'Damned by Dawn' [Blu-ray]
(Renee Willner, Bridget Neval, Dawn Klingberg, Taryn Eva, Danny Alder, et al / Blu ray / R / (2009) 2010 / IMAGE Ent.)
Overview: After receiving a mysterious gift from her dying grandmother, Claire (Renee Willner), takes her new boyfriend home to meet her family who live on an isolated property in the country. The family reunion begins well enough, but Claire becomes increasingly uneasy with her grandmother's medicated mumblings about the banshee coming for her during the night.
Blu ray Verdict: From the off, not only did I know it was a low budget film, but I could see with with my own two eyes! That quickly aside, I settled in - and have to say the cast made the film what it wasn't!
It also looked like the filmmaker was trying to experiment with certain things throughout, which means, thankfully, 'Damned by Dawn' has its heart in the right place. It has quite an interesting set-up, again, those actors are very good, and it builds nicely to its finale.
The story has a PYT named Claire (Renee Wilner) taking her boyfriend Paul (Danny Alder) back to see her folks. At the same time that her elderly Irish grandma is passing away, but not before she imparts stories of a Banshee that carries away the souls of the dead! And how it must not be interfered with when the time comes!
So, we all know what happens soon ... yup, people start to stop her, as best they can, of course! Wilner is a suitably harried in her role, scared but a determined heroine. Alder is solid and sympathetic as Paul, Tarny Eva pleasant as her attractive younger sister and Mark Alan Taylor and Peter Stratford hitting the right notes of ordinary people thrust into terror and doing their resourceful darndest to keep afloat whilst bad things go down!
And as for the Banshee herself, well, she/he is a fine creation: bloodshot eyes, wreathed in spectral aura with a classy piercing shriek, as ring leader of the things unleashed on the cast she does great. But the ghouls awakened are mostly represented by CGI and are generally insipid. CGI is rarely the least bit frightening and only has good effect when either rendered by expensive talent or used for truly bizarre creations, neither of which are present here. Regardless, 'Damned By Dawn' is well worth the price of a rental, you have my word. [BTD] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
Behind The Scenes