Exorcist: The Beginning DVD Review

by AVForums
Movies & TV Review
Exorcist: The Beginning DVD Review

Picture

Picture quality is very poor indeed, especially for such a high profile release. Huge amounts of noise permeate the picture destroying all but the most obvious of details. There is a scene where Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) is dealing a tarot deck of cards. In it you see her face really close up and it is quite obvious that the picture just isn't up to the task of such subtle changes in skin tone. Noise levels make artifacting even worse as blocks of pinkish red flicker in and out of existence. That's not all, some of the effects are dire, and don't present a believable palette. The dropdown into Cairo is one such scene as is the hyena attack. There just isn't an excuse these days for a big budget movie to have bad effects.
Exorcist: The Beginning

Sound

Whilst there is plenty of opportunity for some startling aural effects, Beginning has a strangely front bias sound field. Take the opening setup sequence: there are crows, flies, wind all around, yet it is the front three that play most of these effects. There isn't any dialogue to smother, so there isn't any reason for the full spread of 5.1 channels to be used. Again, when Merrin and Father Francis (James D'Arcy) first investigate the strange church, crows fly out from behind a statue. The fronts sound fine, but only a lick of sound creeps to the rear channels. Dialogue is not too clear which is especially highlighted when the oft hard to understand Skarsgård speaks. I wish there was some brightness to the dialogue to bring it further to the fore. Bass, however, is done well without becoming overblown or flabby. Bass is present in all the right places, accentuating all the right moments. Take the hyena fight which is chock full of superb tight, punchy bass (co-incidentally this scene also has some good rear speaker work, too).

That is, unless you have found the tucked away DTS track which I didn't even know DTS was on the disc until I checked what language options there were - certainly while there is a Dolby Digital logo on the back of the box, there is no DTS logo. Warner's continual nonchalance to the DTS standard is puzzling as, while DTS may not provide a guaranteed improvement in sound quality as some believe, it's presence is at least an extra. But on this disc the DTS track is a total revelation. Sound is brighter, more focused, rear channels are really used and bass is even more controlled. I have rarely heard such a demonstrable example of how a movies soundtrack can made, or ruined, on the strength of the sound recorder's mix. Put it this way, if I hadn't found that DTS track, the score would have been a 5 out of 10.
Exorcist: The Beginning

Extras

Beginning's commentary is very dull indeed. I have said this before, but with only one commentator things get staid very quickly indeed. In fact, I couldn't listen to this commentary in one sitting, as I kept dozing off! The only other extra, unless you call 5.1 menus one, is a behind the scenes featured. Again, very plain and not at all engaging.
Exorcist: The Beginning
In an effort to out-do the original exorcist, it would appear that Warner Brothers have successfully designed a six sided snooker ball. Avoid at all costs.

Scores

Movie

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
3

Picture Quality

.
.
.
.
.
.
4

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Extras

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
2

Overall

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
2
2
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

Desperate Measures DVD Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III DVD Review
  • By Chris McEneany
  • Published
Wake Wood DVD Review
  • By Chris McEneany
  • Published
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II DVD Review
  • By Chris McEneany
  • Published

Latest Headlines

Disney predicts shorter theatrical release windows
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Virgin TV adds Sky movies and shows in Ultra HD
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Disney+ Star launches 23rd Feb: Everything you need to know
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sky price rises to affect millions of TV subscribers
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Amazon Prime UK launches Icon Film Channel in March
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom