Review: Darkness (Blu-ray)

Echo Bridge gives Jaume Balaguero's supernatural thriller, Darkness, a Blu-ray release!

  • Director: Jaume Balagueró
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 103 Minutes
  • Company: Echo Bridge
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Discs: 1 - 25GB
  • Video: 2.42:1 - 1080p - AVC
  • Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0, LPCM Stereo
  • Region: A
  • Released: 7/10/2012

An American family relocates to a decrepit countryside house in rural Spain, much to the dismay of young Regina (Anna Paquin, Trick 'r Treat) who wants nothing more than to finish High School back in the states. The overall mood of the house begins to take a strange turn, which extremely affects Regina's Father, who's once thought long gone psychological demons start to reappear. Realizing something sinister is present, Regina must save her family before the darkness traps them forever.
American family. Foreign setting. Haunted house. Evil Presence. You know the drill here folks. Darkness really isn't interested in creating something that hasn't been seen before, but there is a fair amount of creepy atmosphere and imagery to keep your attention, with some tense moments and uniquely framed shots that are admirable throughout. Unfortunately, it requires you to wait patiently until the very end of the Third Act for some kind of payoff that just isn't satisfying enough.
It's interesting to see how far Jaume Balagueró has come in comparison to the expertly crafted [REC] and it's stupendously superior sequel [REC 2]. Those films are tuned to the pulse of terror, where Darkness is a supernatural slow burn that never goes where you want it to. It's an understandable "less is more" approach, but when your film's most exciting moment comes a little too late, the impact is lessened and you're already tuned out.

  • Video
Echo Bridge's 2.42:1 framed, 1080p transfer is efficient and absolutely one of the labels better discs available. Black levels are strong and deep, with a nice amount of detail present. Colors aren't exactly striking but is in keeping of the films bleak cinematography. All and all this is a solid transfer that doesn't disappoint.
  • Audio
Although the packaging states otherwise, this disc includes an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The DTS-HD MA track is well balanced but grounded and lacks surround range. While both sound nice and have certain perks, they have their faults as well and never reach full potential.

Bonus Features
  • Unrated Version
The back cover states this disc is Rated R, when in fact it is the Unrated version.
  • Featurette - "Darkness Illuminated"
  • Trailer