Bane DVD Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
DVD released by Safecracker Pictures
Written and Directed by James Eaves
2009, Region 2 (PAL), 108 minutes, Rated 18(UK)
DVD released on 18th July 2011
Sophia Dawnay as Katherine
Lisa Devlin as Jane
Tina Barnes as Natasha
Sylvia Robson as Elaine
Daniel Jordan as Dr Murdoch
Jonathan Sidgwick as Jack
Four women find themselves the subjects of horrific experiments at the hands of crazed scientist Dr Murdoch (Daniel Jordan). They wake up in a mysterious lab and have no recollection of who they are or why they are there. As the experiments begin, each woman tries to come to terms with their surroundings, but what their future holds is nothing they could ever had imagined.
Bane is written, produced and directed by James Eaves, and it is clear that he has a lot of exciting ideas he wants to incorporate in this film. There are strong horror elements as the women are held captive and tortured and there is a lot of gore, but as the story progresses it develops into science fiction and an apocalyptic world is revealed. A lot of the things that happen to the women are not completely explained and some of the twists that happen along the way are intriguing, but also confusing. When things take a science fiction turn it seems to be an excuse to do really crazy things and not give an explanation for them. That’s all well and good, I like twists as much as anyone, but the rate in which they happen, and the very small explanations we get, make it a frustrating watch. That being said, I did really enjoy where this story went it’s just a bit of a mission to stick with it to get there.
The four women in the film have a lot of screen time in just one environment so their performances are magnified in this situation. Katherine is the strong lead character that we know is going to be the one to kick some balls from the start of the film. The female characters do suffer from clichéd predictability, one is too eager to please, one is too much of a wimp and one is too hard nuts for her own good, so in a way it is clear to see where each one is headed. Katherine has a good balance of fear, sympathy and defiance that fits the form of a good horror heroine. She reminded me of Sarah from The Descent, and as the film gets going (or in Bane’s case, it is more when it FINALLY gets going) we see her character develop and go from strength to strength. I did enjoy the acting, all the female characters give strong performances, the only place I felt it was a bit too much was with Dr Murdoch who, at times, slightly hammed it up a bit.
It’s an interesting set, and considering they had what director James Eaves considers a “micro-budget”, I do like what they’ve achieved with it in terms of style. It is reminiscent of that scene in Cloverfield where people are being dragged off to the sides to be quarantined, and all you can see are their silhouettes behind curtains. With a bigger budget they could have created quite the mad science lab I could see they really wanted to here.
Ultimately this is actually a good concept, I can see it being done on a huge budget, Hollywood style but there would have to be some major changes. The biggest would have to be the length of the film. You can easily cut about 30 minutes out of it, there are far too many elongated reaction shots or things that simply did not need to be shown. It’s that fine line between creating tension and just milking it. The opening sequence of the women entering the lab for example, is very long and unnecessary and could have been summed up in a 15 second shot. It would also need to cut out a lot of the pure craziness that does not add up, I like where the story went but these unrelated storylines held it back.
It’s definitely a film that I can look back on and think, I know what they were trying to do and with a better budget maybe it could have ironed out a few of its kinks, but as it stands it’s not something I can really recommend just yet. It’s definitely promising though and I hope to see more Science Fiction / Horror hybrids from James Eaves in the future.
Video and Audio:
For a low budget film the video and audio are pretty good, I had a few slight adjustments to make with the sound though, a lot of the torture scenes seemed to get far too loud when sometimes the dialogue was harder to make out. The disc is shown in 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
There is a wealth of extras for this DVD should you want them. There is a cast and crew commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes and an interview with the composer Ronnie Doyle. But the best thing on here is the hour long making-of featurette with the cast and crew which is really good to see on here, I like to go back and see what the director has to say about the film and see how it was all pieced together. The film also has the option to start with an introduction by James Eaves which is a nice extra.