DVD Review - February 16

DVD Review - February 16

DVD Review - February 16

First published in NewsXtra

A weekly round-up of the latest DVD releases.

By Damon Smith

New to rent on DVD/Blu-ray

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Cert 12, 98 mins, Entertainment One, Drama/Romance/Comedy, also available to buy DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99) Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey, Joan Cusack.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is devastated by the suicide of his good friend Michael and the senseless tragedy haunts the sensitive teenager as a new term beckons. The lad's father (Dylan McDermott) and mother (Kate Walsh) hope Charlie will blossom in higher education but, as usual, their boy remains on the sidelines. During an American football match, Charlie plucks up the courage to chat to openly gay classmate Patrick (Ezra Miller). In turn, he introduces Charlie to his free-spirited step-sister, Sam (Emma Watson), who encourages Charlie to take the terrifying leaps of faith facing every teenager on the cusp of adulthood. Set in early 1990s Pittsburgh, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a bittersweet anthem to emotionally damaged youth. Lerman is mesmerising as the loner who is stunned that anyone would waste their time befriending him. Watson makes confident strides away from her signature role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series, replete with a solid American accent, and Miller banishes memories of his chilling turn in We Need To Talk About Kevin, exuding wit and charm as the class clown who attempts to rise above taunts about his sexuality. Adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own critically adored novel, fluffiness and mawkish sentimentality are absent from the cinematic lexicon. Instead, Chbosky spares his characters neither blushes nor pain, venturing into some incredibly dark recesses of the human experience with sensitivity and restraint. He accomplishes this impressive feat without sacrificing the biting humour of his book, condensing the tome into a compact running time that flies by in a blur of laughter and gut-wrenching despair.

Rating: ****

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Cert PG, 89 mins, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment, Animation/Family/Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/The Complete Collection DVD Box Set £24.99/Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £27.99/3D Blu-ray & DVD Combi-pack £29.99/Blu-ray The Complete Collection DVD Box Set £39.99) Featuring the voices of: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, Martin Short, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) hanker for a return to New York's Central Park Zoo. They leave Africa and head first to Monte Carlo to reunite with the penguins, where the gang has a close encounter with tenacious animal control officer Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) and her scooter-riding cronies. Alex and co seek refuge on a circus train and persuade Vitaly the tiger (Bryan Cranston), Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the sea lion (Martin Short) that they are performing animals too. Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria nervously train alongside the professionals, knowing they must impress a big promoter in Rome in order to secure a booking in the Big Apple. After a lacklustre second instalment, Madagascar 3 rediscovers some of its animal magic. The circus setting lends itself perfectly to 3D, available exclusively on Blu-ray, and directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon have a ball contriving outrageous set pieces. The camera swoops as Merman and Gloria teeter on the high wire, Alex tumbles acrobatically on the trapeze and Marty soars out of the barrel of a giant cannon. McDormand gleefully chews the computer-generated scenery and the script pokes fun at our European neighbours, such as when Mason the chimpanzee quips, "Labour laws are a little more lenient in France. They only have to work two weeks a year!" Apart from Alex, who enjoys a romance that defies Mother Nature's grand design, other characters embark on journeys that are literal rather than emotional. A three-disc box set of all the films is also available.

Rating: *** Sinister (Cert 15, 105 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, Horror/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £19.99) Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Michael Hall D'Addario, Clare Foley, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Vincent D'Onofrio.

Ten years after Kentucky Blood became a best-seller and brought him notoriety, novelist Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) moves to a leafy community with his wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance) and children Trevor (Michael Hall D'Addario) and Ashley (Clare Foley). The father neglects to mention to his brood that the previous owners of the house came to an unfortunate end, and the sole survivor - a little girl - disappeared without trace. In the attic, Ellison is intrigued to discover a box of Super 8 home movies. As he watches the shocking footage in the privacy of his office, the writer connects brutal murders across the country and senses a potential movie deal. Strange symbols concealed within the footage lead Ellison to Professor Jonas (Vincent D'Onofrio), an expert on the occult. As the writer continues to immerse himself in the case, he loosens his grasp on sanity. Sinister is a predictable ghost story that has a few decent scares as Ellison wanders around his house at night, twitching nervously at every creaking floorboard. Hawke perfects a wide-eyed stare and furiously strokes his beard to convey inner turmoil, while Rylance and D'Onofrio are wasted in non-descript roles. The plot of Scott Derrickson's film necessitates an acrimonious divorce from common sense. Few people would willingly move into a house where four members of a family were found hanged by the neck from a gnarled tree in the back garden. Fewer still would remain in the property when someone or something starts opening locked doors and crashing about in the attic in the dead of night. "If you sleep in this house, it's going to do terrible things to your head," a supporting character warns. Inevitably, no one heeds that excellent advice.

Rating: ** Ruby Sparks (Cert 15, 99 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Comedy/Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £27.99) Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, Elliott Gould.

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) wrote his first novel at the age of 19 but has struggled to pen a follow-up. During a visit to psychiatrist Dr Rosenthal (Elliott Gould), Calvin confides that a beautiful girl is haunting his dreams and the shrink suggests that it may be therapeutic to commit these nocturnal imaginings to paper. So to cure his writer's block, Calvin follows Dr Rosenthal's guidance and churns out volumes about the mystery girl. Miraculously, Ruby (Zoe Kazan) manifests in Calvin's apartment. "It's like that movie Harvey, except she's not a giant rabbit," Calvin tells his incredulous brother, Harry (Chris Messina). Ruby is blissfully unaware that she was once a figment of Calvin's feverish imagination and as romantic bonds strengthen between the couple, Harry's initial enthusiasm mellows into fraternal concern. "What are you going to do? Marry her? Wouldn't that be incest - mind-cest?" Art imitates life imitates art in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's delightfully offbeat romantic comedy starring real-life couple Dano and Kazan. They catalyse smouldering screen chemistry, surrounded by a strong ensemble cast including Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening as hippie parents, whose carefree attitude to life and love provides a template of perfection that other characters struggle to emulate. The script, penned by Kazan, conjures fond memories of Stranger Than Fiction as Calvin ponders the morality of bedding his literary creation. The script ventures into darker territory when Calvin grows weary of his soulmate and spitefully puts her through the physical and emotional wringer. The film pulls back from the abyss at the last moment so we retain our affection for the beleaguered hero.

Rating: ****

Savages (Cert 18, 130 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Thriller/Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99) Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Emile Hirsch.

Talented botanist Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his buddy Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a former Navy Seal and ex-mercenary, make a small fortune by growing marijuana in their sun-baked stretch of Orange County. They are connected by pampered rich girl Ophelia (Blake Lively), who showers them both with sexual favours. Then the Mexican Baja Cartel, run by Elena (Salma Hayek), her enforcer Lado (Benicio Del Toro) and legal eagle Alex (Demian Bichir), swaggers into the town and forcefully suggests Ben and Chon share the secrets of their lucrative business model. Corrupt DEA agent Dennis (John Travolta), who has underhand dealings with Ben and Chon, urges the duo to accept Elena's offer. Chon disagrees so Elena ups the stakes by kidnapping Ophelia. Savages is a serpentine and sexually charged immorality tale in which violence begets more violence. Taylor-Johnson and Kitsch are solid and Lively wafts prettily through her scenes in a drug-induced haze. Hayek has great fun with her feisty femme, sporting flowing black, silken locks as she orders the death of feeble underlings or tells Ophelia that sharing two men is a recipe for disaster: "There is something wrong with your love story, baby." Stone directs with typical gusto but he should have trimmed back the voiceover narration that occasionally errs towards unintentional hilarity, such as when the heroine compares her two lovers to cold metal and warm wood. She'll need to watch out for splinters. The script spices up the back-stabbing and betrayal with breathless sex scenes between the good-looking leads, including a hazy, post-bong fumble that suggests three might not be a crowd after all.

Rating: ***

Pusher (Cert 18, 85 mins, Vertigo Films, Thriller/Action/Romance, also available to buy DVD/Blu-ray £15.99) Starring: Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb, Agyness Deyn, Zlatko Buric, Mem Ferda, Neil Maskell, Paul Kaye.

Party boy and drug dealer Frank (Richard Coyle) is a big fish in the small pond of east London. He borrows thousands from drug lord Milo (Zlatko Buric) to finance an ill-fated get-rich scheme involving former prison mate Marlon (Neil Maskell). "I'm a boomerang - I come straight back," Frank promises Milo, who threatens to unleash henchman Hakan (Mem Ferda) if the dealer isn't true to his word. The scam goes awry and Frank is caught by the police, shortly after he dumps the drugs in a pond. As Milo's original loan gains interest, Frank prowls London like a wounded animal, pressurising best friend Tony (Bronson Webb), girlfriend Flo (Agyness Deyn) and rich client Fitz (Paul Kaye) to help settle the debt. Bookmarked into daily chapters, Pusher is a self-consciously cool English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's coruscating 1996 thriller of the same name. Transplanted from the streets of Copenhagen to present-day London, Luis Prieto's film paints Frank's soulless existence in lurid colours, complimented by Kim Gaster's snappy editing and some trippy visuals. Coyle lacks roguish charm in initial scenes but glistens with desperation as Frank's plight becomes increasingly bleak, and supermodel Deyn impresses, demonstrating emotional depth in her few scenes. Buric reprises his menacing role from the original film and provides the clear link between the two films. Prieto's version has style in abundance but lacks a strong emotional connection to the godforsaken anti-hero as he careens from disaster to despair. We feel no concern as the weight of the world comes crashing down upon him. He gambles big, loses bigger and deserves to suffer the grim consequences.

Rating: ***

Also released

Antiviral (Cert 15, 103 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, Horror/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £15.99 - see below) Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Cert 12, 89 mins, Studio Canal, Drama, also available to buy DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £22.99 - see below) Ginger & Rosa (Cert 12, 86 mins, Artificial Eye, Drama/Romance, also available to buy DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99 - see below) Sparkle (Cert 12, 111 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Drama/Musical, also available to buy DVD £12.99 - see below) The Three Stooges (Cert 12, 88 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Comedy/Action, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99 - see below) To Rome With Love (Cert 12, 107 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £15.99 - see below) New to buy on DVD/Blu-ray Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Cert 12, 89 mins, Studio Canal, DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £22.99, Drama) "Once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub..." The opening voiceover of Benh Zietlin's extraordinary debut suggests a modern-day fairytale. However, there's no happy ever after in Beasts Of The Southern Wild, a poetic and grimly compelling portrait of shattered lives in a fictional bayou, where six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) lives off the sodden land with her father Wink (Dwight Henry). He practises tough love so his little girl can survive the unforgiving elements but she rebels against his teachings. Hushpuppy's journey of self-discovery is brilliantly realised, anchored by a tour-de-force, Oscar-worthy performance from non-actor Wallis, who could become the youngest winner of the Best Actress statuette later this month. Magical realist flourishes, such as a stampede of mythical creatures called aurochs, invite us to see this ramshackle world through Hushpuppy's eyes as the levees burst, threatening to wash away her childhood innocence forever. Undoubtedly one of the best films of the year.

To Rome With Love

(Cert 12, 107 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD £15.99, Comedy/Romance) Writer-director Woody Allen continues his hit-and-miss love affair with Europe in this ensemble romantic comedy set in the picturesque Italian capital, where the fates of four would-be lovers entwine. Hayley (Alison Pill) accepts a marriage proposal from handsome lawyer Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti) and jets to Rome with her parents Jerry (Allen) and Phyllis (Judy Davis) so they can meet their soon-to-be son-in-law. Former opera director Jerry discovers that Michelangelo's father, Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato), has a stunning voice and he persuades the old man to audition in front of the cultural elite. Elsewhere... Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and his new wife Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) move to the capital for his work and she becomes lost in the city while searching for a hair salon. An encounter with her favourite actress, Pia Fusari (Ornella Muti), changes her life. Back at the hotel, Antonio is disturbed by prostitute Anna (Penelope Cruz), who mistakenly believes him to be her next client. Elsewhere... family man Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) becomes an overnight celebrity and cameras document his every move for the voracious viewing public. He quickly learns that his humdrum old existence was no worse than life in the constant glare of a lens. Elsewhere... architect John (Alec Baldwin) returns to Rome 30 years after he lived there. He tours old haunts and meets American student Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), who introduces John to his wife Sally (Greta Gerwig) and her sexually charged best friend Monica (Ellen Page), who is a danger to the male of the species. John attempts to resist Monica's bountiful charms, but it takes all of his will power.

Sparkle

(Cert 12, 111 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD £12.99, Drama/Musical) Whitney Houston makes her final screen appearance in Salim Akil's remake of the 1976 drama of the same name, about three sisters attempting to break into the music industry. Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dolores (Tika Sumpter) live in late 1960s Detroit with their God-fearing mother, Emma (Houston), who rules her brood with an iron fist. Emma counsels her girls to place their trust in the Lord rather than those no-good creatures called men. Youngest child Sparkle is musically gifted but she doesn't have the confidence to step into the spotlight, encouraging her siblings to raise their voices to the rafters while she remains in the shadows. Nice guy Stix (Derek Luke) meets Sparkle and falls in love with this gentle spirit, encouraging her to take that leap of faith and share her gift with an audience. As Sparkle flourishes, Sister encounters relationship problems with her comedian husband, Satin (Mike Epps), who lashes out when his wife fails to do his bidding. Cee Lo Green co-stars.

Gossip Girl - The Complete Sixth And Final Season (Cert 15, 403 mins, Warner Home Video, DVD £29.99/The Complete Series DVD Box Set £59.99, Drama/Romance) Dry your eyes as the popular drama based on the books by Cecily von Ziegesar comes to a suitably turbulent close. Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) severs ties with her old friends in order to turn over a new leaf. Blair (Leighton Meester) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) are determined to recapture former glories, once their respective business ventures have found success. Meanwhile, scheming minx Ivy (Kaylee DeFer) returns on a mission to destroy Lily (Kelly Rutherford), and Dan (Penn Badgley) reveals some painful home truths in a second book. A 30-disc box set comprising all six series is also available.

The Three Stooges

(Cert 12, 88 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99, Comedy/Action) Writer-directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly revive the slapstick and japes which turned vaudeville trio Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine into household names in the 1930s and 1940s. Curly (Will Sasso), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) are abandoned on the steps of the Sisters Of Mercy Orphanage. "Angels from heaven," coos one nun as the three babies stare adoringly at her. "It's the holy trinity," gushes another. Despite the best efforts of Mother Superior (Jane Lynch) and her flock, including Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David) and Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson), to foist the trio on unsuspecting parents, Curly, Larry and Moe are still living at the orphanage 25 years later. Then Monsignor Ratliffe (Brian Doyle-Murray) delivers some shocking news: the orphanage is to be shut down unless the sisters can raise 830,000 dollars in the next 30 days. So Curly, Larry and Moe resolve to fundraise with a vengeance and save the home from the bulldozers. Naturally, they botch each money-making opportunity, including a preposterous interlude with salmon, and then an unexpected brush with reality TV threatens to condemn the orphanage to its fate.

Ginger & Rosa

(Cert 12, 86 mins, Artificial Eye, DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99, Drama/Romance) Ginger (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Rosa (Alice Englert) were born on the same day and in many respects are kindred spirits, enjoying the freedoms of swinging 1962 London. They play truant together and talk excitedly of where their lives might lead - of something bigger than the domestic drudge endured by their mothers. Ginger is incredibly close to her parents, Roland (Alessandro Nivola) and Natalie (Christina Hendricks), but tensions crackle and the girls' friendship feels the strain when Rosa embarks on an extra-marital affair with Roland. As her parents' marriage falls apart, Ginger finds emotional refuge with a charming gay couple (Oliver Platt, Timothy Spall) and their poet friend May Bella (Annette Bening).

Elena

(Cert 12, 104 mins, Drakes Avenue Pictures, DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99, Drama/Romance) Andrei Zvyagintsev, director of The Return, delivers another impressive and moving character study shot on location in Moscow. Feisty grandmother Elena (Nadezhda Markina) lives with her second husband Vladimir (Andrey Smirnov) in a plush apartment block. They sleep in separate rooms and despite Elena's best efforts, Vladimir refuses to show his emotions, which might explain in part why his daughter is a stranger in his life. Elena is closer to her son Sergey (Aleksey Rozin), who is unemployed and is struggling to provide for his wife and two boys, one of whom seems doomed to be drafted to Ossetia unless he can land a college place. Elena is certain that Vladimir can pull strings and save her grandson from that grim future but her husband remains deaf to her heartfelt pleas.

Antiviral

(Cert 15, 103 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD £15.99, Horror/Thriller) Brandon Cronenberg, son of celebrated Canadian film-maker David Cronenberg, makes his directorial debut with a creepy thriller that premiered in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Syd March (Caleb Landry Jones) is an employee at a futuristic clinic which allows fans of major celebrities to share the same viruses and ailments as their idols through a quick injection. It's a lucrative business and Syd decides to make money on the side by smuggling out the clinic's most prized viruses in his bloodstream. This betrayal sends the young man on a downward spiral and as his health deteriorates, so too does his grasp on reality.

Room 237: Being An Inquiry Into The Shining In 9 Parts (Cert 15, 102 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £19.99, Documentary/Horror) At Halloween last year, a sparkling new digital transfer of the extended 144-minute cut of Stanley Kubrick's horror masterpiece The Shining screened across the UK and Ireland for the first time. Rodney Ascher's artfully composed documentary provides a forum for five fans and scholars to expound their theories on the film's continuity errors and subliminal imagery, including one runaway train of thought that posits a connection to the Apollo moon landings. Ascher keeps his contributors off screen and constructs each narrative thread with a mosaic of Kubrick's work spliced with other films, illustrations and digital trickery. The director's method is the perfect accompaniment to their madness.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians - Season Six (Cert 15, 401 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, DVD £12.99, Special Interest) Kim Kardashian's new boyfriend Kris Humphries fails to curry favour with Khloe, while Kourtney contemplates having another child in the latest instalments of the soapy reality TV series, which is broadcast on channel E! Unperturbed by what anyone else thinks, Kim excitedly plans her marriage to Kris and the big day is captured in a one-hour special. Bruce is alarmed to discover that Kendall is taking birth-control pills and Scott becomes Kylie's manager. The four-disc set includes all 16 episodes.

Angel & Tony (Cert 15, 79 mins, Peccadillo Pictures, DVD £15.99, Drama/Romance) Alix Delaporte's tender romance unfolds in a Normandy seaside community, where complete opposites discover an emotional bond that can withstand the stormiest coastal weather. Emotionally volatile ex-con Angele (Clotilde Hesme) is on conditional parole and she seeks refuge from her past by the sea, where she meets shy fisherman Tony (Gregory Gadebois), who shares a house with his disapproving mother, Miriam (Evelyne Didi). At first, Tony resists Angele because he can't fathom what a beautiful and vivacious woman would see in him. The relationship develops and he secures her work and even moves Angele into the house, causing ructions with his mother. Tony's younger brother, Ryan (Jerome Huguet), is fascinated by this new living arrangement and he watches with interest as Tony is inextricably drawn into Angele's hard-fought custody battle for her son Yohan (Antoine Couleau).

Ocean Heaven (Cert 15, 96 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £15.99, Drama) Jet Li plays a father who must teach his autistic son to survive in Xiao Lu Xue's moving drama. Wang Xingchang (Li) learns that he is terminally ill and his remaining time is short. The news is a devastating blow because Wang cares for his son, Da Fu (Zhang Wen), and without that constant attention, Wang is convinced that his child doesn't stand a chance in a world where only the fittest survive. So the distraught father heads out to sea with his boy, intent on drowning them both. However, Da saves his old man from a watery grave by calling upon the swimming skills he has learnt while working at the local aquarium. Back on dry land, Wang realises that he has underestimated Da. So with his final weeks, the doting father spends every waking minute teaching Da how to cook, clean and navigate the public transport system.

Midnight Son (Cert 18, 88 mins, Bounty Films, DVD £12.99, Horror/Thriller) Writer-director Scott Leberecht plays with the conventions of vampire horror in this low-budget drama, which was shot in less than four weeks. Jacob (Zak Kilberg) is a night security guard with a rare skin condition that prevents him from being exposed to the white hot glare of sunlight. He lives in relative isolation until he falls for spunky bartender Mary (Maya Parish). The fledgling romance coincides with a worsening of Jacob's condition - he begins to hunger for blood - and as the young man seeks answers in classic stories of bloodsuckers, Jacob becomes the prime suspect in a series of grisly murders.

The House I Live In (Cert E, 117 mins, Dogwoof Digital, DVD £14.99, Documentary) Documentary film-maker Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight, Freakonomics) explores America's war on drugs through the eyes of people on both sides of the law. For more than 40 years, the US has been struggling to control the flow of narcotics through its borders and on to the streets, resulting in more than 45 million arrests and a swollen jail population. For all of those tough measures, drugs are cheaper and more readily available today than ever before. Jarecki visits various states to chronicle heartbreaking stories of loss and sacrifice from people caught up in this invisible war, including drug enforcement officers, politicians, federal judges, dealers, prison inmates and grieving relatives. Through these moving testimonies, this award-winning feature exposes shortcomings in America's approach to drugs, which has destroyed families and impacted negatively on the prospects of future generations.

30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Cert 15, 76 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, DVD £19.99, Comedy) Craig Moss writes and directs this spoof of recent horror films, which purports to be "based on true events which might not have happened". Dana Galen (Kathryn Fiore) is haunted by the heinous actions of her father, who killed the cast of Oscar-winning silent film The Artist while undergoing an exorcism. In order to lay the ghosts of the past to rest, Dana returns to her childhood home with her family, where she confronts the resident motley crew of spectres and spooks, including renowned vampire hunter Abraham Lincoln.

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