Elsewhere (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery / Thriller
E1 Entertainment || R - 106 minutes - $24.98 || June 2, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-06-13


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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

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Nathan Hope
Writer(s): Nathan Hope (written by)
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Tania Raymonde, Paul Wesley, Chuck Carter, Olivia Dawn York, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jon Gries


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Elsewhere isn’t a particularly original mystery-thriller, break new ground, or a particularly fantastic movie either, but it was entertaining.

The story revolves around best friends Sarah (Anna Kendrick) and Jillian (Tania Raymonde) living in a small, ho-hum town. Sarah is a “girl scout” while Jillian is the more “drrtygrl” who dresses provocatively and has a chaotic home life and wants nothing more than to get away. She also has a suitcase at the ready to go at a moment’s notice.

One night after Sarah witnesses Jillian having an argument with her ex-boyfriend (Paul Wesley), Jillian seemingly disappears not showing up from work and not responding to voice mails or text messages, but Sarah becomes increasingly worried when she receives a video on her cell phone showing Jillian running and attacked. She subsequently receives some text messages telling her to leave her alone.

Because Jillian is the outcast/skank of the town, nobody seems to be concerned, though Sarah is sure something is wrong and the key may lay with a mysterious meeting with an online contact via Jillian’s sensual “MySpace”-like page. Making matters worse, Sarah discovers other social outcasts have also disappeared over the years...

Elsewhere actually is one of the more surprising films to come out of the indie-teen-thriller realm in quite a while. Normally, these types of movies either feature poor production values, terrible acting and a less-than-stellar script. Well, while the story certainly has some gaps (it never really explains how goodie-two-shoes and a skanky chick like Jillian could be best buds) but I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.

The movie was written and directed by Nathan Hope in his feature film debut after directing a short in 2005 and two episodes of hit series, “CSI” in 2008 and 2009 (he previously served as cinematographer off and on from 2003 to 2007 and is working on the new TNT series, “Dark Blue”), so one can presume he has a handle on creating creepy atmospheres... But Hope does a good job even with a script that needed some work. I can’t go into details without giving away any twists, but how Sarah supposedly sees Jillian walking the streets after her disappearance was kind of dumb.

The acting actually wasn’t too bad. Anna Kendrick as the cutie “girl scout” handles the main part pretty well in a kind of Neve Campbell-Scream kind of way while Tania Raymonde sluts it up enough to make it believable enough character (we all know someone like this, especially in high school). Also a highlight, even though his character is just a typical dweeb (another story shortcoming: how could someone like this be anywhere near someone like Sarah...), but Chuck Carter does a good job playing the guy who helps Sarah hunt for the clues behind Jillian’s disappearance.

Overall, Elsewhere is a good mystery-thriller that if you don’t think about the lack of logic in the plot or characters, you should be fairly entertained.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in 480i/p SD.

The Blu-ray comes with more features than one would expect from a small, unknown movie like this. First is a deleted scenes (22:38) most of which were extended from what was already seen; The Road to Elsewhere (11:59) is a typical ‘making-of’ featurette with interviews with the cast and crew talking about the project; a photo gallery; and the film’s effective theatrical trailer (2:32). And finally there is an audio commentary with writer/director Nathan Hope and producer Vince Palomino which is accessible via the Set Up submenu...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Elsewhere is presented in 1080p high-definition with a 1.78 aspect ratio. The video in a word is: noisy. Darker or lighter scenes, noise is almost everywhere though I did find the colors and skin tones to be quite good from the opening scene as two gals get ready (make-up). So, overall this is a pretty average HD video transfer but I assume probably better than the DVD.

The lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is pretty good given this is mainly a score and dialogue driven movie than explosions, so there’s not much to really judge. The bass wasn’t overly used but it was still turned on a couple times with only minor effect. Note: the back cover states the Blu-ray also contains a TrueHD 5.1 track which I found odd, but when I turned it on, it was just a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track (and states so on the menu).



.::OVERALL::.

Elsewhere has some plot holes but with a good-looking and well acted cast and a decent foundation, the movie is well worth at least checking out. As I said, it’s not going to break new ground nor is it a movie that I probably will remember a month from now, but I enjoyed it enough to give the film a slight recommendation.