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Review: Two comedies at opposite ends of their runs out this week (Includes first-hand account)

Ghosthouse / Witchery double feature (Blu-ray)


Scream Factory

Ghosthouse: A group of visitors to a seemingly-deserted home find themselves tormented by demonic spirits — including one particularly freaky little girl and her creepy clown companion. Soon, our hapless heroes find themselves powerless to conquer the evil of the Ghosthouse.
Witchery: When a terrible storm leaves a motley assortment of people (including David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair) stranded on an island resort, they soon find they have more to worry about than not packing rain gear. A horrible witch unleashes her wrath on the unwanted visitors — and no one is safe from her unquenchable thirst for death.

The ‘80s was a very popular period for horror movies, which means the rate at which the films were being made sometimes affected the quality in some way. In the first film it’s pretty easy to determine what the original core concept of the story had been, which the writers than expanded to a 90-minute script. Coming out /after Poltergeist, it capitalizes on the creepiness of large clown dolls and little girls with eerie smiles. The end result includes some gory deaths and a Supernatural-esque conclusion that are completely acceptable as long as you can ignore the minor plot holes. Even though the second film features more prominent actors, it has a much less capable script. Therefore, most of the movie is spent puzzling over the strange occurrences and how they relate to each other. Though it tries to tie it all together at the end, it just doesn’t seem worth it by then. Nonetheless, watching them back-to-back reveals a small but fun similarity between the films (hint: look for the grey corvette).

Special features include: theatrical trailers. (Scream Factory)

Survivor’s Remorse: The Complete First Season (DVD)


Anchor Bay Entertainment

Cam Calloway (Jessie Usher) is a basketball phenom in his early 20’s suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta. Cam, along with his cousin and confidant Reggie Vaughn (RonReaco Lee), move to Georgia to start Cam’s journey to success. The two confront the challenges of carrying opportunistic family members and their strong ties to the impoverished community they came from.

A lot of kids depend on sports scholarships to get them a higher education, but only a select few of those can rely on their talents for a professional career. Cam was one of the lucky ones and even though his generosity means he tries to leave no one behind, that doesn’t stop people from coming to him with their hats in hand. The fact the requesters are often his family members already promised positions in his burgeoning empire is a source of awkward humour, especially in the first few episodes. The series is a strange mix of comedy often at the expense of his well-meaning, resourceful family, and the realities of fame after growing up in a lower income neighbourhood. However, it just doesn’t feel like it strikes an appropriate balance between the two.

Special features include: “Meet the Cast.” (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Two and a Half Men: The Complete Twelfth and Final Season (DVD)


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Walden Schmidt and Alan Harper (Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer) have spent another year searching for the ideal life in their Malibu beach house. In the final season, they continue their search for true love, contentment and the meaning of life.

Since buying Charlie’s house in the ninth season, Walden and Alan have had an awkward yet co-dependent relationship. They finally take that “odd couple” vibe to the next level in this closing season by getting married (really not a spoiler). The show then takes on more of a Three’s Company feel as the two try to convince the outside world of their devotion to each other (remember when Charlie and Alan pretended to be a couple to network with one of Charlie’s clients?), while still remaining active, single, heterosexual bachelors. The sneaking around leads to the usual antics, but the show writers still had a couple of surprises up their sleeves. Unfortunately at least one of these involved beating an already dead horse in the finale.

Special features include: gag reel. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Written By

Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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