I grew up watching The Guardian (in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have been watching it so young) and when Scream Factory announced they were releasing it on Blu-ray, I was ecstatic. The film was incredibly hard to find for cheap on DVD, so having an easy option to buy it, plus the added upgrade in visual and audio quality made this one release I was really looking forward to getting. Thankfully, everything worked out perfectly and I now have it in my hands and I can honestly tell you, now is the best time to own this awesome killer-tree flick. If you don’t agree, just read on to see why you should buy it…
RUN-TIME: 92 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
PRODUCTION DATE: 1990
RELEASE DATE: Jan 19, 2016
William Friedkin, the Academy Award®-winning* director of The Exorcist, delivers a new kind of fairy tale for adults.
A handsome young couple finds the perfect live-in babysitter to look after their newborn child. It seems like a fairy tale, until ancient, supernatural forces turn the couples dream into a nightmare.
In his first horror film since The Exorcist, Oscar®-winning* director William Friedkin spins a terrifying tale based on every parent’s worst fear. Jenny Seagrove (Local Hero) portrays the enchanting guardian who enters the home of new parents Dwier Brown (Red Dragon) and Carey Lowell (Licence to Kill) possessing impeccable references and an affinity for children. But as her true intentions are revealed, the battle for the child’s soul begins in this chilling film based on Dan Greenburg’s popular novel, The Nanny.
*1971: Best Director, The French Connection
The Guardian, if you haven’t already watched this super fun horror flick, is about a family who has hired a hot new British nanny to take care of their newborn child. The nanny isn’t your typical nanny, as she is an evil guardian spirit of this super large killer tree in the woods. Okay, after writing that out, it makes the movie sound worse than it really is. The flick doesn’t go super cheesy, but instead, keeps the killer tree shenanigans to a limit, although, the killer tree stuff is the best parts of the flick, as that’s where all the incredibly gory stuff comes into play. Anyway, most of the movie is about how weird and strange the nanny is and how she is waiting for the perfect time to kidnap the baby and sacrifice it to this giant tree so she can live forever, eternally beautiful and young and all that crazy stuff. The father, of the baby, not the tree, who is played by Dwier Brown (who you may or may not know was in the opening of House II: The Second Story), starts to suspect something is up with Camilla (that’s the nanny by the way) and before you can say ‘got wood?’, the father is in a battle with pure evil and I tell you, when the chainsaw comes out, be prepared for the most epic scenes ever.
You just have to watch The Guardian, there is no question about it. It’s a crazy, fun horror flick, directed by The Exorcist director of all people, William Friedkin. It’s based on a book written by Dan Greenburg, titled The Nanny and from what I’ve read online, the movie is a bit different than the book (I actually own the novel and might give it a read and review on this site in the near future). The movie had constant rewrites by Friedkin, so many, in fact, the original writer Stephen Volk had a breakdown. The rewrites didn’t hurt the movie too much, but there are a few things that are either left unanswered, to a character that disappears from the movie for a good portion of the runtime. The character I’m talking about is the Mother played by Carey Lowell and the unanswered question I’m referring to, is a certain character’s death and whether or not it’s tied to Camilla. These are all small nitpicks, but they still sit there nagging me. The only other issue with the movie was the blatant use of looping (having the actors come back in and say their lines in a studio), which is talked about a bit in one of the special features.
In my personal useless opinion, you can’t go wrong in checking out The Guardian. Don’t take it too seriously, as after all, it is about a killer tree. Just sit back and enjoy the mayhem unfold. If you do that, I think you’ll be grinning come the end.
The video and audio for this Scream Factory release is very well done, with the film looking the best I’ve ever seen it. There is a good amount of grain in certain scenes, but it doesn’t take away from the flick at all. The back cover of the Blu-ray states the movie is in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, but it’s actually DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo. I did notice I had to crank the volume up to hear some people talk, but besides that, it did the job.
Special features for The Guardian include over an hour of interviews with cast and crew. There are some new interviews with lead actor Dwier Brown, the two actors who played the parents at the beginning of the movie, Natalija Nogulich and Gary Swanson, the composer and finally the makeup effects artist. Some older, but still very informative interviews, are with the director William Friedkin, actress Jenny Seagrove, who played Camilla; and co-writer Stephen Volk. Rounding all that out is a Trailer (which spoils a good amount of the movie and also contains unused footage) and a Still Gallery. For any fan of the flick, this is heaven.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- NEW A Happy Coincidence – An Interview With Actor Dwier Brown (22 mins)
- NEW From Strasberg To The Guardian – An Interview With Actor Gary Swanson (10 mins)
- NEW A Mother’s Journey – An Interview With Actress Natalija Nogulich (11:30 mins)
- NEW Scoring The Guardian – An Interview With Composer Jack Hues (6:40 mins)
- NEW Tree Woman: The Effects Of The Guardian – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Matthew Mungle (13 mins)
- Return To The Genre – An Interview With Director/Co-writer William Friedkin (17:25 mins)
- The Nanny – An Interview With Actress Jenny Seagrove (13 mins)
- Don’t Go Into The Woods – An Interview With Co-writer Stephen Volk (21 mins)
- Still Gallery Of Behind-The-Scenes Photos (1:19 mins)
- Trailer (1:34 mins)
As you’ve probably already guessed, I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up this release right away. The Guardian is a movie that I’ve enjoyed for many years and with this Blu-ray, I can enjoy it for many more years to come. If you haven’t seen it yet, but enjoy all things killer tree, pick up the Scream Factory Blu-ray today! Did I forget to mention that the evil tree lady is a hot British Nanny, who you see nude? Exactly…