The Remaining (Blu-ray Review)

RemainingA group of close friends gather for a wedding, but their celebration is shattered by apocalyptic events in the supernatural thriller from AFFIRM Films, THE REMAININGavailable from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. This rapture film follows five friends who are forced to scramble for safety as a series of cataclysmic events starts to occur. The survivors are forced to re-examine life, love and belief as they must choose between faith and survival. THE REMAINING stars Alexa Vega (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Shaun Sipos (“The Vampire Diaries”), Johnny Pacar (“Make It or Break It”), Italia Ricci (“Chasing Life”) and Bryan Dechart (Step Up 3D).  The film is directed by Casey La Scala from a screenplay by La Scala and Chris Dowling. Peter Schafer served as the executive producer with Marc Bienstock, Brad Luff and La Scala serving as producers.

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The Remaining is an action-packed supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop. A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies. The survivors face a horrifying, uncertain future as they scramble for safety, but as their world collapses around them in chaos and terror will they choose real life through faith, or just try to survive?

Casey La Scala’s little religious disaster movie is one that has some good moments and a nice idea, but ultimately just falls into the “okay” category.  There is some good and unique action in the film, as well as some good haunts, but there’s plenty of it that rings hollow, despite how deep this film really wants to be.  I will give credit, that for as religious as this film wants to be with its ideals and methods, its not really thrown in your face and it kinda sneaks up on you that this is what it may all be about.  Those themes are complimentary to everything going on and not sitting at the forefront of everyone and everything the entire time.

This film takes the found footage device and uses it in certain parts to “enhance” the action or make it more in your face.  For the most part, I think it was traditioanlly filmed.  What I found funny is on the making of, the director says he’s “inventing” this style, yet I’m pretty sure I’d seen it done multiple times before.  Not to mention it had been done before months earlier in 2014 in the film Into The Storm.

For some reason, this group of  young characters were calling me back to the group of Cloverfield or at least the vibe they had in that movie.  However, here, this movie wants to be very character focused and dramatic and tries, but really nothing holds and most of them ring pretty hollow.   Its first act is basically just another teenage/college age drama/comedy until the rapture stuff happens.  Its quite nice, but just showing clips of them having fun doesn’t really tell me much about them.  They also seem to have typical situations and conflicts that really just don’t amount to much in the way of interest.  They also pick up a girl along the way who seems to be interesting, but really they don’t do much at all with her.

While I’m rating this movie as “average” that’s actually pretty complimentary as I thought I was in for just some cheap bad horror film.  And when it started found footage, I got another shiver.  But ultimately, it produces some solid scares and good thrills to fill in a decent story with some pretty underwhelming characters.  I imagine teenagers may have a good bit of fun with this movie on a weekend night.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  Overall, this is a great, clear and sharp picture.  Doesn’t matter if its the normal “stable” camera work or the found footage stuff.  This is a digital image transferred neatly to Blu-ray.  Detail is high from any distance on a number of things, from rubble to clothing fabric to surface texture.

Black Levels:  Blacks are well done, complimentary and provide a nice bit of shading and lifelike nighttime sequences.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty strong if in that there aren’t a whole lot of them on display here.  A bit more of a lifelike and none bursting out type fashion.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones are natural, consistent and feature incredible amounts of detail from any distance.

Noise/Artifacts:  Mr. Clean.

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: The Remaining comes with a very impressive 5.1 track that locks you in and lets you experience the rapture right in the comfort of your own home.  This track is loud and perfectly mixes the volume of its action sequences.  Loudness definitely enhanced my viewing as I did jump at many bits where on a stale 5.1 track I wouldn’t.  All the sounds have a live feeling to them and put you right in the face of the action.

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer kicks your butt as things crash down from the sky, building crumble and creatures make crazy noises.

Surround Sound Presentation:  There is great interplay between all the 5 channels in the room.  The rear speakers provide creepy ambiance as well as some jumps and attacks of their own.  Everything is very accurate and true to what’s on screen and gives you quite the experience of being in that environment.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp, clear and loud.

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Deleted Scene: Tommy Apologizes To Jack (HD, 1:48)

Divine Revelations: Making The Remaining (HD, 19:44) – A nice run through of the production that focuses on trying to make a more religious focused thriller, casting, shooting, stunts and visual effects.  Includes cast and crew interviews as well as behind the scenes footage and scene run throughs.

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An average little horror movie with some good thriller, I was surprised that The Remaining was just some “also ran” garbage, but a solid effort.  This Blu-ray comes with both fantastic video and an outstanding audio track (seriously, crank this one up).  The extras a tiddly bits, but enough for someone wanting to know a bit more afterward.  If you’re curious, I think a rental will definitely suffice.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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