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Hangman (Blu-ray Review)

HangmanIn this chilling found footage style horror film, a masked man breaks into a family’s home and unknowingly takes refuge in their attic. Unaware of the intruders’ presence the sadistic stranger slowly begins to terrorize the suburban family, watching their every move before eventually killing them off with no clear motive, or end, to his madness. 

Hangman

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Hangman is based on “true events” and is the story of your typical American family being stalked by some freakshow. It is a “found footage” of sorts, because we’re the proverbial fly on the wall. The creepy stalker with no name has spotted Aaron (Jeremy Sisto) and his family at the airport and decided that they will be his new target. The stalker keeps tabs on them and while they are out breaks into their house and installs hidden cameras all over the home and hides in the attic where he proceeds to install a “command center” of sorts.

Aaron and company are completely unaware that they are now sharing their home with an intruder. Hangman has a unique storyline that should have been more about motive than just being a random occurrence. We do get to explore the family’s mundane life but we know nothing about Mr. Freakshow except that he has previously videotaped himself killing someone. Okay, I get that, but being a creeper in this instance goes so far. I need more than that. What does enhance things is the intruder begins to actively get involved into their lives (yes, even more) by manipulating scenarios. He’ll plant Aaron’s shirt with lipstick and Aaron’s wife will think that he is cheating on her or the intruder will creep about at night bothering the kids as they sleep by thumping up against their walls, etc. Not only is this guy a killer but he’s also a pest.

As far as production values go – the film looks great in terms of the family home and how the rooms are framed, etc. I didn’t quite buy the intruder hanging out for days at a time in the attic, because does no one check an attic to either store or clean up on a regular basis anymore? It didn’t seem like it was sealed off or not accessible, so that was a bit of a head scratcher.

In essence – Hangman is a more than competent thriller. Production values are basic but above average and the actors are all good in their roles. Their typical and mundane lives are what drag the film down in addition to the lack of motivation from our stalker. Why does he do what he does? Who knows. I know in a film like this we should not ask those questions but a bit of a bone would have been nice. In any event – I will give Hangman a mild recommendation, because it’s a technically cool looking film.

 

Hangman

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Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Contrast and sharpness levels were nice and consistent – it’s an above average transfer.

Depth: Since the cameras were relatively stationary for most of the film – the image seemed a bit flat on more than one occasion.

Black Levels: Black levels crushed a bit – it wasn’t a big deal, though.

Color Reproduction: The colors are bold during exterior shots and they cool way down during interior shots.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones looked natural and I had no complaints on that end.

Noise/Artifacts: Only a few scenes had noise and artifacts – I get that that was artistic intent.

 Hangman

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Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The lossless TrueHD soundtrack sounds great. It is a bit on the aggressive side but considering the subject matter – is A-Okay.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE is largely absent through most of the film until some bass heavy music is introduced in a couple of scenes. That’s where it begins to bump.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround channels were crystal clear and full of depth. Depending on where a character was standing or situated you could discretely tell of they were on the “left-rear” channel or the “right-rear” channel.

Dialogue Reproduction: This is a dialogue driven film for the most part and there were no instances of clipping or distortion that I could pick up on.

 

Hangman

Extras  

N/A

Hangman

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Hangman was not as atrocious as I was expecting it to be. It is one of the better “found footage” films out there but it is still somewhat of a frustrating film. The video and audio quality impress but the lack of special features of any kind do not. For genre fans only.

 

Hangman is available on Blu-ray & DVD!

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Hangman

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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