Static DVD Review
Directed by Todd Levine
Written by Gabriel Cowan
2012, Region 2 (PAL), 83 minutes, Rated 15(UK)
DVD released on 15th July 2013
Milo Ventimiglia as Jonathan Dade
Sarah Shahi as Addie Dade
Sara Paxton as Rachel
William Mapother as Greg Wagner
Dominic Bogart as Head Intruder
Oz Kalvan as Thomas Dade
A young couple suffering marital strife take off to the woods in an attempt to sort out their problems. Angry sex ensues, just as it did in Antichrist. Careful now – we saw how well that worked out for Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Might want to hide the scissors. The danger here, however, comes from outside rather than within. When a terrified woman arrives at the house, warning of sinister men in gas masks skulking about in the woods, events take a turn for the worse.
I would have been concerned by the presence of Heroes pretty boy Milo Ventimiglia, had he not proven his worth last year with the traumatic apocalypse horror The Divide. His role here is more by-the-numbers than it was in that film, but he sells it well enough. He also wears a beard, which is more acting than he ever did in Heroes. With its image of a gas mask wearing killer on the DVD menu (one of my favourite kinds of horror movie killers, in-between clowns and people who wear pig heads on their, uh, heads) I was cautiously optimistic.
The story is something of a slow-burner at first, but is dark and atmospheric enough that it's not exactly a tedious wait before scary and horrible things start happening. Resembling The Strangers in its “why are they doing this to us?” approach to villainy, the film's antagonists make for suitably chilling bad guys. Unfortunately, however, once they turn up, the lights go off, and it's almost impossible to make out a thing that's happening. With almost the entirety of the film taking place in a series of pitch black rooms, its unwillingness to let the viewer see what's going on is incredibly frustrating.
As someone who likes being able to actually see what is going on in the movies I watch, I did not appreciate this approach. A bigger television set in a darker room may work for you, but I found the constant darkness to be intolerable. Sadly, once the villains appear, watching the film becomes a case of listening to the characters run from one room to the other, occasionally screaming and firing guns as they go. And it was all going so well, too.
Beyond its considerable visual problems, Static is also hampered by a daft twist and a story that stumbles into mundanity the longer it goes on. There's a cameo from an ex-LOST star towards the end, but the film is otherwise unremarkable and frequently dull. Ventimiglia and co-star Sarah Shahi do well enough with the material they've been dealt, but it's not enough. Maybe if Sara Paxton was able to convey a little more terror in his role, or if the aggressors were a little more aggressive, the film would hit harder.
As it is, Static is only marginally more compelling than watching the real thing. You can probably see more, too, watching static television.
Video and Audio:
As I may have, ahem, hinted at in this review, it's far too dark and far too quiet.
There are no special features on this disc.