2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chiller
Very nice item. Would recommend this to others. Pleased and can not wait to start watching it and sharing it with others.
Published 9 months ago by Tab
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relatively Average Scares But Not Much 'Chill' In CHILLER
Anthology series can always be a mixed bag when it comes to delivering true entertainment value, and that's mostly due to the fact that there's very little thread to connect one story to another; as such, there's usually some noticeable differences in quality storytelling and performances and direction from each hour (or half-hour) to the next. CHILLER: THE COMPLETE...
Published 9 months ago by Edward Lee
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relatively Average Scares But Not Much 'Chill' In CHILLER,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)Anthology series can always be a mixed bag when it comes to delivering true entertainment value, and that's mostly due to the fact that there's very little thread to connect one story to another; as such, there's usually some noticeable differences in quality storytelling and performances and direction from each hour (or half-hour) to the next. CHILLER: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES is a far cry from the glory days of the anthology format (THE TWILIGHT ZONE), and, at best, it serves up five respectable stories - mostly family-friendly, though there are a few splashes of blood here and there - that have been done before. Still, it's a pretty benign way to kill roughly 265 minutes if you're interested.
(NOTE: The following review may contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of characters and plot. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)
The following is a summation of each story, along with some modest assessment, that appeared as part of CHILLER's single season of existence on television:
PROPHECY tells the story of a group of friends who conduct a séance in the basement of a London café and what happens to them throughout the upcoming years. One by one, they're being `eliminated,' leading Francesca Monsanto (played by the lovely Sophie Ward) to believe they somehow allowed a malevolent spirit to cross into their world from the other side. Through a strange twist of fate, Francesca has the most personal connection to these occurrences, and, in the end, she races against time with a neighborhood priest to undo the damage. In short, PROPHECY is a good idea that gets marred by the fact that there's no clear progression of time; two people see one another, then - in one scene later - there's clearly been a significant passage of time, but there's no mention by the characters or the script, leaving this viewer more than a bit confused. Still, the story had a good idea, though heavily flawed in execution. (Rating: two out of five stars)
TOBY - arguably the strongest tale in this whole season - tells the story of Louise Knight (Serena Gordon), a woman who loses her unborn son (she had planned to name Toby) in an automobile mishap. She and her husband, Ray (Martin Clunes), opt for a new home in their attempt to start over. It doesn't take long before Louise receives the news that she's pregnant again, but is she really? It's a wicked, emotional, and psychological ride - penned by Glenn Chandler and directed by Bob Mahoney - and managed to create some solid dramatic tension between the characters. Also, there's some smart camera work done - with nominal effects work - as Louise goes about caring for her `ghost' child. It gets a bit listless when trying to build some tension between our leads and her cat-lady neighbor; most of that could've ended up on the cutting room floor, so far as this reviewer is concerned. As is the case with most stories of this ilk, don't look for it to wrap up nicely in a bow. (Rating: four out of five stars)
HERE COMES THE MIRROR MAN has the singular distinction of having a young John Simm (from the stellar BBC production of LIFE ON MARS) in a lead role. Gary (Simm) is a troubled young man who draws the unwanted attention of his social worker. See, Gary doesn't live inside his head by himself. He has a partner - Michael (Paul Reynolds) - a bully who makes Gary's life a living Hell. However, Anna (the social worker as played by Phyllis Logan) might secretly be as screwed up as Gary is. If she isn't careful, Mike might just have to pay her a visit ... the hard way! At best, it's a clever script, though there are a handful of secondary characters - love interests, other workers in the welfare office, etc. - who inevitably serve to slow down the main plot any time they're on screen. What could've been something special instead ends up being largely ordinary. (Rating: three out of five stars)
THE MAN WHO DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS sees paranormal debunking special Richard Cramer (Peter Egan) suffering a stroke that forces him into a career change. Taking up a new country residence with his wife (the lovely Mel Martin) and son (Tobias Saunders), Richard soon learns even more unfortunate news: his house - Windwhistle Hall - is haunted! Or is it? The chief problem with THE MAN is that the script tries too hard to establish some bona fide relationships of the principle players when, in reality, it should've spent more time engaging Mr. Cramer and his efforts to understand precisely what is afoot in his new residence. There's a proper little coda that clarifies the true nature of Windwhistle, so make certain you watch until the very last frame, or you'll miss it. (Rating: two out of five stars)
NUMBER SIX sacrifices a terrific premise for some relationship gobblety-gook that could've been spared audiences. Police inspector Jack Taylor (the reliable Kevin McNally) is hell bent to uncover just who is abducting and murdering innocent children under the light of a full moon. There have been five victims in the past two years, but does Taylor have what it takes to keep fate from seizing number six? It ends up dishing out more of a twist ending than, perhaps, the other tales involved in the single season, but so much of it gets mired down in scenes involving Taylor and his newest girlfriend when the real story should've stayed focused as much as possible on the ever creepier school children. (Rating: two out of five stars)
CHILLER: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES is produced by Yorkshire Television (YTV). DVD distribution (stateside) is being handled through Synapse Films. As for the technical specifications, there's not a lot to get excited about here as most of these episodes have a modest hazy/grainy quality to them (though not awful, just not crisp in the slightest); most of the audio tracking is acceptable, at best, though there was an occasional dip when scenes were shot outdoors. Sadly - as can happen with some of these older series getting current release (the show originally aired in 1995) - there are no special features.
RECOMMENDED only if you're a diehard fan of anthology shows because that's really the only distinction CHILLER brings to the table. It isn't an awful experience; there just wasn't nearly as much `chill' as I would've wanted.
In the interest of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Synapse Films provided me with a DVD screener copy of CHILLER: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chiller,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)Very nice item. Would recommend this to others. Pleased and can not wait to start watching it and sharing it with others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly Predictable,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)There was an older show from the BBC with a fine collection of ghost stories called "Shades of Darkness". It consisted of six short films of ghost stories based on the `masters`, i.e., Edith Wharton and May Sinclair. The films were truly creepy, well-filmed productions that I have watched probably 15 times over (on VHS). Therefore, when I saw this "Chiller" collection available, I was assuming it would be of the same high quality and creepiness of "Shades of Darkness". Not quite. I have to say some of the stories were unique, but the scares were somewhat lacking. Moreover, in each story, some part of the storyline seemed to be either missing or edited out purposely, rendering each individual episode confusing and incomplete.
PROPHECY: (And I am quoting these summaries from the DVD cover itself) "When a group of friends hold a séance in the basement of a London café, they each receive a prophecy. Five years later, the frightening prophecies begin to come true." And this is exactly what happened. However, the transition from their 'college' years to their 'adult' years virtually did not exist, so as they began dying off, it took me about 3 deaths to realize they were all older now and not the drunken hippies they were in the beginning, mainly because they all looked the same as they did before. The ending's 'whodunit' was also confusing. I'll say no more on that.
TOBY: "Ray and Louise Knight tragically lose Toby, their unborn baby, in a car accident. Louise soon discovers she's pregnant again, but a routine scan reveals she is not...even though her body feels like she is!" Talk about a production company supplying their own spoilers right on the DVD cover. No explanation is given for the `surprise' ending, even though we know what it is already, nor why that surprise turns out to be evil. Is the house cursed? Was there something wrong with the family that lived there before? Did the crazy old couple next store and their cats have anything to do with it? Just why are the crazy old couple and their cats in this story? They seem to be ominous yet nothing ever comes of it. No explanation is given, sorry. It was fun to see Martin Clunes playing the disbelieving husband though. I'll give it that.
HERE COMES THE MIRROR MAN: "After finding out about her predecessor's mysterious murder, Anne, a young (not) social worker, reaches out to help a young homeless man only to realize she has put herself in danger." That's an understatement. I have never wanted to see a social worker kick the bucket more in a movie as I did this one. She was by far nuttier than the homeless man was. Predictable story and stupid storyline. It makes you want to yell at the TV: "Stop obliviously going to see this homeless schizophrenic nut at his creepy dilapidated cemetery abode all by yourself with no one around for miles so if you scream for help, no one will ever hear you!" Social workers! Sheese. (Just kidding - no offense.) Did I say the ending was predictable? Yeah. It was.
THE MAN WHO DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS: "Richard Cramer, a professional de-bunker of the paranormal, moves into Windwhistle Hall with his family, only to find themselves involved in a series of unexplained events and accidents." Emphasis on the word `unexplained'. What a mess. Explain this to me producers - and this isn't even a spoiler because it really had nothing to do with the story: what really happened in the bedroom with the guy who used to own the house and the wife of the guy who bought the house from him? Talk about weird editing. One second he's saving her, and then feeling her up on the bed where she is half-dead and obviously distressed, and the next thing we see is her standing in the hallway talking to her husband about garden plants or something like nothing had happened. Wha? It's as if they edited the sexy part out but then decided to put it back in without considering how to properly edit the scenes together. You hear nothing of this incident after it happened, no reason for it being there at all except perhaps to show a man molesting a half dead and distressed woman on her bed for thrills. Whatever. Richard Eagan as the husband is a total d*ck, you care less about what happens to him at the end. And as for the ending, a real letdown. And did I mention that it was predictable?
NUMBER SIX: "In Helsby, a small Yorkshire town, police search desperately for a child killer. Tied somehow to an ancient Druidic site, this killer may strike again at the next full moon." Number one, no, the drawings did not look like lollipops. The clueless man they had trying to decipher the children's drawings was laughable. It's rocks, it's candy, it's seeds, it's leaves, it's a horse's arse. Really? Did this guy have a degree in anything? Other than a Ph.D. in Annoying and Bad Acting? The ending - again - no explanation as to why the culprit was doing what they were doing. Even their spouse was confused as to why the sudden change. At least we weren't the only ones wondering about it. Too bad the director didn't do more wondering himself. And the actual last scene? Well, it goes around and around in circles just like we are, wondering what the last half hour or so of our television viewing life was all about.
So there you have it. The creepiest thing about this DVD was the intro to each episode. Now that was creepy. Obviously, it wasn't done by any of the directors on this DVD compilation. But it was creepy.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very chilling,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)The DVDs were well done, but the shows themselves, were not very exciting. If you want the good guys to win, these shows won't make you happy. Some scenes are not appropriate for anyone and these shows are not real family fare. The acting was very good considering that the scripts were not. Skip these and stick with the early American T.V. horror shows and thrillers. You see these once and then try to forget that you even saw them. A waste of money and time. +JMJ+
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as chilling as you may think....,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)this britsh seires,has some good and bad..stories...i can see why it only lasted for one season..still in order to enjoy different..foods you have to taste it first..so that's how it is with this dvd..it may be ok for me..but you may really enjoy it...maybe rent before you buy...tell me what you think...may the "b's" be with you...
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "hate" is a little too strong,
This review is from: Chiller - The Complete Television Series (DVD)the best thing about this set is the cover picture. i found the stories dated and with little or no scare.
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Chiller - The Complete Television Series by Rob Walker (DVD - 2012)