[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Umma’; Available On Blu-ray & DVD May 24, 2022 From Sony

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Director: Iris K. Shim

Cast: Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney

Release Date: May 24, 2022

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Film Rating: 4.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10

Synopsis:

Umma, which is the Korean word for “mother,” follows Amanda (Sandra Oh) and her daughter (Fivel Stewart) living a quiet life on an American farm. When the remains of her estranged mother arrive from Korea, Amanda becomes haunted by the fear of turning into her.

Please Note: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Umma’; Available On Blu-ray & DVD May 24, 2022 From Sony 1

‘Umma’ tells the tale of Amanda (Oh) who lives a quiet and satisfying life off the grid with her daughter (Stewart) making her living off of a thriving honey business. But the past she thought she’d escaped returns with a vengeance when her uncle arrives to bring word of her mother’s passing. As Amanda tries to ignore her mother’s remains and prized possessions, she soon finds her peaceful existence uprooted as she’s haunted by her mother and her desire to be properly put to rest, which also brings her dark secrets to the surface causing a rift in the relationship with her daughter. But is this all in her head or has her mother’s otherworldly presence truly arrived to taunt her?

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Written and directed by Iris K. Shim (The House of Suh) who does a decent job at the helm of ‘Umma’ guiding along the tale with a fitting sense of unease and style. The film’s cast includes Sandra Oh (TV’s Killing Eve), Fivel Stewart (TV’s Atypical), MeeWha Alana Lee (Equal Standard), Tom Yi (The Purge), Odeya Rush (Lady Bird) and Dermot Mulroney (Hard Luck Love Song), with the majority offering capable enough performances in each of their respective roles, especially Sandra Oh whose performance easily steals the show and is one of the film’s few truly rewarding elements.

‘Umma’ looks great visually, has an intriguing concept at its core and initially shows glimmers of potential both as a supernatural horror film and as a character drama that explores one woman forced to come to terms with her past life which she believed to have escaped, but unfortunately it never finds a balance or focus that allows either of these themes to deliver in an overly rewarding manner. Instead often struggling to try its hand at both and with a surprisingly brief 83 minute runtime that never really gives the story a chance to breathe or build adequately enough to make the result stick. Sandra Oh delivers a great performance in the lead and helps significantly to at least make it almost reach the point of an average dramatic thriller but its lack of focus and the overabundance of clichés that it seems to rely a bit too heavily on remain a bit too much to overcome. If you’re a dedicated fan of Sandra Oh or enjoy a fairly by the book thriller then you may want to try and find the time to give ‘Umma’ a chance whenever it’s convenient, although I would strongly encourage any newcomers to the film to rent a copy prior to purchasing it.

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Overall, ‘Umma’ offers an intriguing tale with a visually gorgeous style and a great performance by star Sandra Oh in the lead. Unfortunately it finds itself bogged down by an overabundance of clichés and attempts at jump scares, largely disregarding the potential for an emotional and powerful dramatic tale in favor of trying to keep things brief with as many hopeful jumps and brief scares as it can manage. If you’re a diehard fan of Sandra Oh or you’re already looking forward to this one then it probably couldn’t hurt to rent a copy and give it a whirl. If on the other hand you’re already on the fence about this or aren’t overly interested in it to begin with, then you’re probably better off just skipping it. Fans of the film considering a purchase and simply curious about its technical merits should be quite thrilled with the Blu-ray presentation and even absent of any extras, the pristine high definition video and audio presentations within are truly outstanding.

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VIDEO:

The Blu-ray release of ‘Umma’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and provides a clean, sharp and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any problems or faults along the way. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit sequences which never become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible and the intricate details within look consistently stellar; with everything from the surroundings to facial details looking sharp and impressively detailed throughout. Overall, this is a marvelous high definition video presentation that looks wonderful every step of the way and should easily thrill fans.

AUDIO:

The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and at times quite immersive audio presentation throughout. It frequently utilizes all five available channels in order to send creepy sound effects, booming thunder and nature noises along with plenty more throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, while never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that holds up splendidly every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Blu-ray release of ‘Umma’ does not include any bonus content.

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*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray 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 Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Film Rating: 4.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10

‘Umma’ Arrives Home on Blu-ray & DVD May 24, 2022 & is Now Available to Own on Digital from Stage 6 Films & Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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