Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by Eric Red & Kathryn Bigelow
Produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe
Music by Tangerine Dream
Cast: Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright & Tim Thomerson

1987/94 mins/Color/5.1 DTS
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD

Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) falls head in love with a mysterious beauty named Mae (Jenny Wright). During the course of the evening, Mae bites Jacob and he starts becoming a vampire.

Caleb is soon kidnapped by a gang of vampires lead by Severen (Bill Paxton), Jesse (Lance Henriksen), Diamondback (Jenette Golstein) and a nasty little boy named Homer (Josua Miller). While this is Mae's family, she wants to keep Jacob over the objections of the rest of the vamps. In order for Jacob to stay he must prove himself by killing a human and feeding. Meanwhile, Jacob's father and little sister are desperately looking for him and eventually they do but not in a way they envisioned.

Anchor Bay has given us a 2-disc release of NEAR DARK in the uncut, unrated version. The transfer is very good and the source material is remarkably free from blemishes, dirt, etc. The shadow detail is slightly muddy with a little loss of detail in some scenes but overall it looks good. Audio options include DD 5.1, DD 2.0, and dTs and the entire package is THX certified. There is a 16-page collector booklet that features poster artwork, publicity stills, facts about the film, chapter stops, and an introduction by Michael Felsher who talks about the film's history from theatrical release to disappearance to eventual resurrection on DVD. There is a full-length commentary by Director Kathryn Bigelow which leaves a lot to be desired. No subtitles are here and that's a shame.

Disc Two:

There is a new documentary, LIVING IN DARKNESS which reunites the entire cast and crew and gives a lot of interesting facts and insight about this movie. (47 minutes)

There is one deleted scene which was filmed in B & W that was supposed to have infra-red added later to let us see what it is like to see through a vampire's eyes.

There are 5 sets of storyboards, a poster and still gallery, two theatrical trailers, and an unusually complete cast biographies. The DVD-ROM section has screen savers and the original screenplay.

NEAR DARK is a pretty decent story of modern day vampires and manages to incorporate family values in this type of movie which is a first for me. Paxton and Henriksen are terrific here and without them there would be nothing worth talking about regarding this movie. The bar room scene had a ton of potential to be a classic but Bigelow let a golden opportunity slip by leaving out a hard edge shock value during the killings. I don't mean to sound negative as I like the movie but I feel it could have and should have been more intense and suspensful that it is. Recommended.





This Film Features:

Review by Brad Vautrinot. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©

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