Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 10th, 2014
BluRay released: July 29th, 2014
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround English, DTS HD-MA Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: An eccentric director calls an impromptu audition for six actresses to his isolated home in the country. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when actresses start to turn up dead. Is someone trying to knock off their competition or is there something far more sinister at hand?
It is not surprising that Curtains has not gained the attention that the majority of its contemporaries have, since Curtains was a troubled production that took several years and multiple directors to complete it.
Content wise, this film has all the ingredients one would want from a Horror film like an attractive cast, a tremendous amount of atmosphere and inventive murder set pieces. Surprisingly when it comes to the narrative things are actually cohesive and not as much of a jumbled mess as one would have thought from such a troubled film production. Also pacing is never an issue as the film does a very good balancing character back-story and moments of bloodletting. Besides the aforementioned kill scenes, another area where this film often excels is the way it misdirects and keeps the identity of the killer hidden until the grand finale.
Performance wise the entire cast are great in their respective roles, especially Samantha Eggar (The Collector) in the role of Samantha Sherwood, an actress so dedicated to her profession that she had herself committed at an asylum to prepare for a role in a film. Another performance of note is Lynne Griffin (The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew) in the role of Patti O’Connor, an aspiring actress with a brutal sense of humor. Ultimately short comings aside Curtains is an efficient Horror film that way more positives going for it then negatives.
Curtains comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. Both films are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this brand new 2k transfer Synapse Films have done an exceptional job with the source materials. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look great throughout and details always look sharp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix in English and a DTS HD-MA mono mix in English. The audio like the transfer has had extensive work done to it for this release and the end result is remarkable. The newly created DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix in English offers up the more robust of the two mixes as all the speakers are fully exploited in this mix. Dialog is always crystal clear, everything sounds balanced and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. The film original mono mix also sounds great and it sound clear, clean and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 44 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen), a vintage documentary titled ‘Ciupka – a Filmmaker in Transition’ (15 minutes 9 seconds – 1080 progressive 1.33:1 aspect ratio) and a featurette titled ‘The Ultimate Nightmare: The Making of Curtains’ (35 minutes 51 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen) with comments about the film from director Richard Ciupka, composer Paul Zaza, actresses Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin, editor Michael MacLaverty and special make-up effects creator Greg Cannom.
The vintage documentary serves up best as a good historical reference as there is plenty of onset footage for Curtains. Though there are comments from the director and others, the overall content is your standard behind the scenes promo. Then there is the newly created ‘Making of’ featurette that gives detailed and insightful overview about the ups and downs of this production. Also each person discusses their involvement in the film and their thoughts on the finished product.
Though the audio commentary with Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin is a well-rounded discussion. It should be noted that there are a few topics that are covered discussed in the featurette. The audio interview with Samantha Eggar is more a discussion about various projects that she worked on, then an actual discussion about Curtains. Without a doubt the most interesting extra is with producer Peter R. Simpson who offers up an alternate view about Curtains, then what everyone else who participated in this releases extras. Overall Curtains gets a definitive release from Synapse Films, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Synapse Films on DVD.