Blu-ray Review: Lady In White

This review is haunted. A few nights ago after midnight, the complete review for Lady in White was posted onto the site. In the morning, all that was left was my notes about the bonus features. The previous saved drafts had gone poof. Even the photo uploaded into the system had vanished. It was like a supernatural element had gotten inside the internet and yanked it down. Lady In White can’t disappear completely. The power of Scream Factory compels me!

The movie takes us back to the simpler time of 1962 before Kennedy was shot and Beatlemania shook up the culture. As Halloween approaches young Frankie Scarlatti (Witness‘ Lukas Haas) is having a ball. He loves horror stories. He has already begun to write them. Little does he know he’s about to be in the center of one. Two of his school friends lock him in a room. While trying to escape, he witness ghostly forms acting out the murder of a little girl (Joelle Jacobi). Before Frankie can completely deal with what he’s seen, an unknown man gets into the space and nearly beats him to death. While caught between life and death, Frankie meets the dead girl. She begs him to find her mother. When his father (Friends of Eddie Coyle‘s Alex Rocco) rescues him, Frankie tries to live up the promise. A black janitor is blamed for attack on Frankie and the death of other children in the area. Frankie knows the guy is innocent, but everyone wants him convicted so they can feel safe in their small town again. Frankie feels that all the answers rest with the ghostly Lady in White (Soap‘s Katherine Helmond) who haunts the woods where the girl’s body was found. Will Frankie be safe on his investigation with ghosts and a killer haunting his life.

Lady In White nails the nostalgia angle. This is like A Christmas Story with a body count. The production takes full advantage of Lyon, New York. This quaint upstate town was featured in Slugs. This really doesn’t feel like a place where a child killer would be on the loose. Lukas Haas has the perfect look for a kid who wants to probe the horrific and supernatural instead of playing it safe. The special effects hold up in the 1080p resolution. This was an indie film yet doesn’t feel like it had to cut corners to stay within its tight budget. The interesting thing is there are three different cuts on the boxset. The Theatrical Cut (113 minutes) from its release in 1988. A Director’s Cut (117 minutes) was created during it’s home video life. Finally there’s an Extended Director’s Cut (126 minutes). Of the three, the Director’s Cut feels the best to watch first. The film does a great job of reminding us that even during those “simpler times,” people still had to deal with homicidal child killers roaming the neighborhoods.

The videos is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The Blu-ray resolution only enhances the period nature of the film. They production design brings out elements put on the screen to capture the time. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The new mix allows the score and sound effects to swirl around the room. The original mix is featured on the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary on Direcor’s Cut from Frank LaLoggia. He explains how he raised the budget by selling junk stock so that there would be no studio interference while making and editing the film.

Introduction with Frank LaLoggia (0:46) has him excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film.

Behind the Scenes Footage with introduction from Frank Loggia (16:21) has a mix of VHS and 8mm coverage from behind the camera. You can also listen to commentary from the director.

Deleted Scenes (36:13) also includes a commentary from the director. Even with three cuts, there’s still footage that didn’t make it into an edit.

Extended Behind-The-Scenes (73:21) is video shot during the production.

Promotional Short Film (7:18) seems to be the long form trailer to create interest in distributors.

Theatrical Trailer (1:57) promises to take us back to Halloween of 1962. It contrasts the innocent with the deadly serious events.

Alternate Trailers (7:10) are the rough edits of previous cuts.

TV Spots (1:34) is all about a loss of innocence.

Radio Spots (2:21) tries to scare you as you drove around in the car.

Behind-the-scenes photo montage (2:30) are pics that bring out the supernatural nostalgia element.

Extended Photo Gallery (1:55) are more views from the set.

Scream Factory presents Lady In White. Directed by: Frank LaLoggia. Screenplay by: Frank LaLoggia. Starring: Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco and Katherine Helmond. Boxset Contents 3 movies on 2 Blu-ray discs. Rated: R. Released: September 27, 2016.

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