Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 15th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2007
Directors: Norbert Caoili, Rob Portmann
Writers: Kurt Svennungsen, Norbert Caoili, Rob Portmann, Dana Svennungsen, Dino Moore
Cast: Tony Doupe, Aaron Blakely, Alena Dashiell, Tasha Smith-Floe, Don Brady, Kellee Bradley, Rachel Pate, Tim Evans, Colin Byrne, Nick Wambach, Dino Moore, Quinlan Corbett, Jin Luceno Caoili, Jimmy Castle, Justin Dadural, Kathy Hsieh, Jeanette Maus, Adam Twersky
DVD released: August 25th, 2009
Approximate running time: 111 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
DVD Release: Lionsgate
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $26.98
Frayed is a tense thriller that doesn’t waste any time as the film opens with its most gruesome and brutal scene in which a young boy bashes his mother’s head in with a bat, while everything is being videotaped on a camera she was holding that dropped on the floor. This opening montage is the center piece for the story which follows. It introduces us many of the key characters who inhabit this story. Without giving too much away, since the film’s main twist is what the bulk of the film hinges on. Kurt the young boy who murdered his mother is now thirteen years older and after a recent visit from his father, he escapes from the asylum where he had been staying at since that tragic day many years before. After Kurt’s escape from the asylum the bodies start to pile up as the police look for him. Has Kurt rekindled his homicidal urges or does the town have another killer on the loose?
The story moves along quick enough and the characters are given just the right amount of time to establish their identities. Visually Frayed features several standout set pieces like a scene where the killer is stalking Kurt’s sister and her friend as they have trouble getting their truck to start and a scene where Kurt’s sister, her step mother and her friend realize that the killer is the house with them. The films visual style perfectly complements the story at hand as it never draws attention to itself. The film also features a solid score that is reminiscent of the style employed in countless horror films from the 1980’s.
Frayed proves without a shadow of a doubt that it is possible to create a horror film that capitalizes on its limited resources instead of using them as a crutch. Besides a riveting story and stylish direction, the film also excels in the performances from all its actors. It should also be pointed out that this film is even more powerful on repeat viewings as the twist ending puts everything in to perspective and there is also just so much going on throughout the film that many of its subtle nuances might be overlooked on just one viewing. In a flooded market where most horror films are just retreads or remakes, Frayed standouts as one of the best horror film’s to emerge from the genre in a very long time, highly recommended.
Lionsgate Presents Frayed in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. This is a solid looking transfer that has nicely saturated colors, natural looking flesh tones and details look razor sharp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. Dialog is always clear, music and effects are fully exploited in this mix and everything sounds balanced. Also included with this release are English and Spanish subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for Frayed (1 minute 14 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), three behind the scenes segments “Pushing the Edge: The Making of Frayed” (13 minute 31 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), “a View to a Kill: Making the Head Bash for Frayed” (5 minute 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and “Inside Quantum: The Post Production of Frayed” (4 minute 56 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), The three making of segments give a well rounded overview of this film’s production with the first segment “Pushing the Edge: The Making of Frayed” focusing more on cast & crew’s recollections, while the other two segments are more technical related. The main extra include with this release is an audio commentary with screenwriter Kurt Svennungsen and directors Rob Portmann and Norbert Caoili. All three participants have plenty to say about the production, the cast and the inspirations behind various things in the film. Rounding out the extras are trailers for other titles also available on DVD from Lionsgate. Overall this is a first rate DVD release from Lionsgate.