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1974: La Posesion De Altair (Cauldron Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • 1974: La Posesion De Altair (Cauldron Films) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Cauldron Films
    Released on: October 5th, 2021.
    Director: Victor Dryere
    Cast: Diana Bovio, Rolando Breme, Guillermo Callahan, Blanca Alarcí³n, Rubén Gonzí¡lez Garza
    Year: 2016
    Purchase From Amazon

    1974: La Posesion De Altair - Movie Review:

    Directed by Victor Dryere, 1974: La Posesion De Altair is set in Mexico in, well, the year 1974. It opens with some black and white news footage that makes it more than clear that something has gone wrong in the small town where the film is set.

    From here we meet Altair (Diana Bovio) and her new husband Manuel (Rolando Breme), a happily married couple who have only recently tied the knot and Manuel is intent on documenting their journey together with his 8mm camera. The buy a nice home out in the country and look forward to starting their life together, but it isn't long after their arrival that strange things start to happen, the most obvious being when a rather large flock of birds dies mid-flight and litters the house and surrounding area with tiny, winged corpses. Definitely not a good sign.

    Of course, as the story evolves, things get weirder. Altair starts behaving more than a little erratically. She starts taking midnight trips out to the woods, seemingly looking for something, and she tells her husband that she's been visited by an angel. Understandably concerned by his wife's actions, Manuel calls his friend Callahan (Guillermo Callahan) and his sister-in-law, Tere (Blanca Alarcí³n), to help him try and sort all of this out. It doesn't end well.

    Tightly paced and surprisingly effective, Dryere and company earn full marks for doing a great job of capturing period detail. The decision to actually shoot this on 8mm helps a lot here but the set decoration and costuming on display in the film definitely makes it feel like a series of someone's home movies from that decade. The use of sound and music in the film is also a plus, the sound design really taking full advantage of the 5.1 mix created for this movie (and while a 5.1 mix might and the widescreen aspect ratio may not exactly 'fit' what is supposed to be 8mm footage from 1974 it does add to the experience of watching the movie so we'll let it slide).

    The acting in the film is solid across the board. Supporting work from Callahan and Alarcí³n is quite strong but it's Breme and especially Bovio who shine here. He's quite good as the concerned husband, we can feel for him as he sees his wife's behavior become increasingly bizarre, possibly even insane. Bovio plays her part very well, she's really convincing in her part and as things in the storyline intensify, so does her work in front of the camera.

    1974: La Posesion De Altair - Blu-ray Review:

    Cauldron Films brings 1974: La Posesion De Altair to Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer taking up 26.1GBS of space on the 50GB disc. Given that this was shot on 8mm film stock, it makes sense that the grain is really thick but it works quite well in the context of the whole 'found footage' idea that's exploited here. There's some mild compression artifacts here and there but otherwise, no complaints. The detail levels are as strong as you can expect and colors look pretty natural, as do skin tones.

    There are Spanish language options included in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 flavors, with removable subtitles provided in English and Spanish (there are forced Spanish subtitles used in the opening black and white 'TV' sequence but not in the rest of the movie). The 5.1 mix does a really nice job bringing you into the story in the last third or so of the movie with some really nice directional effects. The score is reproduced nicely here and dialogue is properly balanced, it all sounds quite good.

    There aren't a ton of extras on the disc but in addition to menus and chapter selection options we get a trailer for the feature and a brief three minute interview with Uriel Villalobos who goes over what went into creating the sound design employed in the movie.

    This release also comes bundled with the film's genuinely cool soundtrack on CD as well as an insert card with the track listing on one side and an advertisement for other Cauldron Films titles on the flip side. Some cool reversible cover art is also included.

    1974: La Posesion De Altair - The Final Word:

    1974: La Posesion De Altair is an effective and eerie found footage movie worth seeking out for those who can appreciate the style. Cauldron Films' Blu-ray release looks good and sounds very strong. There aren't a load of extras included, but the soundtrack CD is a really nice touch. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized The 1974: La Posesion De Altair Blu-ray screen caps!





























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