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Attic Expeditions, The

Review by: 
Billion$Baby
Release Date: 
2001
Studio: 
Artisan
Genre: 
Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.33:1
Directed by: 
Jeremy Kasten
Cast: 
Seth Green
Jeffrey Combs
Andras Jones
Ted Raimi
Movie: 
5
Extras: 
2
Bottom Line: 
4

You know, sometimes I wonder how folks can blatantly lie about certain films that they didn't enjoy. It's more difficult to explain WHY you don't like a film rather than merely whether or not you did like it but I can't take criticisms seriously unless they make some actual sense.

I was curious to read comments at imdb.com on this independant horror movie. Quite how some people could have even thought of describing a film such as this as "predictable" (WTF?!) or "boring" is fully beyond me. It makes me wonder which film they were actually watching or when they escaped from the mental ward. If anyone out there could really predict what was to occur in this horror film then they can probably also draw a completely perfect large circle in free hand pencil and tell us when and how the world is gonna end. "Predictable"? Jesus! I don't really understand the "boring" criticism either, I suspect that the film's only crime was forcing the viewer to think rather than to merely observe.

Any horror film co-starring Jeffrey Combs and Ted Raimi and also featuring an enjoyable cameo from Alice Cooper screams out "watch me!" I think so anyway. The film stars Andras Jones turning in an impressive performance as Trevor Blackburn, a disorientated mental patient suffering from amnesia who was committed to a sanitarium after the murder of his partner. It also co-stars Seth Green. I'm not much of a Seth Green movie fan but he's excellent here and a perfect choice of casting for his character. It's rather unfair that this dvd's sleeve cover carries just the Seth Green and Jeffrey Combs names instead of the actual lead Andras Jones but both those names are recognisable so it's understandable.

The film is packed full of exciting camera techniques and editing and so many fresh ideas that I can honestly state that I've never seen a horror film quite like it before. I suppose that it might be described as almost Lynch-ian or Donnie Darko-like to try to explain just how off-beat it really is. Jeremy Kasten's unusual feature manages to disorientate the viewer as much as possible but never in a frustrating manner. The patient Trevor Blackburn's complete confusion is also matched by those who watch and try to understand the feature. The film also has a very healthy sense of humour and a very effective score which is always appreciated by me.

Jeffrey Combs plays Dr Ek, a drug using and sinister character trying to discover just what Blackburn really knows or remembers about his strange past by any means necessary. I've got to be honest here, I've watched the film twice and I still don't understand it or the finale! I'm not even sure if we're supposed to either. Of course that doesn't stop the film from being highly enjoyable as no doubt David Lynch fans or to a much lessor extent, fans of Cronenberg's Videodrome would appreciate. The film was released as "The Attic Expeditions" and then renamed "Horror In The Attic" which is rather unfortunate since The Attic Expeditions was a much classier title for a much classier breed of modern horror/fantasy.

The film was shot in a full-screen ratio so don't let that fact put you off from acquiring the film when you see that information on the packaging. This film has rather annoyingly taken a very long time to reach the UK. In fact, I've had to buy a rental copy off my local Blockbusters store. At the time of writing this review, that was the only way to obtain a region 2 copy of this remarkable feature. Being a rental disc, there's a rather expected bugger all in the way of extras (bar 10 minutes of trailers for other features) but it has been mentioned on this site's forum that the region 1 retail disc also didn't contain any extras [ed note; That's my goof. I mistakenly stated that The Attic Expeditions DVD from Artisan contained no extras, when in fact it has a behind the scenes featurette, as well as full frame and widescreen presentation! Sorry!!--Head Cheeze] And the sound is only 2.0 but please don't let that put you off from buying or renting out one of the most original and risk-taking horrors than I've seen in a very long time.

This is probably the best film that I've watched since I checked Donnie Darko out and equally likely to create debate on what really happened. Oh, and it's great to FINALLY see Alice Cooper turn in a cameo in an excellent horror movie!

4
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