Innocence (Blu-ray Review)

InnocenceBased on Jane Mendelsohn’s best-selling young adult novel of the same name, the chilling story comes to life in the spine-tingling horror film, Innocence. Directed by Hilary Brougher (Stephanie Daley), the eerie feature stars Sophie Curtis (Arbitrage), Kelly Reilly (Flight, Heaven Is For Real) and Graham Phillips (“The Good Wife”). Haunted by the death and dreams of her beloved mother in a Montauk surfing accident, 16-year-old Beckett and her father, novelist Miles Warner, move to Manhattan and attempt to piece together their shattered life. Now enrolled at the exclusive Hamilton preparatory school, her psychosis and hallucinations intensify with the dubious suicides of current and past students, as does her first love for Tobey Crawford. The discovery that her new school may be run by a coven of beautiful and seductive women who perpetuate their youth by drinking the blood of virgins becomes the ultimate challenge of Beckett and Tobey’s young lives.

Innocence 5


Terrifying hallucinations. Dubious suicides. Blood rituals. Welcome to Hamilton Prep.  When her mother died in a freak accident, 16-year-old Beckett thought that her life couldn’t get any worse. She was wrong. In an attempt to rebuild their shattered lives, Beckett and her father move to Manhattan where she enrolls at an exclusive school and even meets her first love. But the young couple’s happiness is thwarted by their chilling discovery about a group of beautiful teachers who will stop at nothing to maintain their youth.

Innocence is the adolescent ghost story you’ve seen numerous times.  Kid just recently removed from a traumatic event moves into some new digs and has some ghosts/demons/messages from beyond first scaring them then being a clue to a bigger mystery.  And its not bad to see it done again and again as long as its kept interesting or fresh.  Something that brings something new to the table or takes an interesting spin or take we’ve not seen done before.  Unfortunately, Innocence just really plays it by the numbers and feels like everyone involved in this project was sort of yawning through it.

There are a couple nice members of the cast here, but its not much to go on.  Linus Roache is a notable, who normally one can enjoy, but he brings absolutely nothing here in a completely boring performance.  Kelly Reilly is someone I really like, but doesn’t do a whole lot of films I see (That’s being fixed as she’s a part of True Detective season 2).  She’s really good in her role and gives it her all, but this one is just too weak in its script or production that all her elevation of the material is for naught.  Veep‘s Sarah Sutherland is here in a supporting “slight different/edgy friend” role.  She’s much more talented and interesting than our lead played by Sophie Curtis.  I wonder had they not swapped roles with each other if this would be a C- movie instead of a D.

There’s jumps and mystery afoot in Innocence.  However, the jumps are not enough (I’ll show you where the credit is deserved) and the mystery is one you’ll be pretty sure of from the start and snooze as you watch it unfold to your initial prediction.  The acting is mild and really this is somewhat of a chore to watch.  Not really a recommend in the slightest, even for the horror buff that needs to see everything.

Innocence 3


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: Innocence sports a fine looking picture with high detail.  Every bead and drop of water on a rain-soaked car window is visible.  Clothing and surfaces also fair pretty well with picking up any sort of defect or smudge on a surface.  This transfer does tend to look smooth in some areas, but overall is a pretty nice display.

Depth:  Depth appears nothing more than solid here.  There is some great clarity and movements are smooth.  Average, with nothing really exceptional to note.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and don’t really mask much in the way of detail.  There are some moments where its hidden, but for the most part patterns, follicles and threads can be made out on black colored articles.

Color Reproduction: There’s a real “blue” filtered look to the film which makes the blues stand out. There aren’t a lot of bright and poppy colors to be displayed.  Its a lot of plain things.  Red does make a nice appearance though.

Flesh Tones:  A tad cold and consistent.  Skin details such as freckles, wrinkles, scars and the like are all visible in close shots and slightly less as the camera angles pull back.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean.

Innocence 1


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

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  This 5.1 track is the true all-star of this release.  The movie is lame, the video is solid, the extras suck, but this 5.1 track is pretty awesome.  There’s a great clarity and looseness between the effects, voice and score.  Its track with a good crispness and very effective in what it sets out to do.

Low Frequency Extension: You are guaranteed to have a few jumps here.  The jump scares come with a thundering clap as they pounce from scene to scene.  Yes, its a forced manipulation, but it does work to a cool affect and keeps you from falling asleep to this boring film.

Surround Sound Presentation:  There are some nice moments with creepy ghost voices and dreary ambiance coming from the rear channels.  The front speakers do an accurate job with placement and movement of sound.  As mentioned with the sub woofer, volume variation is one of this release’s strong suits.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Crisp and clean.

Innocence 4


Trailer (HD, 2:40)

Innocence 2


This film was pretty tough for me to make it through.  It has a mix of some good cast and some lesser younger actors that can tend to bog it down.  Not helping is the ho-hum, been there done that story.  What is working for it, is that the technical aspects of the Blu-ray are pretty much top dog.  The visuals are good and the audio is pretty great.  The only extra is a trailer, so that’s pretty worthless.  If you’re a fan of the film, you’re getting a good presentation.  But, really if you MUST check this one out (I say skip it), find it as cheap a rental or a stream as possible.



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).

Comments are currently closed.