Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The House of the Devil Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 21.4 GB
Film Size: 19.1 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
The House of the Devil comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film is intentionally given a very early 80s look and it really does look like a film produced in that time. Because of this the presentation is VERY grain heavy, but I absolutely love the look.
The encode itself is very strong, it may be grain heavy, but there is a very impressive amount of clarity behind the grain and it looks very good in high-definition. Colors are also quite soft, really giving an extra dated feeling to the film.

Detail is not particularly impressive, but the upgrade from DVD and VHS (yes it is available on VHS on Amazon.com and yes it is awesome) is impressive. There is significant boost in clarity and detail when you compare and it’s clear that the Blu-ray is superior in every way.

The movie is not meant to look like a new release, so therefore I find myself very pleased with the transfer itself. There were no technical issues to speak of, everything came from intention and to be honest it looks pretty nice in high-definition. 8/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as well as a 2.0 Uncompressed PCM audio track. I went with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and while I was not especially impressed, I was definitely pleased. The track was nowhere near the demo material levels that we come to experience from time to time, but it still is a very good track.

The movie is generally quiet, so there is very little surround sound use. Dialogue levels are of the highest importance with this film and are presented as clear and crisp as can be. The film’s music is also very haunting and well fitting, although not necessarily as aggressive as I would have hoped at times.

The last half hour of the film is where the mix picks up and really wakes up the surround speakers. The House of the Devil may not reach demo material levels, but I think most viewers will definitely find the audio mix to be quite satisfying. There are some very effective and creepy audio moments that I’m sure will add to your experience. 8/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With the Director and Cast.

Audio Commentary
With the Director, Producers and Designer.

Trailer (2:08) (SD)
The film’s creepy and effective trailer is included, presented in standard definition.

Deleted Scenes (6:42) (SD)
Three deleted scenes are included and are presented in standard definition.

In The House of the Devil (13:35) (SD)
This feature takes us around many of the different filming locations. Featuring a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage to show how certain things were done.

Behind The House of the Devil (4:40) (HD)
A short featurette, but by far my favorite feature included. It’s short but it’s also to the point, with cast and crew interviews and a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage. The Director talks about the look of the film and why he chose to go with the look.

There are not many bonus features on the disc, but what is included is very satisfying. The features are short and to the point, which provides lots of fun information. 6/10.

The Movie
The House of the Devil is a film that I had been very anxious to see. I loved the trailer for the film and heard nothing but great things in the months leading up to the Blu-ray release. My expectations were pretty high going into the film, and now that I have seen the film in whole twice, I have to say that those high expectations were easily met.

The movie comes from Writer/Director Ti West and stars Jocelin Donahue as Samantha Hughes. Jocelin looks very much like actress Ellen Page (Juno), only prettier and thinner. Her performance in the film is very good and she has that raw beauty which is perfect for a 70’s or 80’s horror film.

When viewing the bonus features for the film, Director Ti West talked about why he gave the film a very authentic 80’s feel; this is because a story like this would not be so believable if taking place today. There are many new ways of communication, with features such as Twitter and cell phones readily available.

I have to say I think his idea works very well and it’s why the film is being so highly regarded among horror films. It leaves a young person helpless, but unlike today’s remakes and horror films, they don’t have ‘dumb’ reasons for not being able to get help, it was because the technology just wasn’t there yet.

The movie has a very slow pace to it, but I actually found the buildup to be very enjoyable, only because the ending was very strong and very satisfying. The movie is very creepy and the characters are even creepier. Ti West creates an environment that is uncomfortable and one that will leave you on the edge of your seat, even during a scene that has the lead actress dancing around the house with her cassette player.

There are very few films that separate themselves from the rest when it comes to horror, and while the film is not the best horror film I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly one I see having a very long and successful cult following. 9/10.

Blu-news Summary
The Blu-ray release is impressive and accurate to the source, featuring very pleasing video and audio presentations. There are not very many extras, but I am pleased by the features included. Overall this Blu-ray release is ‘Highly Recommended’ for the film alone.

Additional Screenshots:

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!

No comments: