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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

'Junction' DVD: Home-Grown Terror

This review of the uber-intense 2012 thriller "Junction," which terrific indie film distributor  Grand Entertainment Group is releasing on DVD on April 22, 2014, resumes the relationship between Grand and Unreal TV following a rave review for the hilarious horror comedy "Chastity Bites" a few months ago.

Reviews of other titles will follow in the next few weeks, and an exciting possibility exists regarding Grand releasing S9 of the exceptional Syfy series "Ghost Hunters" in June 2014. Suffice it to say that your (sometimes) humble reviewer may need to download the specter detector app, which owes its name to the uber-awesome '70s cartoon "Goober and the Ghostchasers."

In the case of "Junction," the primary beings are both malevolent and fully flesh-and-blood. Further, they are much more frightening than a dot of light floating down a hallway.

"Junction" writer/director Tony Glazer directly takes a page from the Hitchcock playbook in setting the terror in an upscale residential neighborhood. The well-proven theory is that something is much scarier if you can realistically imagine the same thing happening to you.

The seemingly simple premise of "Junction" is that a quartet of exceptionally well-cast meth-heads quasi-randomly select a house in their quest to fulfill a mission to steal a television. Of course, the movie would have been far shorter and much less interesting if they had just grabbed the set and driven off without incident.

Initial leader David, played by dreamy soap actor Tom Pelphrey, instigates the mayhem by inadvertently discovering rock-solid proof of an ongoing series of creepy crimes by the homeowner. The nature of the offense triggers a strong reaction by fellow addict David, who ultimately holds the nuclear family hostage and brutally tortures the father in front of his wife and daughter.

David taking things to the next level additionally causes dissension among his own group.

The fact that the local police are recovering from a scandal associated with mishandling a prior hostage situation further complicates the already intense situation in the house. This law-enforcement group wanting to avoid more negative scrutiny results in treating David like the time bomb that he is despite this approach enhancing the level of peril in the residence.

The fact that "Junction" throws the dark themes discussed above into the mix sets it well above the average home invasion gone terribly awry flick. David has a truly noble mission; his history and (most likely) related meth addiction simply cause him to pursue it though less-than-ideal means.

Additionally, each actor plays his or her part very well. These thespians avoiding the unduly deadpan style of many modern actors without going all Brando is refreshing. You truly feel that you are watching the characters, rather than the real-life people who portray them.

It further is nice to see a film rely more on dialog than action. There is plenty of chaos to satisfy the bloodlust of any teen-boy gamer, but there is nary a semi-automatic or grenade launcher in site. Additionally, no sequence goes on unduly long or produces disproportionate injury.

The DVD bonus is a "making of " featurette that is most likely as interesting as the subject on which it is based.

The final word regarding all this is that "Junction" succeeds where so many others have failed. Merely mixing desperate dirt bags and a seemingly typical modern American family does not make for a great film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Junction" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.