Into the Forest Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Into the Forest Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews this engaging drama that tells the story of two sisters that must learn to survive on their own in their isolated woodland home, after a massive power outage.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie
Written & Directed by: Patricia Rozema
Music by: Max Richter
Based on the novel by: Jean Hegland
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 4, 2016

"Hope is Power"

My Take:

Set in the near future, this apocalyptic drama follows two sisters whose peaceful lives are disrupted one day by a world-wide power outage. The sisters must work together in order to survive in their increasingly treacherous new world, fighting intruders, disease, loneliness, and starvation.

Based on the novel of the same name by Jean Hegland Into the Forest is a film that is set on a small stage that tells a post-apocalyptic tale that eschews fantastical elements in favor of a character driven narrative surrounding two young women, sisters, that suddenly find themselves facing a world bereft of all of the things that once brought them comfort. Screenwriter/director Patricia Rozema provides a fly on the wall perspective as Eva and Nell, two very different people, struggle to cope, eventually emboldening their sisterly bond on a level that neither would have thought possible.

Through trials and tribulation their relationship is the heartbeat of the film while the events responsible for their plight are purposefully kept vague so as not to offset the focus. This script isn’t perfect, sometimes overplaying its melodrama and level of emotion. This is a relatively minor shortcoming though as the chemistry and solid performances by Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page unveil the stirring humanity which resides at the film’s core. Into the Woods is a genuine and stirring drama that paints in vivid strokes. I found it to be a worthwhile way to spend an evening.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for a scene of violence involving a rape, language, and some 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.**

Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Into the Forest comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery but it seems to represent the film’s elements well. Primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a cooler overall palette that works well against the drab settings featured in the story. Complexions are texturally descriptive with lifelike tonality. Resolution is very good although the film’s inherently softer elements leave some wide angle shots with smoother lines and average delineation. Close ups and mid-level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts and thought this appeared to be a pristine quality encoding.

The lossless soundtrack competently delivered the elements present in the recording. Dialog was well intonated with crystal clarity and good room penetration. The presentation offered an open soundstage across the front with definitive channel separation and good dynamic range. Surround use was limited to spatial cues and occasional panning effects that enhanced dimension. This was noticeable during several sequences as the music and effects created a fair sense of envelopment. There weren’t any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer was used to provide low bass emphasis that extended the low range content associated with the soundtrack’s elements.

Bonus Features:
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Patricia Rozema
  • (HD) The Making of Into the Forest – 16 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by Jean Hegland Into the Forest is a genuine, stirring and well enacted drama that paints in vivid strokes while speaking to the human condition on an emotive level. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits mated with a minimal supplemental package that offers insights from the cast/crew. Into the Woods is recommended viewing for genre fans and deserves a place near the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Ralph C. Potts
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