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DVD Four Stars
I enjoyed WAZ, or W Delta Z, or however you want to call the dark thriller with shades of horror. The film carries a strong cast with the superb Stellan Skarsgard, the woefully underused Melissa George, and other names such as Selma Blair, Paul Kaye and Ashley Walters.

It's an interesting film that adds more depth and intelligence to the ideas brought through in other films such as Saw, and it does it in a noir style thriller with plenty more class and much less gore.

Plot.pngWAZ.jpgMelissa George plays a female detective who is assigned to a precinct and a new partner, a hardened cop played by Stellan Skarsgård, used to the streets and dealing with the criminals that live in them. The night she arrives a body is found with some bizarre injuries and a message carved in the flesh. Before long another corpse is found with similar injuries and more of the strange message carved out. As the two detectives investigate it seems that those at the precinct seem to know more about the murders than they are letting on, and the murders are pointing to a serial killer who has a point to make.

TheFilm.pngI've already reviewed the film itself, which you can read here on Filmstalker. I enjoyed it, although it had some faults, the film was a great answer to those shouting how horror had lost its way and become simply gore and violence for the sake of it.

WAZ delivers a film that is much more a dark thriller for the most part, delivering moments of horror nearer the end of the film when you have become much more involved with the characters than you would have in a film such as Saw.

The DVD offering is what this review is concerned with though, and it's a good offering indeed.

The picture looks really good on the small screen. Before I watched it and I thought back to the cinema screening and remembered how dark the film looked, something which I thought would hurt it on an LCD television. However I was wrong, it looks great on the small screen and the dark levels are enough to keep the same atmosphere and doesn't lose any of the detail in the scenes. The camera work is strong and even with hand held the framing is strong.

There's a great DTS track here which doesn't overpower the film which, for the most part, is quiet, close and very much focused on the individual characters, something which stands the film in great stead. However there's not a great deal to make use of all the speakers, with some atmospheric sounds moving around, the concentration is to the front.

Extras.pngAudio Commentary with director and critic, Deleted Scenes with/without audio commentary, Crew Interviews – Director, Producer, Writer, Making of Featurette, Online Trailer \ The Escapist
Audio Commentary
The audio commentary leads with the director of the film, Tom Shankland, being led by Alan Jones, a journalist and film critic, and provides for a strong commentary. The commentary really gets into the production, the stars, the work behind the scenes, and so on, overall it's a very detailed and insightful discussion of the process from script to screen and everything in between.

In places the commentary pushes on from the production to a few deeper and more philosophical topics such as the use of the term “Torture Porn" - something I dislike thoroughly.

Deleted Scenes with/without audio commentary
Deleted scenes on a DVD are often what seems an afterthought, short scenes and clips of scenes thrown in with little explanation that sometimes provide some interesting viewing and more often not. With the scenes here we are offered some complete sequences that were removed from the film, as well as the usual cuts sections of scenes.

These complete sequences, and the cut scenes, are pretty interesting, but the additional commentary is what really makes them. The director discusses the scenes, what they are all about, what more they offer, and why they were removed from the film.

Crew Interviews – Director, Producer, Writer
Interviews, again another extra on a DVD that you expect will be pretty poor, but not so here. The crew interviews are really interesting and provide some insightful views on the film and the production. There's also a healthy mix of other content including behind the scenes footage which add an extra depth to the discussion of the script, the actors, and how they perform in the film.

Making of Featurette
The making of feature provides some more behind the scenes moments, and there's plenty from the producer, director and other cast and crew talking about the film and their part in it. Here too there's a something different offered with a more timelined approach taken to the production. However it's a shame that it only goes on for around twenty minutes and the idea of a timelined approach to the making of doesn't hold out for the entire length.

Online Trailer \ The Escapist
Well, it's a couple of trailers, what do you want me to say?!

Overall.pngThe film does have its flaws, of that there's no question, and I covered them well in the review of the film. However the DVD is a strong transfer and is filled with some great additional offerings, it really does provide a lot more for the film fan, and pushes the quality of deleted scenes, making of featurettes and of the audio commentary, if only all extras were like this I think I'd be buying a lot more DVD's. Well worth a look, and the film improves with a second viewing. Fans of the process of film-making will be keen to see these extras.

Buy or rent from LOVEFiLM
Buy from Play.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Filmstalker stores
Filmstalker reviews the film WAZ
UK IMDB Film Details
Official film site



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