Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 3rd, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2013
Director: Doug Mallette
Cast: John Ferguson, Shane O’Brien, Jes Mercer
DVD released: August 12th, 2014
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: In the near future everyone has lost the ability to dream and a company creates a product called Fantasites, a parasite that is taken by letting it crawl into your ear. Unfortunately like all good things they have to eventually come to end and when it is discovered that the product has dangerous side effects the government then bans it.
Though this film bases the events which unfold in the near future, the only thing remotely Sci-Fi is its interesting premise of creating dreams via a product for those who cannot dream anymore. The film is filled with humor and a lot of subtext, most notably the ‘Fantasites’ product which can be seen as a metaphor for drug addiction. This is even more enforced in the film’s final act where the product has now been banned and the desperate lengths the characters are willing to go to get their next fix. With that being said, don’t be fooled by this film lighthearted first half where reconnecting with ones dreams is the focus before things take a very dark turn for the worse in the latter half of the film.
From a production stand point one would be hard pressed to fault any one area as just about every area of this production holds up really well. The film’s visuals are consistently strong throughout, pacing is never an issue and the performances from the entire cast are very good. The film’s most memorable performance comes from Shane O’Brien in the role of Reed a tenant who lives in the same building as this films protagonist. And though this character is never portrayed in a sympathetic light, he is pretty much a jerk from the moment he arrives onscreen. It is his downward spiral in the latter half of the film that makes this performance so compelling to watch. Ultimately Worm is a satisfying mix of comedy and social commentary that lingers in the back of your mind long after its shocking final revelation.
Synapse Films presents Worm in an anamorphic widescreen that retains its intended aspect ratio. Details look crisp, black levels look very good and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include two trailers for the film, eleven minutes of deleted scenes, the original short film Worm (7 minutes 57 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and an audio commentary with director Doug Mallette, producers Jennifer Bonior and Jeremy Pearce and visuals effects Julian Herrera, who provide a lively and at times humorous audio commentary track that s a detailed account about the various areas of the production. Overall Worm gets a first rate release from Synapse Films.