The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Image Entertainment - 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 84 minutes
Genre: : Horror, Mystery/Suspense
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Starring: Golden Brooks, Keith David, DB Woodside, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Rochelle Aytes, Shawn Michael Howard
Directed by: Robert O'Hara
Music by: Nathan Furst
Written by: Robert O'Hara
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 12, 2011
"A New Meaning To Blood Relatives."
Synopsis: Five ambitious cousins set out on a family reunion during the dead of winter. The purpose of the retreat is to secure their inheritance, a fortune that dates back many generations. During the weekend, as each of the cousins mysteriously disappear, they learn the truth about their family legacy, blood ancestry and the ultimate sacrifice they must make in exchange for their beloved inheritance.
'The Inheritance' had an original idea. Its all African American cast, including one of my favorites, Keith David (They Live), as well its back-story which traces the characters lineage to its slavery era roots, give it a new slant in the horror genre. You could say it has some similarities to other horror films like April Fools Day, a little Rosemary's Baby, even some House on Haunted Hill. If it only could cash in the story it was flirting with, as opposed to ending up as a non-suspenseful and tame horror piece.
When five thirty-something cousins are invited to claim their part of the family inheritance, they are greeted by Uncle Melvin (Keith David) and a few other 'elders', who warn them to respect their family traditions. --Note to self: Any group of older people who act weird and refer to themselves as 'The Elders' are sure to have some weird voodoo or satanic cultish stuff under their sleeves. After a night of partying they are awoken by the elders, and summoned to a morning meeting that morphs into ceremony of tradition as the elders tell them a dark story from the past. What seemed to take ten minutes actually took many hours, and the cousins journey to the darkest of family secrets is on its way. Only too late do they realize these secrets of their slave ancestors past hold a dark debt they must pay in blood to maintain the legacy of their family. The films cast of Rochelle Aytes (Madea’s Family Reunion, DB Woodside (TV’s 24), Golden Brooks (TV's Girlfriends), Darrin Dewitt Henson (Stomp the Yard), and Shawn Michael Howard (Next Day Air), was very strong. They kept me engaged even when the story went from intriguing to a standard horror affair. Unfortunately they didn't save what could have been so much more than the run-of-the-mill horror flick it ended up as.
R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity.
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 Inheritance' had a very inconsistent video presentation. At times, it was reference quality, having a depth that separated forefront from background. Details were of the highest caliber and blacks were superb. Then it just seemed to lose it, with speckles and noise in dark areas and banding in light areas like skyline etc. It did clear up for the last act but the damage had been done. If these distracting elements didn't rear their ugly head, this would have been a superb looking Blu-ray. The DTS-HD MA track was clean and clear, with crisp and up-front dialogue. The LFE was its best asset, with some rumbling low-level ambiance throughout, as well as some deep and loud bass in its musical elements. The Surrounds were not used as an addition to the scares, but more as atmospherics, and they never really stood out. Sufficient but not a prime ingredient, this audio track really could have benefited from some mixing that aimed to shock and draw the viewer in.
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
Final Thoughts:'The Inheritance' was a great idea that needed a bit more focus. It lacked the shock and scares that are required to make it a top-notch horror release. For its shortcomings, I did admire its originality and acting, keeping me engaged throughout. Image Entertainment's video presentation has moments that rival the very best, but breaks down with an unacceptable amount of video noise. I can recommend a rental to genre fans, but not at the top of your queue.
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Reference Review System:
Marantz SR5005 Receiver
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Artison Portrait Fronts and Artison LRS Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Dynamo 500 Subwoofer