If you’ve checked out our interview of the director, Joseph Sims-Dennett, you already know a bit about how much we like Observance. This has been an eagerly awaited release, so lets dive straight into it and see how good of a job Artsploitation did with this one.
The Movie (4.5/5)
Observance follows Parker, a private investigator who is struggling with some messed up family issues as he takes on the job of watching a woman for several days and reporting her actions to a nameless client. From the cover of a dilapidated apartment across the street, he watches this woman day in and day out for over a week, as she leads what seems like a fairly normal, if not reclusive life. So why is he being paid so well to sit and watch?
Staying inside an empty apartment for a week and staring out a window to the world is likely enough to cause anyone some mental difficulties, but couple that with the fact that this apartment seems to have a mind of its own and soon Parker is in a downward spiral. Can he maintain his grasp on his sanity and complete this mysterious task? Or will is own life drama paired with a creepy domicile prove to be too much?
Observance is a great genre bending film that oozes with intensity. Watching as Parker gets more and more on edge directly translates to the feeling you get in your stomach as you progress through this film. The tension is entirely palpable and every last detail has been well thought out in this film. It may not be traditional horror fare, but damn will it creep you out.
I should note, however, that if you need closure in a film, this one may not be entirely up to you. While some things may get answered along the way, this one will leave you hanging on a few points, and that is ok with me. It will definitely leave you thinking long after the credits roll.
The Picture 4/5
Observance looks quite good on blu-ray. There are plenty of low light scenes that show off great details in them that are great to show off just what this format can do. The grit and tiny details that show up as Parker goes deeper and deeper into himself all look tangible on the screen and give this production a gritty tone that really helps get the viewer into the mood.
The sound editing in this film is fantastic. Moments of silence are palpable and ambient noises sound so natural. I really enjoyed this aspect the best. There is never any missed dialog, which is always nice. The track makes good use of its 5.1 channels, placing sounds carefully to heighten to experience.
Overall this isn’t an overly complex soundtrack, but it is done well and sounds great.
The Features & Packaging 2/5
Artsploitation has chosen a fairly standard looking blu-ray case for this release. The sleeve has art on just one side, but the one disc has really nice looking matching art on it.
As far as special features are concerned, this is the bummer of the release. Apart from some Artsploitation Films trailers, the only special feature we get here is a short (3 minute) “Preface to Observance”. It’s a worth while watch, but I would have liked to see more here.
The Verdict 4/5
While this release is fairly lackluster in features, the film itself is one that I would consider a must own. I really enjoyed my time with it, and would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. Be warned that you may not get the closure you might want, but that is an artistic choice that I can get behind.
Note: This Blu Ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.