Gwen is a movie I knew little about before it was solicited for review. I knew it was allegedly a horror movie, that it was a period movie, and that it was picked up for streaming exclusively by Shudder, but outside of that, I went in totally blind. I find that’s how I like to view all of my movies lately, even if it’s something I’m really looking forward to, I try to avoid trailers, as they reveal way too much lately. I still haven’t even watched the trailers for the new Star Wars movie. I’d rather just experience all the footage for the first time at the theater. But, I digress. I have a spotty history with period pieces. It has to be a really damn good movie for me to get into it. And I mean really good. Like, I didn’t even like The Witch, when the entire world lost their minds over it.
Gwen is a well made movie, but it’s not a horror movie. I have no idea why it was marketed as such, nor do I have any idea why Shudder picked it up for streaming. It’s dark, dreary and depressing, sure, and there is one scene of violence, but it is not horror. It’s a drama, following a family trying to survive on a farm in the absence of the father. And that’s all it is. Sure, like I said, it’s dark. But that doesn’t make it a horror movie. There’s a couple of scenes that I guess outside of the context within the film could be considered horror, but it really isn’t Had I known this, I never would have agreed to review this movie, especially not during the month of October. It’s not a bad movie, I’m not saying that, but couple the fact that it’s not a horror movie, that it’s a period movie, and it’s just doubly not for me.
RLJE’s Blu-ray release of Gwen is fine. The picture quality is excellent, with an AVC-encoded 1080p transfer presented in 2.35:1, even in a dark and dreary movie, everything is crystal clear and easy to see. The sound quality is equally impressive. With a DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, every raindrop is heard with clarity. It’s not an action movie, so not much is done with the back channels, but background noises and such come through fine as utilized on surround systems. One area where the release is severely lacking is in the extras department. Having only a couple of interviews with the stars of the movie, if you enjoyed the picture, you are definitely left wanting in the way of bonus content. If you like period well-done dark period dramas, give Gwen a shot.