The Blu-ray of Hidden is a Region B locked release that includes both the 2D and 3D versions of the film on one disc. The film comes on a BD25 single layer disc but the image quality does not appear to have suffered thanks to the short running time of only 81 minutes and the lack of any extras. The 1080p/24 2D version is encoded using the AVC codec and is framed at 1.78:1 and the resulting transfer is actually quite good. The image was captured using digital cameras and as a result the transfer is clean and accurate with minimal grain or noise. The images are free of any compression artefacts and there are natural looking colours and reasonably deep blacks. These blacks, along with a nice level of shadow detail, result in the most effective scenes in the film, as the characters run around dark corridors with nasty things hiding in the corners. The higher resolution of Blu-ray results in a nicely detailed image but unfortunately it also reveals how poor the visual effects are, with many effects shots appearing quite fake.
The 1080p/24 3D version of Hidden is encoded using the MVC codec and is also framed at 1.78:1 and the resulting transfer is very effective. The filmmakers used a stereographer during production and as a result the 3D photography is quite impressive, with the effective use of both the added dimensionality and depth resulting in some quite layered shots. The inclusion of depth cues also added to the sense of unease when in the corridors of The Sanctuary with solid objects appearing within the dark corners. However the cinematographer was careful to ensure there was enough lighting, so that even with the 3D glasses on these scenes were bright enough not to just become a dark mess. There were the occasional 3D artefact resulting from reflections but this is a limitation of 3D live action photography and the filmmakers ensured these were kept to a minimum. Overall this is a very effective 3D presentation that is free of compression and motion artefacts or other distractions and it is the preferred viewing experience, it's just a shame that film isn't as good.
The Blu-ray of Hidden includes the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack on both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. This is a reasonably effective surround mix that makes effective use of the additional channels for delivering scares. The score is one of the better aspects of the production and the music has been carefully mixed in with all the other elements to heighten the tension. The fidelity of the overall recording is quite good and the dimensionality of the dialogue is effectively reproduced, creating a genuine sense of atmosphere when in the tunnels. The surround mix takes advantage of the additional speakers, enabling the soundtrack to use directional effects to add to the immersive nature of the 3D photography as well as deliver some scares. The dynamic range of the soundtrack is also quite impressive and the low frequencies are used to undermine the scares with highly effective results. As with the picture, the soundtrack is far better than the movie itself.
The extras are an even bigger disappointment than the film itself, with there being almost none, aside from the theatrical trailer but at least it’s included in both 2D and 3D.
- Theatrical Trailer 2D (HD, 2:16) - This is actually not a bad theatrical trailer, peaking your curiosity but without giving too much away. In fact in promises a far more interesting movie than the filmmakers were actually able to deliver, which is probably the definition of a good trailer.
- Theatrical Trailer 3D (HD, 2:16) - Exactly the same trailer but this time in 3D - obviously.
This Blu-ray release of Hidden, includes both the 2D and 3D versions of the film on one disc. The film itself is a hugely derivative exercise in horror that is the result of an Italian-Canadian co-production and appears to have been largely disowned by its creators. The dialogue, direction and acting are all rather mediocre and the plot eventually derails itself by introducing unnecessary supernatural elements before reaching its unsurprising conclusion after a mere 81 minutes. There are some effective shocks to be had when the film stays close to its initial premise and the filmmakers have used the added dimensionality of 3D to enhance the scares but ultimately the whole enterprise collapses under its own ineptitude.
It’s a shame that the film itself isn’t very good because the 3D photography is actually very effective and is wonderfully reproduced in 1080p/24 on the Region B Blu-ray disc, with the 3D version encoded using the MVC codec and the transfer framed at 1.78:1. The overall 3D image is very well rendered, with a nice level of dimensionality and depth and free of compression artefacts and banding. The 1080p/24 2D version is encoded using the AVC codec and is also framed at 1.78:1 and whilst it is a respectable transfer, the 3D version remains the preferred viewing experience. Both versions share the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack and whilst it isn’t the greatest mix we have ever heard it does include some aggressive use of the surrounds and an effective dynamic range to deliver the necessary shocks. Sadly there are almost no extras, aside from the theatrical trailer in both 2D and 3D.
Ultimately Hidden is a disappointing experience, with poor acting, writing, directing and effects, leaving only the 3D photography to save it. Whilst the Blu-ray disc replicates the 3D experience very well, we really couldn’t recommend this release unless you were utterly desperate for genuine live action 3D, in which case we would suggest you seek immediate treatment for your addiction.
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