Hangman Blu-ray Review
Written by John Colianni
Blu-ray released by Alchemy
Directed by Adam Mason
Written by Simon Boyes and Adam Mason
2016, 85 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on February 9, 2016
Jeremy Sisto as Aaron
Kate Ashfield as Beth
Ryan Simpkins as Marley
Ty Simpkins as Max
Eric Michael Cole as Hangman
Amy Smart as Melissa
There's something uniquely compelling about found footage horror films. Experiencing the plot unfold from the perspective of those involved adds a level of immersion that, when done properly, leaves a lasting impression long after the credits are finished scrolling. While most of these genre movies are seen through the eyes of the victims (The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield), Adam Mason's Hangman puts you in the hands of the antagonist that will make your skin crawl from start to finish.
Imagine you've decided to leave your car in long-term parking at the airport before you and your family depart for vacation. Is your car and your identity safe while you're gone? What can someone find out about you from what you've left behind? The Miller family finds out the hard way when they return from their trip and some items in their home seem out of place. As time passes and things begin to escalate, the idea that they may not be alone finally dawns on them. Will it be too late for them before they are the latest victims of the Hangman?
Hangman is what I consider to be a slow burn horror film. While there aren't an overabundance of scares throughout the movie, a constant state of discomfort and unease is more than enough to make you eager and tense as each scene passes. Since the plot unfolds through a series of hidden cameras that are placed in various locations inside the Miller home, I was happily spared from a seizure-inducing onslaught of handycam shakiness. Since this isn't a film about the paranormal or supernatural, there aren't any tacky special effects that you may have been unfortunate enough to witness in Paranormal Activity. With ghostly doors and bedsheets out of the equation, the acting by all involved is pretty solid. With such a minimal cast, there is usually someone that either ends up overacting or being as interesting as instant mashed potatoes but neither is the case. Special nods should definitely go to Jeremy Sisto (Aaron Miller) and Kate Ashfield (Beth Miller) for showing us how a real married couple fights. As for the Hangman himself, he's probably the weakest part of the whole project, unfortunately. While his role as a crazy masked home invader works just fine for a one-off film, hopefully Hangman stays just that.
You just moved into a new home. In an unused closet you find a single VHS with no distinct or unique label on it. Maybe it has a date or just a number. Either way, your curiosity gets the best of you and you decide to play it. It's an older recording but you can recognize the location immediately. It's your home from a previous time. A different family moves through the rooms and halls but you notice they aren't the ones recording it. Before you decide to finish the tape, an immense sinking feeling comes over you and your heartbeat quickens. That's because you realize that you never checked the attic before you moved in. If the idea of that makes you painfully uncomfortable, take some time for Hangman. Afterwards, buy a really big dog and gun. Don't worry, I would too.
Video and Audio:
Hangman looks and sounds as great as expected for a Blu-ray. As for the Hangman himself, he sounds pretty good for screaming through what looks to be a pantyhose mask.
There are no special features.