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Deep In The Darkness (Blu-ray Review)

Deep-In-The-DarknessLet’s venture into Ashborough, a quaint, small town in New Hampshire where its serenity and family-friendly settings are just pretenses for the ultimate terror!  The harrowing suspense thriller, infused with deadly small-town secrets and folklore from Michael Laimo’s celebrated novel Deep in the Darkness, leaps from the pages to the screen.  On April 21, 2015, SCREAM FACTORY™ will unleash DEEP IN THE DARKNESS on Blu-ray™ and DVD.  Based on the best-selling novel by Michael Laimo, DEEP IN THE DARKNESS stars Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance, Cruel Intentions), Kristen Bush ( The Following), Dean Stockwell (Blue Velvet, Quantum Leap), Blanche Baker (Sixteen Candles), Anthony Del Negro (Dark Haul) and Athena Grant. Directed by Colin Theys (Remains, Dead Souls), this eerily terrifying film takes your darkest fears and brings them home to the roost.  A must-have for horror movie enthusiasts, collectors and fans of mysteries and suspense.

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Film 

Dr. Michael Cayle thought leaving the chaotic lifestyle of New York City behind for the quiet, small town of Ashborough would bring his family closer together. Soon after arriving, however, he discovers the town’s deepest secret: a terrifying – and controlling – race of creatures that live amongst the darkness in the woods behind his home.

Deep In The Darkness has every intent of being that small-town hides a disturbing secret horror film.  And it wants to take that and blend into one of the slow burn ilk.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t handle its slow burn or its small town secret well enough for a viewer to hold on and be affected by it.  It doesn’t slowly reveal anything with clues or the like, its just keeping stuff from us.  The film shows us things that we think are supposed to mean things or will tell us something, but its not, its just holding on until the clock strikes the right minute with which to start moving in a more revelatory manner.

Not helping matters is the acting being insanely mediocre here.  And my man Dean Stockwell isn’t very good himself which saddens me.  Every scene feels like line readings or people just spouting off memorized dialogue and not the least bit feeling like genuine characters interacting.  Sean Patrick Thomas, who was supposed to be the next big thing in the 2000s shows us why we’re not seeing him in anything all to often.  Everybody is kind of wooden and nobody is buying into the material to convince us of anything.  Even in highly emotional or active scenes, people feel hesitant, and there isn’t anyone willing to just “go for it”.

I will say I did enjoy a few things about the movie as much as I’ve dogged it here so far.  The effects are very nice.  The make up work is quite chilling.  This town’s monsters/whathaveyou are pretty original concepts and do come across as very spooky, gross and imposing.  Helping things too is a shockingly terrific, full and elite score that feels like talents should have been spent on something more grand.  I was constantly in awe of the music during the film even if I wasn’t at what was going on onscreen.

Deep In The Darkness possibly could have been a more effective film with 20 minutes hacked off to make it a little tighter.  Also, maybe if there were some better takes of scenes edited in (I don’t want to believe that this was the absolute best we got).  The movie needed to show a little bit more early on to get us a little more interested or invested in solving some sort of mystery or wanted to peak behind a closed door.  Unfortunately, I found myself kinda bored sporadically and it wasn’t being helped that the performers seemed like they were too.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail: This is a very blue and wonderfully detail picture.  Everything looks as if you’d imagine it felt.  Everything from cracks in paint to scratches and fingerprints on a stainless steel surface to the pebbles on a dirt road are crisp clear and easy to make out.  This a nice sharp and clear image.

Depth:  Everything appears pretty fluid and movements are smooth.  No real unintentional blurring to report either.

Black Levels: Blacks are inky and pretty accurate.  No real crushing to report as detail comes through be it hair follicles or leather texture.

Color Reproduction:  This film is very blue.  Blues articles of clothing and surfaces pop right on through.  Other colors are more tame a bit more natural.

Flesh Tones: With the blue filter, things look colder.  Sean Patrick Thomas’ skin is a little inconsistent throughout as he’s a nice brown but in some scenes he come across as very dark.  And in some moments his skin looks blue.  Detail on facial features, especially the monsters covers every bead of sweat and wrinkle.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This is a loud and crisp track.  Everything in it is free and well detailed.  Little knicks and creaks of a leather rolling chair are come through nice and cleanly here.  Everybody, from vocals to effects to scoring all are plenty loud and everpresent without stepping on one another’s toes.

Low Frequency Extension:  Some nice hits in the score as well as knocking and crashing are enhanced by your sub.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Some spooky noises and creepy ambiance come from the rear speakers.  The front speakers see plenty of action, making the back and forth movies and volume placement impacting.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is very loud, crisp and hangs out primarily in the center channel.

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Extras 

Deep In The Darkness has a reversible cover with some really groovy Mondo-looking alternate poster art as an option.

Trailer (HD, 1:38)

TV Spots (HD, :56)

Meet The Makers (HD, 2:30) – A few commercials with interview clips where cast and crew basically give the setup for the film.  Not really anything worthwhile.

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Summary 

I appreciate a film that takes its time and wants to slow burn me through the process, but it still has to be easing me in and getting me to turn the page.  Handing me a little extra at each turn.  Deep In The Darkness just is slow because it doesn’t want to give you information and doesn’t really do too much in the way of hints.  This Blu-ray doesn’t hide anything as it has a really groovy picture quality and plenty loud active audio track.  The extras are blah, but it is what it is.  Definitely rent this one or check it out on ChillerTV before purchasing.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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