Disturbing Behavior (1998) (Blu-ray Review)


Disturbing Behavior (1998) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: David Nutter
Starring: James Marsden, Katie Holmes, Nick Stahl
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory

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James Marsden (the X-Men films), Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) and Nick Stahl (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines) star in this pulse-pounding sci-fi chiller from director David Nutter (Game Of Thrones, The X-Files). In the halls of Cradle Bay High School, something sinister is happening… something dark… something disturbing. Sure, the “Blue Ribbons” – the clique that’s at the top of the food chain at Cradle Bay – appear perfect in every way. But underneath their clean-cut, well-mannered facades lurks a shocking secret – one that a group of Cradle Bay High’s outsiders and rebels must uncover in order to save their school, their town… and their own lives.

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1998’s Disturbing Behavior is a movie that I didn’t get to see as a kid. I was either in 8th grade for entering my first semester of high school, but I remember two things about it, everyone was listening to the Harvey Danger song from the movie (Flagpole Sitta) and everyone was all about Katie Holmes at the time. Now, this is a movie notorious for having cut-up the director’s original version of the film. Scream doesn’t give us a director’s cut here, but you do get a lot of things in the extras under the deleted scenes section. As is, Disturbing Behavior, is a 90’s teen horror that remains watchable enough, based to its use of very teen-ish movie elements it mixes in with some typical old school “body snatchers” stuff. If you removed the cult stuff, then you’d have your basic teen movie from the time, but without that, you’d end-up with an OK sci-fi flick as well. There is some blood, but not enough. We get some cool visuals. We have a very young Katharine Isabelle here as well, but she’s just filling a space and doesn’t even get to do that much. The best part of the movie is probably the opening and then trying to put together what is going on inside your head while you watch, but this movie falls flat on a few fronts and it makes it just a good movie, but not a great one.

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Now I could sit here and downplay some of the casting choices here, but I won’t do that. One thing I do find odd is how a lot of movies, namely this and I Know What You Did Last Summer, are both products of the popularity of Scream. Yet these movies don’t get as violent or bloody as Scream. We have some nudity here and we do have some pretty cool scenes involving necks being snapped and heads going into mirrors, but that is about the most of it. Still, the movie is fine for what it is, even if we have a few holes in it and a bit of a stretch for a final shot of the movie. If nothing else, for someone my age this is a cool little flashback to the late 90’s and what that time was like. A time when teen slashers filled with overly pretty people were a thing and Katie Holmes was one of the hottest women on the planet. This release looks well enough, but some spots of the transfer looked a little soft or dark to me. We do get some extras in the form of a director’s commentary, deleted scenes, and an alternative ending. Like I said, it is a nostalgic trip for someone like me, but all in all it is a good, but not great little horror flick from a very strange time in horror.

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– Audio Commentary with Director David Nutter
– Deleted Scenes
– Alternative Ending

Quality of Transfer: 84%