'The Dead Center: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Shane Carruth, Poorna Jagannathan, Jeremy Childs, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: A hospital psychiatrist's own sanity is pushed to the edge when a frightened amnesiac patient insists that he has died and brought something terrible back from the other side.
'The Dead Center' is a smart supernatural thriller that explores the demons that live inside all of us from writer-director Billy Senese, recently hailed as a masterful new voice in terror.
Blu-ray Verdict: Troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth, 'Primer') is drawn to help a mysterious patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward in a catatonic state with no memory of how he reached the hospital.
As if to exorcise his own demons, the doctor feverishly tries to break through to his mysterious patient.
But as a spate of mysterious deaths shake the ward to its core, Forrester comes to suspect that there is more to his new ward than meets the eye.
As he comes to realize what he's unleashed, a desperate race against the forces of evil threatens to swallow him whole.
In truth, and from the very onset, we know that there is something seemingly preternatural going on in 'The Dead Center', the second feature from writer/director Billy Senese ('A Frankenstein Story' aka 'Closer To God').
From the opening bloodied scenes to a now-catatonic state transferee to the hospital’s psych ward, the narrative, like so many of the disturbed, dissociative characters who populate it, becomes split.
On the one hand we have the Medical Examiner, Dr. Edward Graham (Bill Feehely), a man searching for the missing cadaver whilst also investigating the John Doe’s history and final movements.
On the other we have psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth), a man struggling to get to the bottom of who his confused, amnesiac patient might be.
The result is a phenomenal masterclass in building tension as two medical professionals come, slowly and separately, to realize that they are dealing with something beyond the remit of their rational frameworks.
But don't fret all you lil' horror junkies out there, for no matter what you may think you have read, 'The Dead Center' is a horror film, trust me!
With a rising body count, an ancient mythology, and a spiral-like symbiology reminiscent of Akihiro Higuchi’s Uzumaki, Andy Duensing’s sinuous, highly mobile camerawork circles the characters while keeping the most awful spectacle just out of frame - thus craeting an almost unbearable mood of unease around events that we are not even sure are taking place anywhere but in the imagination. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:
High Definition (1080p) Blu-rayTM presentation
5.1 DTS-HD master audio and lossless stereo audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Commentary with writer-director Billy Senese, producer-actor Shane Carruth and co-star Jeremy Childs
Commentary with writer-director Billy Senese, producers Denis Deck and Jonathan Rogers, and cinematographer Andy Duensing
A Walk Through The Dead Center, an in-depth making-of documentary featuring new interviews with writer-director Billy Senese, producer-actor Shane Carruth, cinematographer Andy Duensing, and many others revisiting the locations and discussing the production
Nine deleted scenes, including an alternate ending
On-set interviews with actors Shane Carruth and Poorna Jagannathan
Head-Casting with Jeremy Childs, a brief look at the creation of the make-up effects seen in the climax of the film
Intruder, a short film from 2011 directed by Billy Senese and starring Jeremy ChildsThe Suicide Tapes, the original short film from 2010 directed by Senese and starring Childs that later inspired The Dead Center
Midnight Radio Theater, six chilling radio plays (Insomnia, The Long Weekend, Disposable Life, The Suicide Tapes, The Woman In The Basement, Blood Oath, and Flu) written, produced and directed by Billy Senese
Theatrical trailer and teasers
Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jamie Graham
'The Dead Center' Original Movie Trailer