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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Steven R. Monroe
Cast:
Cerina Vincent, Dominic Zamprogna, Greg Kean, Eric Schweig, Samaya Jardey, Miranda Frigon, Tinsel Korey, Fred Henderson
Writing Credits:
Richard Christian Matheson, Thomas E. Szollosi, Stephen J. Cannell (teleplay)

Tagline:
It lurks ... It prowls ...

Synopsis:
Emerging from the mind of writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell, It Waits stars Cerina Vincent as a young woman plagued by guilt over the death of her friend. Trying to escape these thoughts, Danielle seeks solace at a home in the wilderness. But peace is not what she finds when an ancient spirit starts to torment her in an attempt to drive her out of the woods it has haunted for years.

Box Office:
Budget
$1.2 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.77:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
None
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 5/23/2006

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Steven R. Monroe and Actor Cerina Vincent
• ďBlood on the PinesĒ Featurette
• Trailers


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EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


It Waits (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 27, 2006)

When 2005ís It Waits showed up on my door, only one thing about it appealed to me: the presence of actor Cerina Vincent. Her constantly nude appearance in 2001ís Not Another Teen Movie was the only thing that made the movie watchable. Would she brighten It Waits with various forms of undress as well? With a running time of less than 90 minutes, I figured Iíd give it a try.

Waits begins with a quick sequence in which some archaeologists unearth ancient cave paintings. This event doesnít end pleasantly, though, as some big beastie emerges from the shadows to attack them.

From there we leap ahead two months and meet troubled young forest ranger Danielle St. Clair (Vincent). She boozes up a storm to get over her guilt following the drunken car wreck that killed her best pal Julie (Miranda Frigon). Dannyís boyfriend Justin (Dominic Zamprogna) attempts to help her work through her pain, but his dime-store psychoanalysis canít quite bring Danny out of her funk.

Something else intervenes, however, when they discover a creature in their midst. This critter taunts and haunts them as it pulls of a killing spree. The movie follows their attempts to stop the beast and stay alive.

Hereís what you donít do: cast Cerina Vincent in a movie and keep her fully clothed. Whatís the point? As an actress, Vincent possesses only two good qualities, and they reside midway between her chin and her navel. Perhaps Vincent has come down with Shannon Elizabeth Syndrome, an affliction that causes hot babes to denounce their nudie actress roots and only take completely dressed parts.

If thatís the case, I canít imagine Vincentís career will go any better than Elizabethís since she sure canít act. This leads me to another Hereís What You Donít Do Moment. Donít watch dreck like Waits right after you view a well-made flick. I made the mistake of screening this stinker right after I finished with The New World. While I wasnít dazzled by the latter, it certainly offered a radically superior experience when compared to Waits. It offers nicely understated performances, whereas the acting in Waits ranges from awkward to stilted to amateurish. The movieís parrot is the most convincing actor; at least he has an excuse for his stiff line readings.

Vincent clearly lacks the chops to play anything other than Naked Hottie #1, and Iím not even sure sheís up to that challenge any longer. Though she played in the cult hit Cabin Fever and a few box office non-entities, Iíd not seen her since that impressive (visual) turn in Not Another Teen Movie. My Lord Ė she looks like sheís aged 15 years over the last five! Honestly, I didnít even recognize her, as the fresh-faced beauty of Teen was nowhere to be found.

Without her stunning good looks to carry the film, this meant she had to rely on her non-existent acting skills. Waits made this even more of a challenge since it attempted psychological depth in her character. Sadly, Vincent just looked irritated throughout the film. Rather than display pain or conflict, she simply came across as a Spoiled Trophy Wife whose sports car got scratched by the valet.

Actually, Iím not even sure why Waits included the elements related to Dannyís painful past. These donít matter in the least, and they just weigh down the filmís first act. With this sort of movie, we just want to see the monster claw, snarl and chewy-chomp. Who gives a ratís ass about some dopey drunk chick whoís all mopey about the death of another dopey drunk chick?

I sure donít Ė at least not from a monster movie like Waits. Dannyís guilt plays no role whatsoever in the main plot. It never connects to the rest of the story, so I have no clue why those elements appear here. Maybe the filmmakers just needed something to fill time.

If the horror side of things worked better, I might not mind. As it stands, the movie boasts many unintentionally funny moments and no scary ones. Boy, does this sucker come with laughs! The monster itself looks like a goofy variant of the Alien, and almost everything else about the flick screams for the viewer to mock it.

This is truly incompetent filmmaking. In addition to the terrible acting, we find many laughable lines, ridiculously erratic pacing and tone, cheesy music, and some of the most awkward editing Iíve seen. Oh, and donít forget all the continuity mistakes. I rarely pick up on these, but I saw a bunch in this mess of a movie. It becomes tough to separate these from poor storytelling, though; the flick constantly throws out concepts that it soon discards or forgets. Thereís no flow or logic to this disaster.

Frankly, I could rant all night about the problems found in It Waits. I have better things to do with my time, however, such asÖ well, anything would be better than thinking about this movie any longer. An absurdly amateurish and idiotic horror flick, It Waits just stinks.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C-/ Bonus B-

It Waits appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.77:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though not without some problems, the movie usually looked pretty good.

Only a few issues affected sharpness. Occasional shots came across as a little soft and ill-defined. However, most of the flick appeared crisp and concise. I saw no jagged edges or shimmering, and only a little edge enhancement could be observed. As for source concerns, the movie was a bit grainy at times, and I noticed a couple of specks. Neither created real problems.

The palette of Waits went for the gloomy side of natural. Green dominated the outdoors landscape. While the colors werenít really vivacious, they seemed fine given the setting and the movieís tone. Blacks were adequately dark and deep, and most low-light shots offered decent delineation. Although a few appeared a little dense, those were the exceptions to the rule. Overall, this was a more than acceptable transfer.

Unfortunately, I found less to like about the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of It Waits. Audio quality was a definite concern. Speech varied from reasonably natural to muddy and dense. The movie split between lines recorded on the set and a few looped pieces. Neither of those elements managed to sound consistent. The dubbed bits were obviously done in the studio, and the ďliveĒ material tended to be flat.

The same issue affected effects. These lacked much vivacity, and that meant even dynamic bits like explosions failed to possess any heft. For these parts, low-end was lacking. On the other hand, the music suffered from too much bass. The score and songs appeared thick and sludgy, and they didnít display good brightness. Sound quality wasnít atrocious, but it was erratic and rarely better than lackluster.

Additional concerns greeted the soundfield. Music offered the most consistent use of the various speakers. The score and songs showed pretty decent stereo imaging and also spread mildly to the surrounds. Effects did little outside of the center channel, however. Occasional elements popped up from the sides, but I was hard-pressed to find many examples of these.

It seemed even more difficult to locate material from the surrounds, as I canít recall any prominent instances of effects from the rear channels. This mix preferred to promote that material only in the center, and that meant it didnít offer much breadth. This was a dull mix that barely mustered a ďC-ď.

Despite the filmís obscurity, it packs a few extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Steven R. Monroe and actor Cerina Vincent. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat, though Vincent departs before too long; she needs to head to an audition and splits at the 30-minute, 55-second mark.

Not that her absence creates real problems in this consistently lackluster commentary. It goes over typical topics such as locations and sets, performances and story, score and music, camerawork, effects and various challenges. We hear a lot about the cold, rainy weather on location and get a sense of a few problems related to the filmís low budget. Occasionally we find decent insights, and I like the parts about the concerns related to working with a parrot.

However, the track sputters more often than Iíd like, and Monroe sometimes repeats himself in an attempt to fill time. For instance, he often reminds us that a nudist resort resided just off camera. Along with the usual batch of praise, the director tends to simply narrate the movie at times and doesnít make this a terribly useful piece. It provides a rudimentary take on the film and nothing more than that.

Next we get a documentary called Blood on the Pines. This 20-minute and 57-second program provides the usual mix of movie clips, production elements, and interviews. We hear from Monroe, Vincent, producer Stephen J. Cannell, and creature performer Matt Jordan. We learn about the projectís script and development, casting and performances, the parrot, design and creation of the creature, shooting in Vancouver and the locationís impact on the story, camerawork and the directorís work, makeup and effects, and filming a few specific scenes.

ďPinesĒ provides a rudimentary but reasonably informative program. It never quite digs into the material with great depth, and it definitely throws out too much praise for this dreadful film. Nonetheless, it covers the basics with acceptable efficiency and gives us a passable overview of the production.

The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for Room 6, All Soulís Day Ė Dia De Los Muertos, and Demon Hunter. In addition, the disc presents these in the Also On DVD area, and we find the trailer for It Waits.

I watched It Waits with a simple expectation: naked shots of a hot woman. Not only did the movie avoid such bare pleasures, but also it presented one of the cheesiest films Iíve watched in quite some time. Incompetent in virtually every possible way, it provides unintentional laughs and nothing more. The DVD offers good picture with problematic sound and a couple of decent extras. I can find no reason to recommend this utterly atrocious movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 12
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main