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Why 'Pariah' Tops Indiewire's 5 DVD/Blu-ray Picks This Week

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 24, 2012 at 10:28AM

This week on DVD/Blu-ray: One of the biggest breakouts of last year's Sundance Film Festival; Ti West's creepy follow-up to "The House of the Devil"; a heart-wrenching documentary, approved by Oprah; the TV mini-series that came before the Oscar-nominated "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy;" and an account of what went on behind-the-scenes of the groundbreaking 1973 reality show, "An American Family."
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"Pariah"
Focus Features "Pariah"

This week on DVD/Blu-ray: One of the biggest breakouts of last year's Sundance Film Festival; Ti West's creepy follow-up to "The House of the Devil"; a heart-wrenching documentary, approved by Oprah; the TV mini-series that came before the Oscar-nominated "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy;" and an account of what went on behind-the-scenes of the groundbreaking 1973 reality show, "An American Family."
 

#1. "Pariah"

Writer/director Dee Rees came into last year's Sundance Film Festival as a relative unknown and emerged as a filmmaker to contend with. Her feature directorial debut, the moving coming-of-age drama "Pariah," screened on the opening night of the event, garnering a wealth of critical praise upon its unveiling and a rich distribution deal with Focus Features a few days later.

In the Brooklyn-set drama, touted newcomer Adepero Oduye stars as Alike, a 17-year-old girl grappling with the challenge of coming out to her strict parents.

The film hits all the notes the genre demands, but it does so with a rawness that sets it apart from the pack. And Oduye is a complete revelation. Rees deservingly won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Director.

Go HERE for out chat with Rees following her win.

Extras: Sadly there's not much here, but the film more than makes up for it. What you'll find are three short featurettes that offer a brief behind-the scenes look at Rees' debut.


#2. "The Innkeepers"

Fans of Ti West's "The House of the Devil," will no doubt appreaciate the slow build of his creepy follow-up, "The Innkeepers." In the supernatural thriller, Sara Paxton ("Shark Night 3D") stars as an employee of The Yankee Pedlar Inn, believed to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. Before it closes its doors for good, Paxton's character sets out to prove that the haunting is for real. Cue the screams.

Here's what Eric Kohn had to say about the film: "The stakes never go that high in 'The Innkeepers.' West, who demonstrated a penchant for extensive build-ups in 'The House of the Devil' and 'Trigger Man,' continually makes it unclear if the inn actually harbors a ghost or if his heroine (Sara Paxton) has simply imagines it. Both she and her hilariously frazzled co-worker (Pat Healy of 'Great World of Sound') want to believe in supernatural affairs for the thrill factor alone."

Extras: In addition to short behind-the scenes look, there are two great commentaries to keep you busy. West is joined by his producers and 2nd unit director in the first; the second features West with his stars Paxton and Healy.

This article is related to: Small Screens







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