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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Blackout


Starring: Barbara Streifel Sanders, Joseph Dunn and Ian Malcolm
Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 18
Available 30 August 2010

It's Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, and in one particular apartment block some people are about to enjoy a party. There is inevitable conflict, but there is much worse to come. A series of serious Earth tremors and electricity outages results in a city-wide blackout. As if that isn't enough to contend with, fissures have opened up in the Earth and the basement has become a breeding ground for violent and bloodthirsty netherworld creatures...

This is essentially a siege film, and a pretty good one at that. It's an age-old format which often works well if handled correctly. Realising that the vast majority of the inherent introduced characters are going to very soon become 'canon fodder' effectively prevents the viewer warming to or relating to them in any way. It would have been just as conclusive for a smaller central group to come in to contact with other residents, who are then dispatched - as predictable as this might sound. The most interesting role by far was the tech guy with a phobia for practically everything!

Nevertheless, the creatures (a cross between humanoid reptiles and scorpions) are so well-realised that, along with the intelligent lighting, direction and particularly the editing, the tension is cranked-up to eleven from the moment we are confronted with a full-size specimen.

So often in creature features the whole effect of a good concept and script is let down by a ludicrous lumbering rubber suit. I'm glad to report, contrary to that happening here, full view of the creatures and their animalistic mode of attack make for an enjoyable and thrilling ride. I also liked the impact of the ending.

Take your torch and seek this one out.


Ty Power

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