PictureClearly with a limited budget not a lot was going to be spent on the production of the DVD, and it shows. The picture is a non-anamorphic 1.78:1 print. Obviously with a title like Fear of the Dark it is shot almost totally in the dark. This is very difficult to code, and the picture suffers because of it. The contrast range is limited and blacks are never more than a washed out grey. This could possibly be overcome by adjusting the contrast range of your set, something I tried, but you immediately lose important shadow details. The picture pixelates badly at times and also has digital blocking and smearing. Edge enhancement wasn't an issue but who cares with everything else going on. I was watching this on an eight foot screen. It was less noticeable on a standard TV screen.
SoundNot much money spent on the picture, and not much more spent on the sound. A Dolby Digital 2.1 is claimed on the box, but 2.0 is what I found on spinning the disc. This movie is all about atmosphere and the 2.0 channels do there very best to generate it. Again there is a modicum of success with some nicely placed front effects showing what good stereo imaging can do with just 2 channels. Dialogue suffers with a compressed dynamic range making the voices harsh and strident at reference levels, I had to crank the amp down to -15dB to make it listenable. I can't help feeling what a great 5.1 soundtrack with deep bass effects could have done for this film.
ExtrasBrief filmographys and less than 5 minutes of interviews with the actors. They have not been graded and are in their raw state and are pointless.
VerdictThe DVD is very much at the bottom end of the food chain with poor production values and extras that are a travesty to the name. The movie provides the occasional chill but does not fulfil on its original promise, which is a pity as achulophobia (4 times) is something we can all understand. If you find it in a bargain bin (which you will be able to soon I suspect) it may be worth a punt, failing that horror completests should rent.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.