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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: The Entrance



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister

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  • Join Date: Oct 30 2002

Posted June 06 2008 - 05:42 AM

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Studio: Lionsgate
Year: 2007
Film Length: 81 minutes
Rating: R
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Languages: English 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
MSRP: $19.99
Cast: Sarah-Jane Redmond, Michael Eklund, Ron Sauve




The Film

"The Entrance" is, on the surface, an independent filmmaker's attempt at a decent psychological thriller / horror movie. The premise is fairly simple: a fallen angel possesses pre-selected victims in order to make them atone for sins they have perpetrated against their fellow man. It sounds a lot more righteous than it ever is in the film; this is a horror movie after all. On this night, the demon (or fallen angel if you prefer) gathers up five random men and leaves them bound and blindfolded in an underground parking facility where they are forced to play games for their lives. When one loses, a solitary reel-to-reel projector plays their darkest sin on the wall for all the others to see before he is finally "sacrificed".

Ryan (Michael Eklund), one of men randomly selected by the demon, manages to get out of the parking garage with the help of a cryptic janitor named Joe (Ron Sauve). Ryan immediately departs for the police station and begins to tell his story to Detective Porhowski (Sara-Jane Redmond) who is clearly skeptical of the whole thing. She orders that prints be taken from Ryan's cigarette pack and when she comes back, he's vanished only to re-appear again inside her car. He explains that the deal for his release was that he needed to bring her back to the parking garage, so he forces her at gunpoint to drive them both back.

During her on-scene investigation, Porhowski encounters the janitor who she discovers to be far less benevolent than he originally appears. As it turns out, she has a dark secret as well which is revealed toward the end of the film.


Picture Quality

Since "The Entrance" is very much a lower budget film, the picture quality is not what I would consider up to par. The visuals are sharp, but there's the unmistakable aura that the whole movie was shot on digital cameras (which it was). Sadly, the movie doesn't have the feel of film but rather that it seems the director picked up a few top-of-the-line Handycams and started shooting. The vast majority of the movie is shot at night and in poorly lit underground tunnels and rooms, so it can get difficult to pull out details at first glance. I had to track back a few sections just to get a second look at some detail I was supposed to see which was hidden in the darkened set pieces. I double checked this on my computer's monitor and found the same problems, so I'm going to chalk this one up to poor on set lighting.

Audio Quality

Oddly, this is one of the first dvd's I've seen that really had almost nothing going on in the audio department. It's presented in 5.1, but surrounds and sound placement are used very sparingly. There are some good rear effects during the sacrificial scenes when whispers and dissonant screams seem to travel from the rear all the way up to the front and center channels, but other than that there isn't much to report. There is very little LFE work, and it only really comes in during the few demonic attack scenes placed throughout the film.

Special Features

To call the special features on "The Entrance" lacking would be an understatement. All you get is one (that's right, one) making-of featurette that runs about twelve minutes and covers the filmmakers challenges of producing a film on a small budget, and their happiness over being able to secure an expensive camera crane for one shot of the film. It may be that I'm just a cynic, but when I hear the director discussing how proud he was that so many tasks were completed by so few people all I really hear is "We didn't have any money so we had each person doing the work of three." There are also trailers for other Lionsgate films, but they play when you first load the disc in so I'm not sure I would count them as "Special".

Summary

Wow, what a disappointment this film was for me. When I read the description on the case I was very excited to see how a fallen angel story was going to play. I had so many questions, most notable of them being why was he/she/it a fallen angel to begin with? What where its duties before it was cast out? At this point, I think it's very clear that none of my questions were answered. The film doesn't even tackle the origin of the demon/fallen angel or how the possessions travel from one person to the next. The games the men were forced to play were ludicrous at best. If I'm to understand what the movie is saying, a six hundred year old demon doles out justice by forcing human beings to play musical chairs and five card stud? These are the machinations of a supernatural entity? I found myself confused with what the film was trying to accomplish and after almost forty five minutes I still had no clue who the demon/fallen angel was until a cop (who doesn't even have a name or any other role in the film) got a three minute exposition scene about the demon. If you're looking for a good movie about fallen angels, stick with "Fallen". This one is being buried in my "don't watch" pile.
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