The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Films- 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English, French, Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Audio Description track Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Starring: Amber Heard Odette Yustman and Karl Urban
Directed by: Marcos Efron
Music by: tomandandy
Written by: Jennifer Derwingson and Marcos Efron (screenplay), Brian Clemens And Terry Nation (1970 film "And Soon the Darkness")
Region Code: A/B/C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 28, 2010
"Alone. Stranded. No One to Trust."
Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie’s (Odette Yustman) vacation to an exotic village in Argentina is a perfect ‘girl’s getaway’ to bask in the sun, shop and flirt with the handsome locals. After a long night of bar-hopping, the girls get into an argument, and Stephanie heads out alone in the morning to cool off. But when she returns, Ellie has disappeared. Finding signs of a struggle, Stephanie fears the worst, and turns to the police for help. But the local authorities have their hands full already - with a string of unsolved kidnappings targeting young female tourists. Skeptical of the sheriff’s competency, she enlists help from Michael (Karl Urban), an American ex-pat staying at their hotel. Together they go on a frantic search for Ellie, but Stephanie soon realizes that trusting his seemingly good intentions may drag her farther from the truth. With danger mounting, and time running out, Stephanie must find her friend before darkness falls.
Lets lay down some ground rules that you should tell your daughters should they take a trip to a non-turista (actually movie rules seem to indicate anywhere you are called a "Turista"---you best watch yourself) area of a Central America.
1. Never split up.
2. Never split up when wearing skimpy Bikini's in the middle of nowhere.
3. Don't dirty dance in-front of the locals.
4. Stay Off The Moors (oops..wrong movie).
5. Call home, call the embassy, ask questions...or SOMETHING should 1,2 and 3 happen and your friend has disappeared.
Not all movies can be saved by hot chicks (oh and girls, Karl Urban is in it as well). As much as I wanted to scream "You idiot's, you don't do that while on vacation in remote area's of foreign countries!" I was still glad the morons did their moronic things...or I wouldn't have seen Odette Yustman (Cloverfield) drunkenly dirty dancing to the Divinyls song "I Touch Myself". Doing that at a local bar in rural Argentina in-front of the locals is a surefire way to cause a stir and possibly increase the odds of some nasty sex-trade type of disappearance happening, right?
Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie (Odette Yustman) have a fight about Ellie's actions and Stephanie leaves her alone while sunbathing in the middle of nowhere. Of course Ellie is abducted, and of course by the obvious person we knew would be doing it. Once her friend is missing, Stephanie doesn't make a logical decision, ask a logical question (sometimes even ask a question at all).
I was hoping for a sleeper when I saw the cast and read the packaging upon the Blu-rays arrival. Unfortunately that wasn't the case and I wanted to turn this flick off.
OK so you know how I felt. There was no suspense, mystery or horror. There is a reason this baby went to go straight to video.
Rated R for sexuality, brief nudity, and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The encode does a nice job rendering what was filmed, which at times has a boost in contrast. Some shots of the scenery were really nice, especially the ruined city of the films last act.Colors go from peppy and a little over-indulgent to washed out and stylized like a 70's film. Grain is palpable but I did notice the occasional spike. Blacks are black...and at times some crush was evident. Over all it is a decent release, but has no stand-out elements to push it over the top. The Audio track is similar...nothing memorable, but sufficient. Dialouge was clear and clean, as were the musical elements. I felt as though the high-end was a bit tiresome to listen to, but the low end was rich and made up for it. Surround activity seemed like it needed a boost and a little more action.
- (HD) Directors Video Diary
- (HD) Deleted Scenes
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
- (HD) Preview: Altitude
- BD Live enabled
- movie IQ
'And Soon the Darkness' is a remake of an unknown 70's British film of the same title. I sure hope the original was much better! The film lacked anything of worth-- It was a terrible story with no real character development, the horror was not horrific, the mystery was laid out for you and the end result is 90 wasted minutes of blandness. At least it looked decent. I watched the special features hoping to find some worth, but no such luck. Some deleted scenes and a video diary from the director. Pass.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer