Fingerprints (2006)
By: Devon B. on January 16, 2009  | 
Beyond Home Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 95 minutes
The Movie
Director: Harry Basil
Starring: Leah Pipes, Josh Henderson, Kristin Cavallari, Lou Diamond Phillips
Screenplay: Brian Cleveland, Jason Cleveland
Country: USA
External Links
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Necessary evils are a bitch, but become super annoying when they loose their necessity. I get the need for body doubles. Sometimes thespians get so up themselves they think they shouldn't have to take their clothes off for the camera anymore. When it's crucial to the plot for a character to get naked and the role is being played by one of these prudes, I can see the world needs to have someone to fill in. After all, some nudity is better than no nudity (with the possible exception of Edie Massey). In Fingerprints a body double is used, but it's for someone with a TINY part that required no acting ability…why didn't they just cast someone who would take her shirt off? It's nice to have a face to go with the naughty bits or else you never know if their head looks like Edie Massey's, which is an equally disturbing idea if the naked person is a man…perhaps even more so.

Fingerprints' makers unwisely went with a silly font for the credit sequence that makes it look like you're about to watch a TV movie for kids. The movie also starts with a bunch of kids singing on a school bus, further reinforcing this tone. Thankfully, the bus has a wee accident while the (people who I assume are the children's) parents scream, which at least made me feel comfortable that I wasn't about to watch an After School Special. Anyway, there was this accident in the 50s where a train hit a busload of children. This has given rise to the urban legend that if you leave your car in neutral at the site of the accident, you will be pushed across the tracks to safety by the ghosts of the departed children. A girl is coming home from rehab, and her family have just moved into the small town where this happened. When she's taken to the spot to test the legend, she sees a young girl and ends up trying to communicate with her. It becomes quickly apparent, at least to the viewer, that something more than an accident occurred. Our heroine also has more than a 50 year old mystery to worry about as there's a very corporal killer running around in a conductor outfit dispatching people.

Fingerprints is yet another horror flick aimed at teens, though you'd never guess that was the target audience if you looked at the seemingly way too old "high schoolers." Lou Diamond Phillips is on hand as a councillor with some interesting ideas about appropriate conduct, but at least he's not diddling the students. The killer looks pretty damn silly in the conductor hat with some sort of black material over their face, but at least some of the ghost FX are passable. Speaking of passable, most of the acting is, but Ginger Gilmartin as the heroine's mother is so terrible she destroys any suspension of disbelief. Her performance is so bad she makes everyone else's dialogue sound stilted, but thankfully she's not around too much. Aside from a few other gripes, like yet another fake out bath scene where we see nothing (what is the point of these???) and the bodies of the dead children being stored in a completely unbelievable place, Fingerprints really isn't too bad. The film has decent production values and moves at a fairly fast pace. A few characters are even meant to break out of stereotypical roles. Unfortunately no one thought to make the heroine raised by a single father, because I think removing Ginger Gilmartin would've greatly helped the movie.

As long as she wasn't replaced with the ghost of Edie Massey.
Fingerprints is presented at 1.78:1 in a 16x9 enhanced print. The film looks pretty sharp, but there is grain and a bit of motion blur.
Audio is a 2.0 mix only. It's a bit loud at times, and there's distortion when the killer yells. Most ghost movies benefit from a 5.1 mix to create an eerie soundscape, and I'm sure Fingerprints would've too.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with the trailer and two featurettes. The main featurette is actually fairly interesting with some amusing moments. The urban legend that inspired the movie is discussed, but I have to say it just sounded to me like there might be a hill near the tracks that people supposedly are pushed over. I'm too lazy to verify these things, but my partner saw this interview and got curious. She looked it up and said that it was actually checked out 'cause the local residents were sick of the legend, and it was found that despite appearing to slope uphill, it was actually a slight slope down. So unless you count gravity as a ghost, that's not very scary. But then would a movie about gravity pulling people's car across train tracks have been interesting to anyone but Stephen Hawking? Probably not. The other featurette is only a few minutes and is a few cast members being asked about the scariest thing they've ever seen, and some joke I didn't get being told to another cast member. The Region 1 release also has a commentary, but that hasn't been brought over.
The Verdict
Not a bad time waster, but not a requirement for the collection. If you really like the movie, it may be worth importing for the commentary on the Region 1, but I think the actual film transfer is the same.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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