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The Pool

review by Chad Peter

 

 

Rated: R

Running Time: 92 minutes

Starring: Kristen Miller, Isla Fisher, John Hopkins, James McAvoy, Thorsten Grasshoff

Written by: Boris Von Sychowski and Lorenz Stassen

Directed by: Boris Von Sychowski

 

Studio: Artisan

Retail Price: $24.98

Features: Trailer, Selected Director and Cast Filmographies, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Photo Gallery

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Chapters (21 Chapters)

Released: September 24th, 2002

 

 

Usually, movies like "The Pool" can be great party bait -- Something to watch with your pals and laugh at. "The Pool" was made exactly for this purpose, but it fails like every other bad b-movie for one simple reason.

There are reasons that films are supposed to retain a plot and character developments. If you extract them from the movie, what you're left with is a heap of something that may be enjoyable for only a matter of minutes before it begins to get old. It's a given that these films are generally geared to sexually attract the viewer, but I've got a better idea. If you want to see boobs and weenies, go rent a porno and get off -- Just DO NOT resort to watching "The Pool," else you might become dumber, somehow.

So, that said, imagine all of the "Scream" trilogy jampacked into one movie. Then, take that conglomeration and name it "The Pool." Now, tack on some hot bodied thirty year olds, have them just graduate from High School and party down -- Then call it a movie. Congrats, you have "The Pool," a movie centered around a High School graduation party (somewhere in Europe) where everyone breaks into a local pool house and ends up slaughtered. I hate to ruin it for you, but the killer is an angst ridden male from the High School, who, because he couldn't get laid, decides to kill all of his friends. Cool, huh?

Whatever, you know where this is going...

 

For whatever reason, I'm attempting to figure out why this looks like it was transfered from PAL format. If it had been shot on film, which the behind the scenes featurette would suggest, it would have been shot at the usual 24 frames per second. PAL, the European TV format, runs at 25 frames per second and includes about a hundred more lines of resolution (as compared to the US's NTSC TV format which runs at 29.97 frames a second) -- Hence, if you live in America, when you see European Television it appears obviously different and somehow "murky" (because of the downgrade to NTSC during transfer). This problem seems to be the case here, because the resulting DVD has that "European" look -- And because we're viewing this on NTSC Televisions, it doesn't look nearly as good (think "murky" again). My guess is that when the film was transferred to video originally, it was transferred to PAL and edited with PAL, and then thrown onto NTSC, which gives us the final result.

The image, in general, is not particularly bad by any means. In some cases, the image is ghosted or blurred, but for the majority of the film, it's your typical everyday transfer.

 

It's your average teen-horror flick with all sorts of slashing and gore effects liberally added to the soundtrack. The 5.1 wasn't used nearly as much as I would have liked. Sound remains as one of the best ways to scare someone, and althroughout this film, I don't recall ever having even been scared -- Perhaps it was because the soundtrack was nothing but Blink 182 clones jamming down.

 

At least they gave us a behind the scenes featurette, or else I might have thrown the disk in the trash. SO, instead of just glancing over the trailer, filmographies and photo gallery, now we're capable of watching the cast interviews -- within which each cast member predicts how amazing the film is going to be.

If only they knew.

 

Well, if you've read this far, I'm almost positive that I can't stop you from going out and renting this...THING. Hopefully someone will have mercy on you and will have put a giant scratch down the center of the dvd -- Or, better yet, maybe Artisan screwed up the majority of "The Pool" DVD run and all copies are defunct.

What a shame that would be.