Dawn DVD Review
Written by Neon Maniac
DVD released by Tempe Video
Written and directed by Jay Reel
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 99 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on August 16th, 2006
Dawn is a unique little girl. Her Dad is a human, her Mother was a vampire. Was, because she died giving birth to the first half human/half vampire the world has ever known. Dawn and her Dad travel the country in an old sedan, never staying in one place long enough for anyone to notice Dawn's peculiar diet of human blood.
Little do they know, a vampire hunter with a score to settle has been on their trail since Dawn was born. And little does the vampire killer know that the vampire he's chasing is just a little girl. Everything comes to a head when Dawn and her father return to the town where she was born and her mother dies.
Will the vampire hunter kill Dawn, or will he see her sweet human side? A more important question is, by the time you reach that point in the movie, will you really care?
Dawn is the type of movie that looks good on paper, but comes out poorly in execution. The ideas presented in the film are good, but are never fully explored, or even worse, forgotten about entirely. Writer/Director/Producer Jay Reel has fallen into the trap that a lot of other amateur filmmakers do: trying to make a movie that is bigger than its budget. And make no mistake, this is amateur horror, not indie horror. The difference being that Reel doesn't know how to make a movie, and has put out a very amateurish production. It's okay to have a low budget, but please don't make a film starring your friends and family and expect the public to buy it. I don't know if this was the case with Dawn, but it does seem that way after watching it.
The acting is flat, although Kacie Young who plays Dawn does a fairly decent job for being an untrained child actor. The editing is sad, every line has an extra beat or two after it, as does every scene; which means it comes off as people standing their staring at each other blankly every time they say a line.
There is not much good that I can say about Dawn, other than, "I've seen worse," which is why I give this movie 2/5 instead of 1/5. This does not mean that you should watch it, by any stretch of the imagination. It's not worth the time or money. If you feel the need for a vampire flick, stay away from this one entirely. Better to watch a rerun of "Dark Shadows" than to find yourself slipping this into the player.
You have been warned.
Video and Audio:
Dawn is black and white with a full screen presentation. Really, I should say it's gray and white, as there blacks aren't all that black, and the conversion to DVD has left some parts of the picture with swirl patterns and moiré. Not unwatchable, though.
It's a mono track. Nothing exciting here, but it is clear and mostly intelligible. There are a few annoying parts when the voice track wasn't laid down right and it's out of sync, but those are few and far between.
Dawn comes with a cast and crew commentary, a 17 minute gag reel that isn't funny to anyone who was not part of the cast and crew, and trailers for more Tempe Video DVDs. It's better than nothing, but not all that interesting, either. They made an effort, but they didn't really have anything to add. It would have been fine to leave this a bare bones disc, chances are after watching the film you won't want more of it.
(Neon's Movie Lounge contains a Zenith 42" Plasma EDTV, Oppo DV971H DVD player using a DVI connection, Pioneer 815 7.1 receiver and JBL Northridge E Series speakers.)
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