the vision of the director and interviews with the cast and crew. I found it to be quite enjoying, although hearing Pulido continually say ďummĒ every five seconds gets old real quick. The chicks are hot though, which is a huge plus.

Sound Designing (5 minutes): The audio guy shows you how a few scenes were mixed and gives his take on the film. Audio fanatics, unlike me, will enjoy this much more than any of us normal people ever will.

Plan to Actual (6 minutes): The crew shows the cast how to react in the shots shown and also what they are to be doing while the filming is going on.

Spot the Gnome (1 minute): The director talks about how he has to have a gnome in his movie at least once, and in this one, heís in the film twice. No, they donít tell you where heís at nor will you probably care.

Auditions (5 minutes): Yeah so I was all ready for a Tony Todd audition and instead the only auditions here are for the lame extras cast throughout the movie.

Vampires Donít Exist Music Video (3 minutes): Awful song, awful video, awful waste of time.

KILL THEORY * / *****

Behind the Scenes (9 minutes): This incredibly short extra discusses the movie with some interviews from the cast and crew who talk about the movie. I didnít really find it that interesting, and the fact that the extra is so short doesnít really make this one worth viewing.

Deleted Scenes (8 minutes): The deleted scenes are presented in insanely poor quality and have that incredibly annoying timer on the bottom that runs the entire time. A few of these are worth watching although the commentary over them is quite annoying.

DREAD *Ĺ / *****

Facing the Fear (13 minutes): Yet again, your typical behind the scenes extra that dives into the making of the film and also the idea behind it. I found this to be way more interesting than the film itself, which I loathed with such a passion, so if youíre like me then maybe check this out instead.

Conversation with Clive Barker and Anthony DiBlasi (20 minutes): Clive Barker has always been someone Iíd like to meet and ask him why he put his name on that awful ďJerichoĒ game years ago, but alas I doubt that will ever happen. The two talk about the film, the idea for it, and many other things in this dreadfully (how many times have I used that? 8 now?) long segment.

Deleted Scenes (4 minutes): Finally, a few deleted scenes that were cut for pacing reasons or the fact that they arenít interesting can be viewed here if you so choose. Nothing here is worthwhile though so let me save you the time by saying donít bother.

ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION Ĺ* / *****

The Making of Zombies of Mass Destruction (6 minutes): The lone special feature is a short one that dives into the make-up used to make the cast seem more zombie-like.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Almost all of the films suffered from the same issue, which is grain. Noise is also a problem, but grain is the main issue I have with this series. Nearly every freaking scene is encased (at least the nighttime ones, the daytime ones actually look pretty decent) with grain and noise that literally had me wondering if my television screen was moving. Colors are also a major problem, as though many of the movies were bland and outdated in terms of their color scheme. The colors appeared rundown and made the film look much older than it probably should have. Only one of the films didnít suffer from this issue, and one out of eight let me assure you arenít good odds.

Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks encompass all but one of the films (Hidden) and they are all pretty disappointing. Surround sound is lackluster pretty much the entire time of all the films, and to boot several times I had to tweak the audio to increase to the volume major amounts until I could hear the dialogue spoken. Thereís not a lot of ďoomphĒ to the tracks provided as though dialogue is too low and sounds more like a 2.0 track 99.99 percent of the time rather than a 5.1 track as described by the audio selection option. I think I only hear my surround sound speakers go off no more than twenty times throughout all eight films, which is disappointing and like I said before not good odds if you are looking for horror films with some depth to them.



.::OVERALL::.

The After Dark Horrorfest Vol. 4 is a disappointing bag of tricks. Iíve been faithful to the series since it came out years ago but now Iím starting to wonder if the series is completely over with. Well I know thatís not true due to the insert within the DVD, although I am starting to think the series has jumped the shark. The movies arenít scary anymore and with only one real good film (The Graves) in the mix Iíd be hard pressed to recommend paying upwards of $100 for all of them together. Iíd strongly recommend renting each of them first and going from there.