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HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

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HURT
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Reviewed by: Ryan Doom

Directed by: Barbara Stepansky

Starring:
Melora Walters
Jackson Rathbone
and Sofia Vassilieva

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After her husband dies and she receives no money, a down and out the widow moves onto her brother-in-lawís junkyard ranch with her two kids. Soon though, the widow takes on an orphan who isnít everything she claims to be. Yep, sheís a crazy little thing.
Is it good movie?
Iím growing a little sick of killer kids. Thereís never anything wholly original about them or their tales, and they always seem to follow the same path: quiet, cute kid moves into a new home with a loving, but sometimes anal family. Just as things appear to go swimmingly, things go to hell when their new little nut starts to kill! Yes, thatís the plot for nearly every killer kid movie ever produced, including the latest entry entitled Hurt.

Before I dive into the review, I better click pause and explain that I do realize that all genres can be broken down in such simplistic terms. Itís like if you hate U2. If you donít dig them, all their songs sound the same. Of course it doesnít help when Bono always looks the same. Anyway, I dig killer kids. I love the Omen, the Good Son, Village of the Damned, Children of the Corn, and Chucky (ok, heís a doll). With that said, what all those films have are memorable characters, eerie and tension filled situations and settings, and kids you just wanna punch in his little stomach.

Hurt lacks all those elements. Despite having the setting of a junk yard, director Barbara Stepansky never effectively sets up the ranch. Never creates a layer of utter creepiness. Instead, she assumes the look of the place is enough to instill fear. Itís not. In fact, it could have proved to be a very freaking scary place if she had allotted more time at the beginning of the film, if she had set a proper mood. Instead, Stepansky focuses on the family drama. Yes, drama is a necessary element to every story, but it doesnít have to feel like a Lifetime special. To me, Hurt did. Only gorier. Nothing happens for the first 40 or more minutes of the thing as it deals with how the characters feel and how hard it is living. Yeah, yeah. I get it. Youíre a struggling family with experience in orphan kids. Get on with thing! Likewise, everyone knows this cute kid will start killing them all very soon, but the hints of her psycho side needs to appear much faster. Fans of horror/thriller/suspense want these elements injunction with drama. With good characters. Hurt does have good, quality, believable characters. They have problems that the viewer will sympathize with. But are they memorable? Unfortunately, no.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.

Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Surround.
The Extras
Interviews: Somewhere around 17-minutes worth of interviews with the cast and crew. Iíll tell you one thing, everyone seems to have taken this movie very seriously. Have some fun. It's horror.
Last Call
While Hurt contains a fine story and effective, subtle acting, good direction, and a tight, dark story that weaves deceit, but Iím reviewing the film for a horror website. And for horror fans, I donít think this packs enough punch in order to classify it as Doom recommended. Maybe Doom-drama-lite. Iím going to copyright that.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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