"Dead Souls (2012/Blu-ray/Shout! Factory)" Review

Review: I will say it once and I will say it again that I typically find films in the "haunted house" genre to be boring or just a straight up ripoff with nothing new to bring. In the case of "Dead Souls" I can say that this film does and goes places I have never seen a film in this genre do. Now I can't promise a huge review of this film because I wanna watch what I say about it in order not to give away plot points that would ruin the film. Anyways on with the autopsy!

Dead Souls follows a young man who just turned 18 and inherited a house from people he did not know, quickly he finds out that what happened in the house and in his past make him closer to those he once thought he didn't know. After getting to the house he runs into a girl named Emma who is staying in the house. Johnny asks Emma to stay in the house with him over night and things start to get steadily intense and creepy as the night goes on. Will Johnny be able to unlock his past and help the tormented souls who are trapped or will he become just another victim of his past?

I see the plot as being quite simple and to the point and trust me it is, but the twist that they add in the film as it hits the final act is what makes the plot go in a direction I was not expecting. Now I will not give away the twist but I will say that it is quite unique to myself and I think other viewers will find it unique as well. Along the side of a pretty cool twist and plot the other thing that stood out to me was the cast involved which was small but affective. The leading roles of Johnny and Emma were played by Jesse James and Magda Apanowicz with a supporting cast of Bill Moseley, Geraldine Hughes, Noah Fleiss, and Jaiden Kaine to name just a few. Each played their role with perfection in my opinion. I have to give it up to Jesse James who did a great job of playing a character who is torn by what he discovers, but must do what he can to help those around him. I must say that even thought Bill Moseley only plays a smaller role he seems to steal the scene everytime he appears.

The pacing of the film is actually pretty fast and does not drag along slowly like most films like it do. I actually found it to go by quite quickly and be very much entertaining, also I seriously found myself on the edge of my seat awaiting what next was going to happen. I can honestly say that I didn't expect what would happen next alot of the time and was surprised more than I would of ever expected. Overall this is a damn good film that takes the "haunted house" sub-genre and adds a couple new twists and entertains on so many levels. One last thing I want to mention is that for the most part the special effects are done the practical way which is awesome and rare to see in modern cinema, but I think it is making a comeback.

The blu-ray release of this film looks excellent and pretty much what I was expecting. The colors are bold and the picture very clean. Now keep in mind that with the setting of this film there is not a whole lot of colors outside those of more earth tone colors. The audio is great as well and sounds perfect. The overall presentation of this release is excellent. Now when it comes to special features there isn't alot of them, but what you get is not bad at all. Special features include Audio Commentary, Bloopers, Tour of the Set, and TV Spots.

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Colin Theys
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 2012

Time Length: 92 mins.
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)