Now available on Blu Ray from RLJE is the new Simon Barrett (The Guest, You’re Next) film Seance. Seance tells the story of Camille Meadows, the new girl at the prestigious Edelvine Academy for Girls. Soon after her arrival, six girls invite her to join them in a late-night ritual, calling forth the spirit of a dead former student who reportedly haunts their halls. But before morning, one of the girls is dead, leaving the others wondering what they may have awakened. Seance comes packed with a good amount of special features so let’s talk about the film and those features a bit more to help you make your decision on whether or not to pick up a copy!
Like most horror fans I know, I absolutely adore both The Guest and You’re Next which were both written by Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard (Godzilla vs Kong). Those are two absolute modern horror classics at this point and now Barrett has taken on the role of director as well for Seance. The results are mostly positive and Seance is a fun watch for sure. I will say though that sadly the cover art for the blu ray sells the film short and will most likely deter some viewers or even horror fans as it just does not represent the film which, while low budget, is way classier than it’s riverdale-esque cover would suggest. Had they used the original poster art, I feel like they would have caught a few more eyes and represented the film much better. Now as for the film, it is certainly not perfect, but the intent from Barrett is there and Suki Waterhouse who plays Camile is a commanding presence whenever on screen and carries the film through it’s budgetary constrictions, while turning in a great performance. The snowy setting and unorthodox score provide the film with a slight dreamy feel, and Barrett does show that he too is a capable director. I do wish the blood and kills were a bit more creative as they feel a but it does seemed like he saved his budget for the finale and payoff which I can understand and appreciate. Watching the special features, Barrett is clearly aware of how limited his production funds would be and despite any shortcomings the film may have due to that Barrett still delivers a very enjoyable horror film, thanks to his keen eye and Waterhouse’s performance anchoring the film.
As for the special features I was pleased to see Seance come with a solid number of things to enjoy after watching the film. They are as follows:
• Director Commentary
• Behind the Scenes of Seance
• Deleted Scenes
• Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
The Commentary was my favorite feature as Barrett explains the challenges of making the film and it really helps you appreciate what he was able to do and why things are the way they are. This is especially insightful when paired with the Behind the Scenes feature, which while informative and interesting, it is a bit disappointing that all the main cast is interviewed thoroughly yet the lead actress is nowhere to be found. It would have been nice to hear what Waterhouse had to say about her involvement in the film. Still these two features are better than normal short puff pieces that blu rays come with these days. Add to that a solid number of deleted scenes and outtakes and you have plenty to watch and listen to.
Overall Seance is a fun watch and Simon Barrett shows a lot of promise in his directorial debut. This blu ray comes with enough special features to make it a worthy buy at a decent price. Now if they just fixed that cover!