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Dorothy [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English PCM 2.0
  • Region: B
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 10, 2010
  • RRP: £19.99

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0037Z95XS[/amazon-product]

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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:2.5/5]

The 2008 Irish film Dorothy starts out with a lot of promise, but it quickly degrades into a derivative horror/thriller that borrows from quite a few genre films of the past, particularly those of the 1970’s. Chances are, if you’ve seen the slow building horror films such as Carrie, The Omen, and The Exorcist, then much of the territory covered in Dorothy will already be familiar to you.

The film begins with the young protagonist, Dorothy Mills (Jenn Murray) attacking an infant she’s babysitting, which kick-starts an investigation by government psychiatrist Jane van Dopp (Carice van Houten). Almost immediately upon her arrival to the small island town, things turn strange for Jane when she’s run off the road by a car full of teenagers being chased by another car. Rescued and a little worse for wear, Jane is taken to the local pub where the locals are weary of her to say the least.

Starting her investigation into Dorothy and the townsfolk, Jane begins to suspect that perhaps Dorothy may not be the only one with issues. But Dorothy begins to show signs of multiple personalities, convulsing violently and channeling different voices, showing lapses in memory.

Things get even weirder when Jane stumbles across some of the town’s residents and the town’s preacher using Dorothy in a dark ceremony to channel the dead through Dorothy’s body. Only then does Jane realize that “characters” that Dorothy has been channeling are actually people from the town who have been dead for ten years — the same people who ran Jane off the road upon her arrival.

Of course the “spirits,” or whatever they are, are back for vengeance on certain members of the town, but who those are and why is the real mystery, and why are they using Dorothy?

The film is nothing groundbreaking and it will not necessarily have you gritting your teeth or at the edge of your seat with horror or suspense, but it is definitely worth a look for the powerful performance by Jenn Murray as Dorothy who single-handedly rescues it from banality.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Optimum has provided Dorothy on Blu-ray in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoding that is clean and free from any noticeable source damage. There is sufficient film grain present for the image to maintain a film-like quality and often the picture is quite sharp and detailed. However, there is enough softness that creeps in to keep the overall effect from being that of a perfectly detailed transfer. Also, there’s a lot of black crush occurring in the very darkly lit and moody film. Still, it’s a solid effort, just not as good as it could have been.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The sound is provided as DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 mixes. The 5.1 mix is one that is rather atmospheric, with the surrounds filled with various sounds such as rainstorms and the creaking sounds of a quiet house at night. The front channels are effectively used for directional panning as well, but nothing really jumps out in the mix and it at times sounds a bit too dry. Although dialogue is always intelligible, there is some very slight clipping noticeable on occasion.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

The supplements are hardly worthy of mention on this release. All we are given is an obligatory “making of” featurette that clocks in at around 26-minutes and the original theatrical trailer:

  • Making of Dorothy (1.33:1; PAL)
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Dorothy is not one of the strongest horror films to come along in recent years, but an excellent performance from Jenn Murray and a solid Blu-ray release from Optimum make this at the very least worthy of a rental on a slow weekend.

Additional Screen Captures:

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