Threshold (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
(Joey Millin, Madison West, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2020) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)
Overview: When a phone call from out of the blue brings Leo (Joey Millin) back into contact with his sister, Virginia (Madison West), long estranged from her family due to years of drug abuse, he arrives to find her alone in a bare apartment in the midst of an apparent overdose.
After the convulsions and nausea subside, Virginia insists to Leo that she has been clean for 8 months due to the help of a mysterious group.
She confides to her cynical brother that her edginess and paranoia actually stem from a sinister ritual conducted by the group that took her in at her lowest and eventually revealed themselves to be a cult.
This curse bound her emotions and physical sensations to a man she has never met before.
With his marriage on the rocks Leo has his own demons to face. That said he is reluctantly persuaded by Virginia to embark on a cross country road trip to track down this shadowy stranger under the guise that if he has nowhere to be found and it
With his marriage on the rocks, Leo has his own demons to face. Nonetheless, he is reluctantly persuaded by Virginia to embark on a cross country road trip to track down this shadowy stranger under the caveat that if he has nowhere to be found and its all in her head, she will go to rehab.
However, as their date with destiny draws nearer, Leo begins to suspect his sisters tall tale might have some substance.
Blu-ray Verdict: Revealed in an interview I had previously read by the film makers that the title was only made with a brief outline of the plot, and no scripted third act, but an extensive workshop session with the cast leading to detailed biographies which the cast regularly refereed to during filming, Threshold finally arrived here on Blu-ray for review.
The method that writer/co-director (with Powell Robinson) Patrick Robert Young decided to sketch out the relationship between brother Leo and sister Virginia with works rather brilliantly here in creating a spur of the moment openness in the largely improvised dialogue.
Keeping the spiky surreal Horror and Sci-Fi elements on the edges until they crash into Leo and Virginia in the starkly creepy final twist, Young sends the duo on a Mumblecore Road Movie of self-discovery, where their laid bare discussions on family trauma and harrowing memories are dipped in the threat of a supernatural cult lingering at the side of the road.
The interview also detailed that the entire film was shot with just two iPhones over 12 days and a crew of just three people, it makes what we are viewing all the more impressive.
Powell Robinson, Patrick R. Young and producer Lauren Bates give Leo and Virginia (played with a excellent, vulnerable rawness by Joey Millin and Madison West) adventures on the road an impressive shine, with the size of the cameras allowing for fluid close-ups inside the car.
Filmed in real locations on the growing trust between the duo, as they get out of the car, and under a reflecting sun, reach their threshold, sure, ok, it is not a traditional horror film, but builds to a pretty thrilling dense, dark and chilling ending regardless. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R. Young, producer Lauren Bates and lead actors Joey Millin and Madison West
Brand new audio commentary with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R Young, and editor William Ford-Conway
Crossing the Threshold - a feature-length documentary on the making of Threshold
Elevating iPhone Footage - Color Correction Breakdown
Something from Nothing - Indie Genre Director Roundtable moderated by Scott Weinberg with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R Young (Threshold), Brandon Espy (We Follow You), James Byrkit (Coherence), Zach Donohue (The Den), and Elle Callahan (Witch Hunt)
The Power of Indie Horror - Acting for Unconventional Film roundtable discussion moderated by Zena Dixon with the actors Madison West and Joey Millin (Threshold), Kelsey Griswold (Followed), Gabrielle Walsh (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and Ryan Shoos (The Gallows)
The Sounds of Threshold - original soundtrack
Threshold - original outline script
Trailer and original teaser
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Coffee and Cigarettes
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated Collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel