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The Factory DVD Review

The Factory (2013) DVD cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com The Factory

Video Debut: February 19, 2013 / Running Time: 104 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Morgan O'Neill / Writers: Morgan O'Neill, Paul A. Leyden

Cast: John Cusack (Mike Fletcher), Jennifer Carpenter (Kelsey Walker), Dallas Roberts (Carl Anthony Gemeaux), Mae Whitman (Abby Fletcher), Sonya Walger (Shelly Fletcher), Mageina Tovah (Brittany), Katherine Waterston (Lauren), Gary Anthony Williams (Darrell Kennedy), Michael Trevino (Tad), Cindy Sampson (Crystal), Vincent Messina (Jed), Lita Tresierra (Divine), Andrew Johnston (Chief), Ksenia Solo (Emma), Charles Papasoff (Jerome), Don Postles (News Anchor), Maxim Roy (Nurse Unit Manager), Glenda Braganza (Nurse), Luis Oliva (Divine's Boyfriend)

2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish / Not Closed Captioned
Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9) / Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available on DVD ($22.98 SRP)

Buy The Factory on DVD from Amazon.com

Few actors have been headlining movies as long as John Cusack has and he's still doing it, if not in things you'd readily identify as "a John Cusack movie" then at least in wide release films where he takes top billing.
Cusack alone is not enough to guarantee a high profile, though, and his recent successes have been more attributable to concepts than his appeal. That, coupled with the fact that Warner's Dark Castle Entertainment label of mid-range genre films has recently struggled at the box office, makes it easy enough to understand why The Factory, a horror thriller shot back in early 2008, is forgoing theatrical release and coming straight to DVD this month.

Written by young Australian actors Morgan O'Neill (who also directed this) and Paul Leyden, The Factory buries a dubious "Inspired by Actual Events" claim at the end of its opening credits. The film opens on Thanksgiving and lets us know up front who is responsible for a string of serial abductions that has baffled detectives in Buffalo, New York for a couple of years. Before we learn his name or occupation, we know that Carl (Dallas Roberts) is a sociopath behind the disappearances and presumed murders of seven young prostitutes.

Mike Fletcher (John Cusack) will go to great lengths to find his missing daughter, as her boyfriend (Michael Trevino) discovers.

Detective Mike Fletcher (Cusack) and his partner, new in town Kelsey (Jennifer Carpenter), have poured over the facts in the case and come up empty. All they know is that their serial killer is a "snow hunter" who preys upon vulnerable local sex workers exclusively during the winter months. Fletcher's already fervent interest in the case escalates when his 17-year-old daughter Abby (Mae Whitman) goes missing at what we know to be the deadly hands of crazed hospital chef Carl.

Carl's methods are a mystery to Fletcher, who isn't hesitant to employ violent interrogation techniques, and Kelsey, but not to us, who are shown everything in detail. There is a reason why the police haven't found any of the missing prostitutes' bodies and it is the same reason the movie is titled The Factory, a fact it clunkily makes clear in one of its final lines. The specifics are dark and grisly, as Abby takes her place in Carl's dungeon, joining the ranks of chain-bound, brainwashed, medicated, tortured prostitutes who call him "Daddy" and hope he can impregnate them as desired while cartoons are projected on them.

The psycho prostitute killer Carl (Dallas Roberts) shows off a state-of-the-art camera phone, circa early 2008. A chained-up Abby (Mae Whitman) has cartoons projected on her in the killer's dungeon of doom.

The film pulls out a major twist in its final minutes, one you might be able to see coming due to some pretty big hints, but also might not, considering the stupidity of the revelation and how it taints everything we've seen. Not that everything we've seen is good. It's choppily edited, manipulative, and highly unpleasant.
True, horror movies aren't generally supposed to be pleasant, but the sociopathic material in the foreground here is not something anyone sane will enjoy seeing. I'll give The Factory credit for an unconventional ending, but that major twist eliminates virtually all of the film's credibility.

It's always fun to find dated references in a movie that has been sitting on a shelf for years. A mention of the Wii as something unfamiliar, Abby's wall posters of Avril Lavigne and Green Day, and an archaic camera flip phone all seem to qualify.

Unlike new theatrical fare, which for years Warner has regularly treated to three separate home video editions, The Factory comes to DVD alone on February 19th.


The DVD's 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer offers fine picture quality. This isn't a handsome film, but the visuals are capable enough and are about as well-represented as standard definition allows. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is impressively good as well, making use of channel separation to nice effect while always staying crisp and consistent.


Even with no Blu-ray combo pack to make comparably attractive, Warner still puts minimal effort into this DVD. There are no real extras and just two remarkably plain static menu screens (not even a scene selection section).

Your purchase of this DVD does include a free UltraViolet stream of the film that's good for two years. A single-sided insert with directions and your unique code for accessing that is the only thing housed within the unslipcovered black Eco-Box keepcase.

The disc opens with an UltraViolet promo and trailers for Beautiful Creatures, Cloud Atlas, Argo, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2, and Warner Bros.' 90th Anniversary collections. None of these are menu accessible, nor is The Factory's absent trailer.

In a hospital decorated for the holidays, Kelsey (Jennifer Carpenter) and Mike (John Cusack) question an associate and accomplice of the Buffalo serial killer.


The Factory seems to have the ingredients for a passable atmospheric mystery, but more interested in the serial killer than the cops looking for him, it opts to be a bleak tale of torture and torment with an absurdly unsatisfying twist ending. Unless you're someone who tries to see every horror film out there, this is one you can skip.

Buy The Factory on DVD from Amazon.com

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Related Reviews:
New: Love Me Stolen Mafia Above Suspicion: Set 2 Paranormal Activity 4 The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Robot & Frank
Dark Castle Entertainment: The Apparition Orphan Unknown | Shelved Horror: Case 39 The Possession The Hole
The Loved Ones The Cry of the Owl Ransom Primal Fear Edge of Darkness In the Valley of Elah

John Cusack:
The Raven The Paperboy Being John Malkovich Hot Tub Time Machine Grosse Pointe Blank
Con Air The Thin Red Line Say Anything... Martian Child Igor The Journey of Natty Gann

Jennifer Carpenter: Seeking Justice Faster | Mae Whitman: Jesse Stone: No Remorse | Dallas Roberts: Joshua
Sonya Walger: FlashForward: The Complete Series | Mageina Tovah: Spider-Man 2

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Reviewed February 9, 2013.

Text copyright 2013 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2013 Warner Bros. Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment, and Warner Home Video.
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.