Blu-ray Review: GWEN

GWEN was written and directed by William McGregor and stars Eleanor Worthington-Cox and Maxine Peake. The music is composed by James Edward Barker.

In the film, Gwen is a young girl whose life seems to be collapsing around her. Struggling with her mother’s mysterious illness, her father’s absence and a group of angry villagers threatening to take her farm, Gwen must find the strength to guide her family through the darkness. But as a malevolent presence begins to take grip of her home, it becomes apparent there is a greater evil that may be too strong to overcome.

This gothic folk thriller follows Gwen, an innocent teenager who’s tasked with taking care of her younger sister and their mother when she becomes deathly ill. Gwen has to grow up fast and does the best that she can as she struggles to take care of things around their iisolated farm as well as bring in certain necessities needed to survive. The thing is, there’s something else going on in the community around them because there’s death everywhere. The big question is, who are what is behind this?

What happens is, Gwen finds a way to get some much needed medicine for her mother that helps her some with her illness. When she ends up needing more, Gwen has to make a difficult decision to get it but unfortunately it ends up haunting the teen in a way that she never has dreamed. Gwen’s desperate decision comes with deadly consequences that follows her all the way home which is also linked to the terrifying visions that have been surrounding them. In the end, Gwen’s mother has pay a shocking price for what she did but it allows the teen and her younger sister to escape this dreaded situation.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Gwen ended up being an atmospheric old world thriller about this innocent teenager who’s left to care for her sick mother and younger sister and has to make some difficult choices along the way that have ultimately deadly consequences. The story about this teenage girl who will do anything for her family was interesting and I thought the small cast did a great job with their characters. This character-driven yarn is an emotional journey with an unsettling finale that William McGregor skillfully captures with his camera and is complimented by some impressive cinematography. This coming-of-age thriller is the latest entry in the gothic folk horror subgenre that follows movies like The Witch and Hagazussa but it doesn’t get as dark or terrifying as its two predecessors. The Shudder Original will make its Blu-ray debut on October 8th.

Distributor: RLJE Films

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include two interviews with the lead actresses and two image galleries.

  • An interview with Maxine Peake (12:14)
  • An interview with Eleanor Worthington-Cox (08:39)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (00:13)
  • Photo Gallery (00:07)

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