Director: Nicholas Verso
Cast: Kyana Teresa, Georgia Waters, Verity Marks
Release Date: January 19, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 6/10
David and Hannah Cashman have promised their family a fun Christmas getaway, but when they arrive at a grand, old house in the snowy woods of Washington and are greeted by familiar construction foreman, the kids realize their parent’s plan to make it a working vacation; renovating the place in the hopes of flipping it. Alicia, the eldest, is annoyed but the younger kids are soon distracted when, wandering through the creepy mansion, they find a stash of old toys in an abandoned playroom and take to them instantly. Before long, they seem to be inseparable from their new playthings, much to the consternation of their nanny Rose who, along with Alicia, senses that something in the house is not quite right. As stranger and stranger things start to happen, Rose and Alicia have a hunch that there may be more to the history of the old house than the Cashman’s are letting on. Can the family escape with their lives – or will they stay forever in the crumbling house, never to celebrate another Christmas again?
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Toys of Terror’ accompanies David and Hannah Cashman, a house-flipping couple that has promised their children a Christmas getaway they’ll all enjoy when they relocate to a secluded mansion of a home just before the Holiday. An expansive long-abandoned building that once served as a children’s home until a terrible tragedy caused it to be shut down and anyone familiar with the event staying as far away as possible, the family begins to settle in only to promptly discover one creepy element after another, including a collection of old toys that seem to have a strange effect on the youngest two who quickly become attached. Initially chalking it up to tricks of the mind as they race to get the place welcoming for Christmas, they soon realize there is something truly dangerous within, but will it be too late to get out?
Due to the fact that I already reviewed the film itself back in October just before its Digital release, this review will concentrate primarily on the actual DVD release of ‘Toys of Terror’ with a brief summary and some snippets from my previous review. For a full review of the movie itself, read my previous review HERE!
Overall, ‘Toys of Terror’ is a surprisingly great twist on Holiday horror films and the animated stop motion holiday specials of old, merging together into a delightfully twisted, darkly humorous and just downright fun little tale that’s well worth checking out. I’m honestly quite shocked to see just how many other critics seem to have disliked the film with all of its strangely odd and unique fun, as well as the clever manner in which it does something different while simultaneously paying homage to the various animated specials we grew up with. Unfortunately, the initially announced Blu-ray release of the film ended up being scrapped and therefore for those who may be at all confused, the film is indeed only available on DVD and Digital. For anyone that’s at all intrigued by this one, I would strongly consider at least renting it whenever possible and giving it a fair chance, you might just be pleasantly surprised with what it has to offer.
The DVD release of ‘Toys of Terror’ is presented in a 16×9 friendly Widescreen presentation with the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty solid for the most part and offers a clean, smooth and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up quite smoothly as far as the confines of the DVD format extend, even during the various darkly lit sequences throughout which never become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point along the way. Overall, this is a pretty nice standard definition video presentation and those who still don’t mind the DVD format should be quite pleased with it.
The DVD release features a 384 kbps 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack. It provides a fairly clean, sharp and crisp audio presentation throughout that captures all of the dialogue and other various elements within without allowing anything to clash or conflict. While everything sounds clean and clear, the distribution between all five channels doesn’t deliver as well as we might hope, for the most part keeping the surround activity limited to light bits of weather and music and almost ignoring the rear channels even at great opportunities such as an interior perspective of a car flipping and crashing which is almost entirely contained to the front speakers even when the destruction is happening from all directions based on the perspective. Overall, this is a decent, yet still mildly disappointing 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack that gets the content across and keeps everything clean and clear, merely not delivering in the surround department as adequately as preferred.
The DVD release of ‘Toys of Terror’ features a couple of brief extras in the way of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Toys of Terror Come to Life’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length) and ‘A Terrifying Weekend: Making of Toys of Terror’ (approximately 5 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the DVD and resized. They will additionally 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 DVD release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 6/10
‘Toys Of Terror’ is Now Available to Own on DVD & Digital from Blue Ribbon Content & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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