Thursday, May 26

The Nameless (Los sin nombre) (1999) - US Echo Bridge vs. Spanish Filmax DVD

Spanish horror filmmaker Jaume Balagueró's debut, Los sin nombre (The Nameless), acts as both his best and most irritating horror feature. Starting off extremely atmospheric, the chilling possibilities revolving around a mother's quest to find the whereabouts of her missing young daughter seem endless. A new wrinkle in what was a cold case brings her in contact with a grizzled detective and the pair set off to discover a revelation that goes far beyond the bounds of the dreaded expected. 

Like Balagueró's Darkness and Fragile: A Ghost Story, the mournful psychological side of The Nameless is exceedingly well done. It's just that the "other" side is purely contrived horror movie cliché that depressingly reveals itself as the film precedes. The twists become groan-inducing and the immense, building tension deflates at the cornball climax. This shouldn't stop anyone from seeing The Nameless, just temper that initial feeling of promise. As always, it's more tragic to settle for good within spitting distance of great than to merely flatline at mediocre. Fortunately, REC and its sequel(s) see Balagueró finding his footing at pure horror/action with only dollops of what make his three prior films ultimately frustrating.           

As for Echo Bridge's new Miramax re-release; it's the usual no-supplement, stereo audio (English dub-only), and overall rushed cheapie we're coming to expect. The anamorphic transfer is interlaced and zoomed in (to the left), but the interesting aspect is how different the color is compared to the Filmax. The palette is vastly more natural and the image lacks the heavy noise reduction and aliasing that plagues the Spanish disc. The EB disc also boasts the film's Catalan title, Els sense nom, in the opening credits.

Although since the Filmax is the DVD of The Nameless's country of origin and Balagueró is all over the two disc's worth of supplements; it's a safe bet the very bleached and very crushed blacks of the Spanish Collector's Edition presentation is accurate to the director's intentions. A shame about the DNR, but the Filmax is the way to go for the original subtitled language, anamorphic transfer, and DTS 5.1 audio (DVDCompare's listing is incorrect).

Echo Bridge U.S. TOP / Filmax Spanish BOTTOM

1 comment:

Eric Cotenas said...

The OOP Dimension DVD featured a English 5.1 and Spanish 2.0 stereo tracks and English subtitles. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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