'The Black String'
(Frankie Muniz, Blake Webb, Chelsea Edmundson, et al / DVD / R / (2018) 2019 / LGF)
Overview: Jonathan is a lonely twenty-something, stuck in his home town working night shifts at the local convenience store. When an unexpected encounter with a mysterious woman turns his life upside down, Jonathan is stricken by illness and nightmarish visions.
Paranoid and desperate, he launches on a quest across the suburbs to find the seductress who started it all. Friends and family believe he's losing his mind, but Jonathan is convinced he's the target of something far more sinister.
DVD Verdict: Simply put, 'The Black String' is a massive paranoia-fueled journey into the hell of darkness and all that she spits back!
Starring Frankie Muniz (who still looks as young as he did when on Malcolm in the Middle), the story unfolds from the perspective of a man trapped in a dead end job, his life going nowhere, and about to explode if his best friend tells him once more that he needs to get laid!
One late night / early morning whilst watching infomercials on TV, a sexy phone chat line comes up, backed by a seductive lady urging our main character (and only him, so he must think) to call her and to change his sitting-at-home-all-alone status ASAP!
Without giving too much of this plot away, he (obviously) calls the number and soon enough there is the very same beautiful lady (high heels, black stockings, you get the picture) getting picked up by our intrepid lead.
So, the plot line logic here is that it first seduces you, then it infects you (which after just 12 hours is some going, trust me), and then, well, it consumes you!
That's when the real chaos comes a'calling as those nasty lil' damn forces of evil start to appear, festering in his walls, his friends, and even his body.
Breaking down his mental state bit by bit, Jonathan is now not sure what is real and what is not. And if it's not, what the hell is going on?
As we progress into the final third of this highly engrossing film, soon things massively spiral out of control for him - and, to be quite honest, the viewer too; for what you think you know, what you think you can guess to be happening is, and trust me on this, far from the eventual truth!
Directed by Richard Handley and Brian Hanson, negating the fact that they obviously didn't have an Avengers-sized budget to work with here, 'The Black String' shows a dedicated love for the project by not only those two, but all the cast and crew too.
In closing, 'The Black String' is a very nicely constructed psycho-thriller, with lots of well-conceived gore moments, whilst also being that rarest of things that can actually still make you jump out of your skin! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.10:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and comes with the Special Features of:
• Audio Commentary with Director-Cowriter Brian Hanson and Producer Charles Bunce
• “String Theory: The Making of The Black String” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes and Alternate Takes
'The Black String' DVD arrives September 24th, 2019 via Lionsgate Films.
Official 'The Black String' Trailer