Friday, February 19, 2010

Sorority Row Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 35.4 GB
Film Size: 27.6 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
Sorority Row comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film is intentionally muted to give it a darker feel to it, which the Blu-ray release presents accurately.

Colors are accurately muted, never rich or vibrant. Black levels are generally quite inky, although not always as strong as I would have liked to see. Detail is generally quite good, but depends on how well a scene was shot. Certain scenes don’t always feature the strongest detail to the slightly out of focus shots and quick movements.

The transfer itself has no technical issues to be found. Sorority Row definitely gets a clear upgrade from DVD, but is still far from amazing. I am very pleased by the results overall though, I was not expecting to be dazzled as I always noted the film to look rather ugly during original trailers and its theatrical release.

I think most viewers will be very pleased by the high-def picture, it may not be demo material, but it’s still very strong considering the source material and the way it was made to look. I don’t think the transfer could have been any better. 7.5/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for this release and for the most part sounds very good. Being a horror film I expected to get at least a decently chilling audio experience, and we certainly do.

The film does feature some good surround moments, although is more front-focused when it comes to speaker use. Dialogue is presented about as crisp and clear as the average new release and the film’s music also features a nice added clarity.

The effects used in the movie are usually very good. The surround speakers wake up to create an added sense of caution and worry, and I love that about the mix. That being said, there were moments where I thought surround use could have been used in a more aggressive way, but there was not too much to complain about.

Those looking for a demo material horror track could certainly find better, with releases such as The Strangers and Drag Me To Hell just to name a couple. That being said I am certainly pleased by the results of the lossless track and think it was used in very strong ways for the most part. 8/10.

The Extras

PiP Video Commentary
A Picture-in-Picture video commentary with the Director and cast is included. Watch the film with the four leading ladies as they share stories from filming and as they tell you how certain scenes were done. Fans of the film will certainly find much entertainment from the video commentary.

Sorority Secrets: Stories from the Set (10:28) (HD)
The feature starts with the cast all in-character, clearly a promotional piece. After the introduction we get a great behind-the scenes look of production. The cast talk about their characters and working on the film together, typical ‘everyone was so nice and great to work with’ comments.

Killer 101 (14:00) (HD)
The crew talks about making an enjoyable and fun slasher movie. This is definitely a very interesting feature that really does have many good points regarding what makes a good slasher movie.

Kill Switch (10:25) (HD)
Quickly fast forwards through the film and stops to play each kill in the movie.

Deleted Scenes (6:53) (HD)
Six deleted scenes are included, one being an alternate ending. They are available with optional introductions from the Director.

Outtakes (5:27) (HD)
Horror films usually feature the best gag reels, this one is definitely a winner overall.

I’m very satisfied by the extras on this release; they are all very informative and fun. I also love everything about the video commentary. Fans of the movie will certainly enjoy all of the above; perhaps a Digital Copy could have been included though. 7/10.

The Movie
‘Sorority Row’ is a remake of the 1983 film ‘The House on Sorority Row.’ I don’t know what it is, but there’s something always so appealing about an all-female lead cast in a horror film. I was not sure what to expect of Sorority Row to be honest. Previous remakes make me set expectations a bit lower to begin with, but the decently attractive cast and theme kept me interested.

Does Sorority Row stand out among horror films? No, not at all, but it’s definitely a fun time. Sorority Row is about a group of girls in the sorority Theta Pi. Its senior year and Megan finds out her boyfriend Garrett cheated on her; to get payback she and her friends decide to pull a prank on him.

The prank being that she pretend to be die during their make out session , leading to her planned disposal in a mineshaft. The girls are all in on the prank as they begin to search for stones to ‘dismember’ the body with; while they are pretending to look they fail to realize that Garrett finds a tire iron and begins to stab Megan to death.

Rather than call the cops and possibly face jail time, the girls decide to really dispose of Megan’s body and vow to keep that night a secret from everyone. The film quickly transitions to college graduation as the girls prepare to have one final goodbye party at the sorority home.

While planning for the party, all the girls involved in the prank receive a picture message on their phones, which is of the tire iron used to kill Megan. The girls all begin to worry and slowly begin to realize it’s not just a prank.

To be honest I actually liked Sorority Row. The film is not a horror movie to be taken very seriously, as it’s quite fun and features an added touch of intentional humor throughout. Please rest assured that this is no Prom Night haha.

Sorority Row does feature a slightly disappointing ending, even opening it up for a possible straight-to-Blu-ray sequel with a bunch of new actresses willing to get naked to get a part in a movie. Regardless of the disappointing ending, the movie as a whole is far better than I expected.

I do not like that Audrina Patridge (The Hills) was cast in this film, but luckily she plays Megan who only has a few lines in the first part of the movie. Her acting was truly dreadful, especially among the rest of the talented young cast.

I love that the film was not toned down to appeal to a PG-13 audience and features a good amount of scares, violence, and sexual appeal like a good horror film should. Sorority Row is nothing particularly special, but it’s not bad at all and will certainly be a guilty pleasure of mine for years to come. 7.5/10.

Blu-news Summary
Sorority Row is a fun horror flick and is quite campy. The Blu-ray release is true to the source and features good video and audio presentations. Extras are also very good and more importantly, fun. Sorority Row on Blu-ray is ‘Highly Recommended’ to fans of the film and ‘Worth A Look’ to all others.

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