Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD March 11, 2014
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When Nick Di Santo learns that his father is not only alive but can possibly reveal the origin of his son’s dark gift, he sets out on a trip that takes him to an abandoned mansion he thought only existed in his childhood imagination.
‘Dark House’, originally titled ‘Haunted’ is a real breath of fresh air in the horror genre. I had no real knowledge of the film going in, and what originally drew my attention to the film was the fact that Victor Salva was directing it, who for those that aren’t aware, directed the absolutely phenomenal ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and has been on my radar since. This film brings some actual thought and creativity which we all know is something that is lacking in a large quantity of the films in the horror genre today. That is not to say that there aren’t plenty of absolutely phenomenal ones as well, but it’s always a real treat to have a film not be so blatantly obvious and filled with cliché stereotypes. ‘Dark House’ continued to surprise me throughout. While I would begin to wonder about some things, it never seemed to resolve into just what I had imagined it might, and to me that speaks volumes to the creativity and attention to detail that went into this one.
Victor Salva does a great job in the director’s chair on ‘Dark House’, and while I will admit he was the initial reason for my interest in this film, I’ve come to realize that Charles Agron is really the one most responsible for this fantastic horror film. He makes his writing and producing debut on this one and a very impressive one at that as well. I will certainly be keeping an eye on him in the future and am quite excited to see what he might bring to the table next. While the majority of the cast is filled with mostly unknowns, they are all surprisingly capable and talented performances which really helped you to feel for and with these characters. Tobin Bell does a capable job of being intimidating, but while his performance fits and is more than adequate, I still couldn’t help but feel a bit of a jigsaw vibe in there, but of course that could simply be my imagination.
OVERALL: Victor Salva and Charles Agron deliver a truly clever, creepy and original horror film with ‘Dark House’ that is well crafted, executed and actually manages to keep the viewer on their toes throughout, not quite able to decipher what may be coming at any certain point and time. I would highly recommend all horror fans out there check out ‘Dark House’ when you are able to. I was quite impressed with this one and would most certainly give it a very high recommendation.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Dark House’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation on this one looks surprisingly fantastic. The colors are rich, all aspects smooth where necessary and properly detailed down to the edges of the picture. I think it’s safe to say that most horror fans out there will be pretty pleased with the impressive high definition video presentation on this Blu-Ray.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds pretty fantastic and really contributes to the overall experience of ‘Dark House’. The score seeps through all of the speakers, and while one moment will be eerily calm and quiet, the next will bring a gush of flames surrounding you and it really helps give that boost to the experience that adds a tremendous amount of fun. When things get wild, the action isn’t afraid to effectively utilize the surround channels, while it perfectly maintains the calm moments as well. I think most of the fellow audiophiles out there should be pretty content with this lossless multichannel soundtrack.
While the Blu-Ray release of ‘Dark House’ only includes one bonus feature, you can rest assured it’s at least one that is very much worthwhile. Included is ‘Behind The Scenes Footage’ from the film, which takes you into the lengthy production process, and all of the complications that had to be overcome in order for this movie to see the light of day due to Charles Agron wanting the film to be done the right away, and refusing to submit himself to Hollywood interference for fear of them meddling with his vision. The featurette clocks in at around twenty minutes and is quite interesting and informative. I would definitely recommend giving it a whirl if you get the chance to do so.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of Flatiron Film Company and Cinedigm.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Dark House’ will be available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD Tuesday March 11, 2014from Flatiron Film/Cinedigm