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The Seventh Sign (Blu-ray Review)

Home video geek here. This Scream Factory release on Blu-ray for the first time completes the 4 quadrant upgrade for a 4-movie DVD collection I’ve had on my shelf for years. You might own it too, the 4-Movie Horror Unleashed Collection. Accompanying The Seventh Sign on it were the original Fright Night, John Carpenter’s Christine and the Chuck Russell remake of The Blob. Awesome set, right? Now all of them have made the jump to Blu-ray with the Demi Moore thriller finally completing it. Scream Factory has done a number on this one, with a load of interviews sitting on the disc for you to peel through. You can pre-order the film to have by its release date of September 11th by using the Amazon link that follows the review (And also, thank you!).

Film 

Prior to his death on the crucifix, Jesus Christ was offered a drink of water, a kind act turned away by a Roman soldier. These events play a profound role in occurrences during modern times, which some construe as signs of Christ’s return and the apocalypse. While Abby Quinn believes the end is coming and that her unborn child may be in danger as a result, Father Lucci, a Vatican agent, is doubtful no matter what evidence she presents.

Religious horror thrillers were kind of a bigger deal back in the late 80s and early 90s, likely thanks to the Satanic Panic or the era. You’ll find a good many of them, that almost come off as horror dramas as they extend beyond the whole “haunted house” or “possessed person” tropes and tend to feature more people questioning faith and discovering the concepts of religious philosophies coming to fruition. The Seventh Sign decides to take on the book of Revelations and the ultimate apocalypse of the world in the film.

Said apocalypse comes in a pretty low key way. In today’s cinema, it would be a HUGE event kind of film that paints itself super obvious. What I enjoy about The Seventh Sign is how low key it all happens. Probably more likely due to the budget of the film, but I really respect this whole story of it all happening behind our backs and a believable way of no one really putting it together. Hell, you even have Jesus wandering around in the open in the film and people not picking up on it.

The film isn’t really gangbusters, its merely just solid, but there’s a lot of things here to respect about it. It never goes completely over the top and manages to have itself set up for a great tense situation in its finale. Demi Moore is pretty terrific in the film too. Its a shame she didn’t do much more horror. I’ve seen him in a ton of movies, but I really liked Jurgen Prochnow in the film as well, too. I usually feel like he’s just “there” in movies and a solid presence, but in The Seventh Sign, I totally get why this guy could be a bigger deal than just “That guy from Das Boot.”

The Seventh Sign is a solid little movie, being an interesting biblical thriller showcasing a low key apocalypse. Its an interesting one to look back on and would be a good movie to put in the middle of a horror marathon. Hence, why it probably fits into that DVD set I mentioned earlier so well. Demi Moore is strong here as are most all of her costars. This is a decent little cult film deserving of coming over to the format.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Seventh Seal looks pretty good here. It does waiver at times between impressive and slightly underwhelming, but overall, its the best its ever looked. Details are pretty strong with some scenes looking a hair too smooth. We’ve all seen better, but likely due to a limitation or restriction on the restoration this is the best we’ll get, but its still pretty good.

Depth:  We get a little bit above average depth here. Motion is cinematic and pretty fluid with no real distortions in rapid motions to report.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep, sometimes hiding detail a bit. No crushing witnessed however.

Color Reproduction: Colors are rather natural throughout the film and feel a little bit muted in the nature of the aesthetic. The Vatican scenes are probably the most impressive. You see some stronger moments in more pronounced colors, but overall, this isn’t and wasn’t meant to be some vivid experience.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features like wrinkles, scars, freckles, moles and make-up come through pretty clear in close ups and most medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

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

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: The Seventh Sign rocks a really engaging 2.0 stereo track that full encompasses the score and soundscapes used in the film to really fill the room as much as it can. The mix features a pretty strong balance on the score, vocals and effects while also able to bring some effecting booming on the low end of things. This track more than does the trick to bring this one to lossless life.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, plenty audible no matter the pandemonium occurring in the film.

Extras 

Interview With Actor Michael Biehn (HD, 11:10) – First offered the Jurgen Prochnow role, he offered himself for the husband role. He describes the script as “good” rather than the “this will put my kid through sophomore year of college” type and admits he probably could have done more research for his role. In a funny bit he talks about his crying method and how he’s not very good at it.

Interview With Director Carl Schultz (HD, 20:21) – He gives a bit of a brief overview on his career before The Seventh Sign and goes through the story of crafting this story. A fun factoid from this is that the original title was “The Boarder”.

Interview With Screenwriters Clifford And Ellen Green (HD, 30:01) – The writing duo explain their wanting to have their names taken off the film and they go forward through their desire to write the project as well as character motivations and overall the goal of crafting a top notch religious thriller.

Interview With Actor Peter Friedman (HD, 20:13) – The one time Snuffleupagus ass-end goes over his career history, preference for the stage and of course the experience in making The Seventh Sign.

Interview With Actor John Taylor (HD, 10:52) – The actor discusses his experiences in the film, but the writers of the film return here to talk about the choice to make the character have Down Syndrome and the importance of what he means to the story.

TV Spots (SD, 1:04)

Summary 

The Seventh Sign is a pretty solid religious horror thriller. I really enjoyed the low key, under our noses, story dealing with the apocalypse. Scream Factory brings a nice wealth of interviews on this edition to accompany a rock solid transfer and terrific stereo track for the presentation. This is a nice pick up for fans of the film or those looking to complete the 4-Horror Movie Unleashed Collection DVD to Blu-ray upgrade!

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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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