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DVD Review

DVD cover

Fading of the Cries


Starring: Brad Dourif, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Mackenzie Rosman
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 30 May 2011

When Sarah finally put on the necklace, which was bequeathed by her uncle, her world alters completely. Where once lay a sleepy little town, now a zombie infested hellhole exists. Narrowly escaping an attack she is rescued by Jacob, who uses his magical katana, to carve a path to safety. Alone and safe for the moment, Jacob tells Sarah of an evil necromancer who is after her necklace...

Fading of the Cries (2011 - 1 hr, 29 min, 25 sec) is an indie, zombie, horror flick written and directed by Brian A. Metcalf, which represents his first full length feature.

It’s a shame that within the tangled mess of the film there is a decent, if generic, movie trying to get out.

The movie opens with a blur of narrative. By five minutes into the film we have been introduced to Michael (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Sarah’s uncle, who buys the obvious spooky house. Although the narration gives the impression that he has bought it to get away from the memory of his wife and child’s death, he obviously didn’t go very far as his sister lives just down the road. Jump cut to the present and Sarah (Hallee Hirsh) is arguing with her mother, just before placing the necklace on for the first time - although she appears to have owned it for at least ten years - then bang... her town is full of zombies.

Jacob (Jordan Matthews) turns up to rescue her and they are being pursued by the evil necromancer (Brad Dourif) and that’s just the first five minutes, I kid you not. Already the film is mired in massive plot holes, complete lack of explanations for some of the most basic objects in the film and has demonstrated some of the worse editing I have seen for some time.

Things don’t really improve much from there as the film jarringly jumps back between the past and the present, even though the two hardly affect each other.

On the other hand the film does have Brad Dourif, obviously living the dream and more importantly paying the mortgage, I really like him as an actor, but this sort of thing he could do in his sleep. The rest of the acting is passable, but even if it were the best the director has spent so little time establishing who they are that, as an audience, it is difficult to care if they live or die. I don’t suppose it helped that I wanted to kill both Sarah and Jacob for their inability to pronounce the word necromancer correctly even once through the whole film.

Given that this is an indie film, some of the special effects are visually quite interesting; the makeup designs of the demons are particularly effective, even the less successful effects never really suck, which is a testament to the special effect crew. The music does not fare so well and in parts it sounds like whoever was responsible for it wasn’t actually looking at the screen to see if the two married up well.

So given that Metcalf was also the Visual Effects Supervisor he may have taken his eye off the ball as far as being the director was concerned as all the strength of the film is in the former and not the latter aspects. Plus he should fire his editor, or send him/her to Specsavers.

The disc comes with a single extra in the form of a Making Of (14 min, 26 sec) with the cast and crew discussing the movie.

I do feel torn about the film. There are individual frames which are romantically magical. At times the lighting is right, but the overall finished product is not great. Given the age of the director and crew, the film certainly shows promise and it is difficult, the awful editing aside, to tell if the shortcomings spring from a lack of finance or experience.


Charles Packer

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