Director Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing is one of his less known works and is given a UK Blu ray release by Arrow Video.
Jim is a former member of the Hittite community a very strict religious group, similar to the Amish, who shun all modern technology in favour of working the land by old-fashioned means. Jim lives with Martha on a farmhouse just outside the Hittite community and he no longer has communication with his father who is the leader of the group. When Jim is killed in mysterious circumstances, the grief-stricken Martha is joined by her two friends from the city who comfort her after her loss. But strange and bizarre things start to happen putting the women and others in grave danger, is it the work of the Hittite community or some outside supernatural force?
The film does have a lot of tension built up slowly by director Craven, the acting is a bit suspect in parts, over the top performances by a few distract from an overall interesting story. Sharon Stone making one of her first film appearances looks a bit lost in places, looking beautiful of course as she always seems to be wearing slinky underwear and little else. Ernest Borgnine is perfect for the part of Isaiah, Jim’s father, giving a lot of menace to the role of someone who wants nothing to do with outsiders and “the Incubus”.
While not very frightening the film does have some very good set pieces, the most famous involving Sharon Stone and a big spider! The excellent music score by James Horner definitely lifts the film helping to build the atmosphere greatly. The “shock” ending does seem to have been an afterthought and looks like it was tacked on at the last minute.
The Blu ray released by Arrow is an ok 1080p transfer, a bit soft in places and detail is lost in some parts, but overall its a decent enough transfer. Audio is English LPCM 2.0 and is clear and precise, nothing spectacular but the music score does benefit a lot from this release.
Arrow again provide some good extra’s to compliment the film.
- Introduction – a short introduction to Deadly Blessing by actor Michael Berryman.
- Trailer – original trailer for Deadly Blessing. ( 1080p).
- Deadly Desires – in this interview, co-writer and associate producer Glenn M. Benest tells how Deadly Blessing was made, his views on actress Sharon Stone, and how the film was received upon release ( 1080p).
- Michael Berryman – actor Michael Berryman talks about his career and recalls his work on Deadly Blessing. ( 1080p).
- Wes Craven – director Wes Craven explains how Deadly Blessing was funded, what were some of the compromises that had to be made (the producers insisted that all of the girls wear some lingerie!), and how the final scenes were thought up. (1080p).
- Audio Commentary – this is a very interesting audio commentary by Wes Craven, he discusses what he thinks is good and bad about Deadly Blessing, the film’s production history, his first impression of Sharon Stone and a lot more. Well worth taking the time out to listen to.
Finally, the disc comes with a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin as well as an informative Collector’s Booklet featuring writing on the film by author and film critic Kim Newman.
FILM: 5.5 OUT OF 10
VIDEO: 5.5 OUT OF 10
AUDIO: 7 OUT OF 10
EXTRAS: 8 OUT OF 10