Storm Warning (2007) - Unrated

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Weinstein Company, Dimension Extreme || Unrated - 87 minutes - $19.95 || February 5, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-02-06


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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

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jamie Blanks
Writer(s): Everett De Roche (written by)
Cast:


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Filmmakers' Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Storm Warning is horror director Jamie Blanks latest dud, following the ho-hum Urban Legend, a film spawned from the success of the Scream movies during the late 90s, and Valentine, another horror flick with an inane plot.

This one follow husband and wife Rob and Pia, who take a boat/fishing trip and get stranded on an island with a major rain storm making the situation worse. The two stumble upon a farmhouse and to get away from the rain, they go inside to find a phone, even though no one is home. Of course what happens? Not only do they not find a phone, but a shack outside is being used to grow pot and the residents soon return home. This family of three, two sons and their father has plans for these two, especially Pia, and now this couple must find a way to fight back and escape.

I admire director Blanks for utilizing the Australian open seas to capture the scenic beauty and all, yet did this movie really need 40-minutes to set up this so-called suspense-horror-thriller? This couple spends a good 25-minutes from traveling to a dock to boating/fishing followed by another 15-minutes of the farmhouse discovery, plus about 15 more minutes as they’re discovered/bad guy banter. So, in this 84-minute movie, I’d say there’s only about 15-20 minutes of actual suspense... that’s it.

The best part of the movie comes before the final act when Pia, channeling the “MacGyver” inside her, designs an elaborate trap for one of the captors. Not to spoil anything, but I think Jigsaw would be proud... She also makes a form of birth control device that will no doubt gross anybody out.

But that’s the thing, outside of these two scenes; there isn’t anything remarkable about Storm Warning. Even the scenery doesn’t look that great and when 80% of the film is setup or suspense-buildup, the end doesn’t make the journey worthwhile.

For what it’s worth, Nadia Fares and Robert Taylor (the couple), are good together and Fares in particular has a certain charm and beauty that makes the film a bit easier to watch. Also, and I might be the only one, but Taylor seems like the Aussie version of Nathan Fillion. Not pertinent to this review, just a thought...

I should note that the screenplay by Everett De Roche was apparently written decades ago, before the whole Saw craze, so I doubt it took much cue from the torture porn genre of late. As much as I enjoy horror movies (for the most part), Storm Warning isn’t worth the time or energy when there are so many others out there to watch instead.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The disc includes a cast and crew commentary, a theatrical trailer and teaser. The commentary track is packed and includes: Director Jamie Blanks, writer Everett DeRoche, Lead Actor Robert Taylor, Cinematographer Karl Von Moller, Special FX Artist Justin Dix and then Production Designer Robby Perkins (comes in at about the 15-minute mark) and Executive Producers Mark Pannell & Pete Ford (who come in later).

I like these ensemble commentaries, but at the same time, if you’re not familiar with their voices, it can be a bit hard discerning who is talking. But Blanks leads the group well and they give some insightful advice on independent filmmaking and just general stories on the set, and pointing out CGI shots.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Storm Warming is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78 OAR. As this is a suspense-thriller/horror flick, colors are well muted with Blanks preferring to go with grays and blacks.

A Dolby Digital 5.1 track provides suitable sound for a movie like this.



.::OVERALL::.

I do like certain suspense-thrillers and although Storm has a couple moments of true suspense, little else works, in fact, I was bored most of the time. Maybe one can chalk it up to cultural differences. Some don’t “get” Japanese” horror but at the same time, will flock American remakes The Eye and others and be satisfied. Maybe Australian horror movies, including the more involving (by comparison) Wolf Creek, are a different breed than American horror.