Blu-ray Review: SCREAM FOR HELP

SCREAM FOR HELP was directed by Michael Winner from a story written by Tom Holland and stars Rachael Kelly, Marie Masters, David Allen Brooks, Rocco Sisto, Lolita Lorre and Corey Parker. The score by John Paul Jones.

Terror invades an upper-class New York community as 17-year old Christie Cromwell cleverly uncovers her stepfather’s horrifying plot to murder her wealthy mother. She’s on to him, yet no one will believe her because she’s just a kid: smart, imaginative, maybe she’s just taken a crazy idea to the limit. Suspense builds when a series of shocking events confirms her worst fears. Alone, afraid and helpless, terrified Christie and her mother are held prisoner in their own home at the mercy of ruthless killers.

Scream for Help follows Christie (Rachael Kelly) who thinks her stepfather, Paul (David Allen Brooks), is cheating on her mother, Karen (Marie Masters), and on top of that she also thinks he’s plotting to kill them both to collect their fortune. Christie confronts Paul in front of Karen but her accusations are dismissed as her imagination and paranoia getting the best of her. This goes on for a while but Paul always seems to have an alibi or excuse for the things he’s doing away from home and poor Christie continues to get ignored by her mother.

What happens is, Christie decides to start snooping around and ends up catching her manipulative stepfather fooling around with Brenda (Lolita Lorre) and this is where things start to turn dark for the teenager and her mother. There’s also Brenda’s brother/husband Lacey (Rocco Sisto) who completes this awkward trio of shady figures who are actually up to no good and Christie and her mother are in deed the targets of this sinister threesome that’s out to kill them and get their money. Christie and her mother end up in a fight for their lives against Paul and his two friends where the brave teenager finds the courage to go up against these home invaders and in the end she finds a way to stop them and ultimately save her mother’s life.

The front of the packaging 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 reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. 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. Scream Factory has given Scream for Help a brand new 2K scan from the original film elements. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Scream for Help ended up being another first time watch for me and I enjoyed it even though it did have its flaws. This 1984 obscurity actually came along three years before The Stepfather that actually ended up becoming a horror classic while this one was pretty much was forgotten about. The two movies pretty much had similar plots but the execution for Scream for Help was its achilles heel pretty much because of the director who was used to directing action movies and this one was supposed to be a suspense thriller. Yeah, there’s not a lot of suspense going on in this thriller. The movie is a little light on the body count or red stuff even though it does include three decent kills that all looked convincing enough and it also features some nudity, for those interested. I thought the cast did a good job with their characters considering the circumstances for this story driven thriller. Rachael Kelly is the standout here and delivers a great performance as this stubborn teenager who finds the courage to fight back against these home invaders. Scream for Help finally makes its Blu-ray debut on September 18th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 89 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, two new interviews and the original theatrical trailer.

  • NEW 2K scan from the original film elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary by the Hysteria Lives
  • NEW Cruel Intentions – an interview with writer Tom Holland (13:29)
  • NEW Stepfather of the Year – an interview with actor David Allen Brooks (15:57)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:40)

 

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