Plot: What’s it about?
A sadistic serial killer is on the loose, a twisted soul who not only murders the victims, but also uses acid to burn the flesh from their bones. The acid is powerful and causes damage to the skulls as well, so police have enlisted the services of Hyun-Min (Song Yoon-Ah). Hyun-Min is an expert in facial reconstruction, a former forensic sculptor with immense skill. He can examine a skull, then interpret what he sees and build from the bones a face, which then aids the police in the identification process. He has worked on the case for time, having the bones in his house, but he is tired of the assignment. His daughter had a heart transplant earlier in the year and now, she is going through horrific visions and dreams. When he begins to have visions himself, he returns to the case, but he is closer to the killer than he ever imagined…
I’ve seen a lot of movies about serial killers and more often than not, the films are suspense thrillers, but not all take the same approach. Some focus on the police work involved in the hunt, others try to go inside the criminal mind, while others choose to tell the story from the killer’s perspective. Face tries to combine the serial killer thriller with supernatural horror, with mixed results. The thriller side of the coin works quite well, with some CSI style elements that are sure to please some viewers. The story is a good one, but never gets to build up steam, thanks to the supernatural side. I love horror movies, but this is one case where less horror would have been better, the supernatural elements just derail this movie. What could have been a good movie is turned into a mediocre one, one that isn’t really even worth a rental. But if you’re simply have to see Face, make it a rental, as Tartan’s disc is a mild disappointment.
Video: How does it look?
Face is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I’ve been spoiled by Tartan’s releases, so when this treatment was less than impressive, I was disappointed. The first thing I noticed was a lot of softness, so the visuals don’t have much depth or refinement. The softness is consistent too, so the problem isn’t isolated to just a few scenes. The movie has dark visuals to boot, which makes the situation worse, since the black levels are softened and muddy images result. The overall transfer is by no means terrible, but Tartan has done such great work on other discs, this one pales in comparison.
Audio: How does it sound?
The sound here is a little odd. You’ll find Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, but the surround sound is not the kind we’re used to. In most soundtracks, the front channels handle basic sounds and dialogue, while the rear channels provide the music and atmospheric elements. In this case, the same information is sent through all the channels. Like a mono option pushed through all the speakers, if you will. The result is not that good, as the audio is not refined or dynamic, just kind of loud. I admit, I was disappointed with the audio treatment, but at least we have optional English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a selection of cast and crew interviews, a photo shoot featurette, some still photos, and a reel of outtakes.