Storm DVD Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by TLA Releasing
We're the only ones left. – Lova
Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein
Written by Måns Mårlind
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 83 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on May 27nd, 2008
Eric Ericson as Donny
Eva Röse as Lova
Jonas Karlsson as The Guardian
There's nothing more frustrating than a movie that is entertaining all the way through, only to be hurt by a lackluster ending. Kind of like Storm.
Donny, our hero (a strong performance by Eric Ericson), is a cynical bastard, who is just going through life's motions. He wakes up, he goes to work, he has some drinks, some smoke and goes to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat and ignore — or piss on — your fellow man. Danny is clueless to the bigger picture of life.
His life changes dramatically one night when a mysterious redhead hands him a mysterious box and implores him to keep it safe. This begins the unraveling of Donny's haunted past and the secrets of what, exactly, that little silver box holds.
On the whole, Storm is quite enjoyable. It borrows the theme of movies such as The Matrix (man sleepwalking through life is given the option to have his eyes opened) with dashes of The Fifth Element and comic book flair (and I swear I saw an Entrapment nod), all the while maintaining originality.
It's well directed, too. Through the power of the box, and the "help" of the redhead, Lova (deliciously played by Eva Röse), Donny enters the world of his past and is forced to witness his most awful moments as a youth. Some of these scenes are almost unbearable to watch, as directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein skillfully make you as uncomfortable as Donny is reliving the tragedies he inflicted on those he claimed he loved. While Storm may not fall under the horror umbrella entirely, these scenes are so dark that it will at least get a leg under there.
Every movie needs an antagonist, and while Storm's could arguably be Donny, it also has The Guardian (Jonas Karlsson), Lova's antithesis and someone who really wants that damn box to remain closed. Karlsson's rapid fire delivery on why Donny should discard Lova's nonsense and hand off the box to him is a blast to watch. You end up somewhat rooting for The Guardian because he is not only more likeable than Donny, but he also puts up a pretty good case. While the scene is obviously set up as exposition, it tells you everything except what you really need to know. Like who The Guardian and Lova really are, and why we should give a damn why Donny should, or shouldn't, open that pesty box.
At the end, Donny of course opens the box, the contents are revealed and a piece of the puzzle is filled in. Unfortunately, that piece just completes the border, as you are left missing the big picture. Why Donny? What was so important about him that he deserved so much attention? He doesn't save the world. He isn't elevated to a higher state of consciousness. He just opens the box, sees what's inside and remembers something he buried in his memory long ago. Afterward, the movie all but ends.
I suppose if you delved into it, some deeper meaning could be found. I'm also quite sure some elitist film snob would be eager to tell you that you just didn't get it. Oh, but I do. Someone didn't know how to end an otherwise fun movie, so they let it just flicker out. There's not much to get.
The pisser is, I don't know exactly what to grade this. The fact that the ending is less than satisfactory shouldn't crush the hour and 45 minutes that preceded it. I'm going with three out of five stars, but this easily could have been a four star movie, and well worth a rental either way.
Video and Audio:
Where it misses out on features, TLA delivers a kick ass presentation of Storm in both audio and video. The 16x9 2:35:1 picture is gorgeous. Skin tones are natural, blacks are pitch dark and the image itself is sharp and clean. When I see a picture like this on a smaller studio release, I am both pleased and irritated because I wonder why can't bigger studios deliver something a good as this.
The Swedish 5.1 soundtrack is fantastic, as well. Excellent use of the rears had me turning my head more than once, trying to figure out what that noise behind me was. That does not happen as often as I'd like. Voices were clear and crisp, never being overridden by either the score or the sound effects.
Swedish 2.0, English (dubbed) 2.0 and English subtitles are available.
- Original Trailer
- Stills Gallery
There is really no need to delve into what the still gallery entails, but I will fill this space wishing there was a commentary on this disc to maybe fill in some of the gaps in the story.
There are trailers for Storm, Pistoleros, Living and the Dead and Next Door (which looks interesting).