Featured DVD Review: A Measure of the Sin
A Measure Of The Sin is brought to us by BrinkVision, which specialize in ultra-low-budget films. I saw a couple of trailers for this film on DVDs I've previously reviewed and I was intrigued in a, "What the hell did I just watch?" kind of way. It likely won't appeal to mainstream audiences, but will fans of more unique cinema want to check it out?
We are first introduced to Meredith, who describes her childhood and how most children think their childhood is normal, because they have no other points of reference. When she was a child, she lived with her mother in a very sheltered existence. Now that her mother is gone, she lives with The Man and two other women, Alicia and Ruth. The Man has very strict rules the women must obey and very little personal freedoms (they can only leave the property under his orders), but he says he is there to protect them. It's not a normal life, but one she's content with, because it is the only one she's known. However, she is worried about that bear that keeps sneaking into her window.
Like I said, this is a, "What the Hell?" type of movie.
When Meredith tells The Man about the bear, he dismisses it as her imagination. That night, she is attacked by the bear. But it doesn't look like a bear attack, because I don't think bears remove panties from women they are attacking. The Man claims there was no bear and she was just dreaming.
Shortly after that, there is a flashback to when Meredith was younger living with her mother. It was a simpler time, because they weren't allowed to leave the house. However, when Meredith got a splinter from the floor, her mother decides it is time for them to leave, but after going outside, her mother tells her they can't leave. This is echoed by The Man, who tells the older Meredith she can't leave, because it is too dangerous out there, but he is there to protect her and the others.
Despite this, Meredith is determined to leave.
Last week I reviewed a film called Haunt and complained that there was nothing new or unique about that film. A Measure Of The Sin does not suffer from that problem. In fact, it goes way out in opposite directions, so much so that I think mainstream audiences won't be engaged by the movie. It is definitely not a film for everyone. It is being described by most as a horror film, but that's not quite right. The film is more of a disturbing drama than a true horror film, as it is not heavy in scares like a traditional horror film, but it is heavy in a sense of dread and unease. We are looking in on a cult rather than the traditional horror films subjects, although even that I'm not 100% sure about. You really need more than four people to be a cult. Not only is the film much more unique that your average horror film, but the execution is also strong. We don't learn much about most of the characters. Really only Meredith gets any character development and nearly all of that comes from narration and flash backs. But we can really empathize with her character, who, due to a really bad upbringing, isn't capable of surviving on her own and was easy prey for The Man. You do cheer for her to find inner strength and leave, but worry that this will end in a disaster. The ending is... well, the ending will stick with you. The film was shot on super 16, giving the film a dated feel. It looks like a 1970s European horror movie, complete with ample nudity.
Extras on the DVD are better than expected with two audio commentary tracks. The first is with the director, Jeff Wedding. In the second audio commentary track, he is joined by Katie Groshong and Stephen Jackson. Up next is Gracie - Diary of a Coma Patient, a 27-minute long short film by Jeff Wedding and also featuring Katie Groshong. Finally, there is a short deleted scene.
A Measure Of The Sin is a movie that I think a lot of people will love, but just as many people will hate because it so unusual. The extras on the DVD are plentiful, so it is worth picking up for those who like it, but I think it might be best to try before you buy with a rental.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2014-06-16