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Julia’s Eyes [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English (Forced)
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 12, 2011
  • RRP: £17.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00525QKMK[/amazon-product]

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Written and directed by Guillem Morales (The Uncertain Guest), Julia’s Eyes has Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth; The Hellboy movies) written all over it, literally and figuratively. This suspenseful horror/thriller is very much in the style of the director of Pan’s Labyrinth and producer of The Orphanage. Filled with misdirection, suspense, quiet (and not-so-quiet) scares from the very beginning,

Julia’s Eyes tells the story of a woman with a degenerative eye disease, slowly losing her eyesight while investigating the mysterious death of her twin sister.

When Julia’s (Belén Rueda; The Orphanage; For the Good of Others) twin sister Sara, who had been afflicted with the same degenerative eye disease, (also Rueda) is found dead, assumed a suicide by hanging, Julia is convinced there is something suspicious and that a mysterious “invisible man” is responsible for the death. But with her eyesight failing and being prone to seizures, fits of blindness, no one believes her, not even her husband (Lluís Homar).

But who could this man be? Julia begins hearing things as she stays in her deceased sister’s house and a trip with her husband to a resort where Sara stayed with a supposed secret boyfriend yields nothing. No one can seem to recall the man she was with. It’s like he is a ghost. Is he? When her husband also goes missing then turns up dead, hanged in the same manner as Sara and Julia finally loses her eyesight for good, the mystery deepens – and so do the scares.

For the first 2/3 of the film, Julia’s Eyes is a a delicately handled film that one pauses to watch alone in the dark, but the final 1/3 of the film sees it lose momentum and give up its mystery quite quickly, making for what is still a rather intense film, but one that ends with an unsatisfactory conclusion.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

There is a purposely muted and bluish hue cast over the film and soft grainy look to it, yet this works quite well in the world this film inhabits and it is not unfamiliar terrain for a film with Del Toro’s name on it, although he is not directing. Although black levels tend to look a little washed out, there is a superb amount of shadow detail in this film that resides so much in the realm of dark, shadow, and shade. The thin, fine layer of grain that is present offers up a beautiful organic look to this AVC encodement in what is overall a very nuanced presentation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

This is an incredibly engulfing mix that will have you flinching, jumping out of your seat, and looking over your shoulder, just like any good thriller is supposed to do. The Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is superbly balanced and ambient and the surround channels fill with thunder, the sound of rainfall, phones ringing unexpectedly and things that go bump in the night. There’s a good amount of low frequency extension here as well to give everything a natural weightiness. Dialogue is clean and clear. If there is one flaw it is that perhaps high frequencies sound just a tad too brittle.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Julia’s Eyes is light on supplements, consisting merely of a few brief interview segments in standard definition, some raw production footage and a trailer.

The extras are as listed here:

  • Interview with Guillem Morales (1.78:1; PAL; 00:02:11)
  • Interview with Belén Rueda (1.78:1; PAL; 00:03:05)
  • Interview with Lluís Homar (1.78:1; PAL; 00:00:48)
  • Interview with Guillermo Del Toro (1.78:1; PAL; 00:02:12)
  • B-Roll (1.78:1; PAL; 00:07:22)
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

If you enjoy horror/thrillers like The Orphanage, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Ring or The Grudge, then you might also like this somewhat derivative yet enjoyable film, even if the ending is not the payoff you will be looking for. This Blu-ray release, however, will definitely offer up an excellent home theatre experience, so turn down the lights and let yourself get a little scared.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00525QKMK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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