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DEADLY REVISIONS (2013)
Published by David Carter on 2016/1/24 (507 reads)
Directed by Gregory Blair
Review by David Carter
Released by MVD Visual/SGL Entertainment
Running Time: 94 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Stereo English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Blooper reel, trailers
Trailer Online: Yes
One of the most prevalent schools of thought on writing is that it should be very hard, if not torturous. Suffering for one’s art is still held in high regard and there is often a direct correlation between critical acclaim and how miserable the artist is. This has always seemed bizarre to me – writing movie reviews is something I actually enjoy – but the idea is so pervasive that the tortured artist has become something of a cliché in film; one where the audience knows exactly where the story is going if one is introduced. Gregory Blair’s new film DEADLY REVISION takes the tortured artist concept in a new direction, however. The new release from SGL Entertainment stars Bill Oberst, Jr. as a horror screenwriter embarking on his most terrifying project yet: himself.
Screenwriter Grafton Torn has carved out a legacy as one of horror’s most prolific and frightening scribes. In a scene straight out of one of his films, he awakes from a coma to find himself in the hospital in full traction and with a case of amnesia regarding how it happened. The accident is almost too much for Grafton to take coming so soon on the heels of a messy divorce from his wife, Kat. Luckily his friend Deter stays by his side throughout the ordeal and, once released from the hospital, Deter lets Grafton stay in his family’s remote cabin in order to write and get his life back together.
Grafton finds the solitude comforting, but he is still only able to remember his accident in bits and pieces. Hypnotherapist Ally Morris begins working with him and the things she uncovers are disturbing to them both. Grafton’s recollections are bizarre mash-ups of his horror films featuring a fatal fight with his ex. These nightmares bleed into his waking life, and he’s unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality anymore. Grafton ultimately learns that uncovering his memories may be more terrifying than living with a blank space in his past.
DEADLY REVISION’s finale sees a well-executed plot twist (or two) that most viewers won’t see coming. The film accomplishes this by keeping the pace moving along nicely, continually introducing new elements to muddy the waters, resulting in the viewer being as disoriented as Grafton. This is primarily a psychological horror film with occasional visceral elements when Grafton’s horror films come to life in his nightmares. These scenes are well-done, but pale in comparison to the more subtle terror of living with amnesia and potentially horrifying secret. Acting-wise, it is mostly a one-man show starting Oberst, who does a solid enough job to ably keep the film afloat by himself, as he is alone for most of the film.
SGL Entertainment’s DVD of DEADLY REVISIONS is well made and comes with a blooper reel as a bonus feature. There are instances of the print being overly dark; mostly likely a function of the film’s smaller budget than a flaw of the disc. This is only a minor distraction and the ambiguity actually benefits some scenes. DEADLY REVISIONS is very well-crafted thriller that ranks as one of the better “tortured writer” horror films in recent years.
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