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Dark Skies Blu-ray Review

Dark-skies-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 97 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 28, 2013
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

Skies_1

Dark Skies tells the story of Lacy and Daniel Barrett (Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton), parents to their son Jessie (Dakota Goyo.) Having retreated to a quiet suburb from the city, both want nothing more than to raise their family with no real disturbances. Now, of course this wouldn’t be a Hollywood film without said disturbances. Enter a series of sudden, odd occurrences including that of a series of migrating birds smashing themselves into their house, and you have your recipe for a horror. Hiring a paranormal investigator (J.K. Simmons), the two may soon learn what is causing these events may be closer than they ever realized. What results is an above average horror film with a few quality scares.

Skies_2

On paper, a film like Dark Skies, with its paranormal plot may not sound like the most original film. While that much is clearly evident in the early goings of the movie, I’ll easily admit that Skies was a slight breath of fresh air. By this I mean, instead of being an overly violent film, or instead of ‘rushing objects during the camera,’ Skies decided to use natural horror (something that seems to be completely missing from most of these genre films.) Sure the film isn’t the best, and sure some of the sequences do require you to stretch your imagination; however, in the end, any film that uses a bit of originality instead of copying the norm, gets a recommendation in my book.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Skies_3

Dark Skies descends down from the skies with a 2.40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer. Shot using the Arri Alexa Camera, the film’s palette (for the most part) tends to focus on the darker side of the color spectrum. Blacks, grays, and blues tend to dominate here. Luckily there is no real lose of detail in any of these darker moments, nor are there any image problems with the brighter, exterior moments (like that of the park scene.) Facial close ups do result in an accurate contrast level, with convincing flesh tones, and no notice of overly pumped up contrast. Print damage is nowhere to be found, nor are there any instance of any other anomalies. All in all, this was a consistent, clean effort by Anchor Bay.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Skies_4

Audio-wise, Dark Skies arrives on Earth with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout, with no real instance of drop out. Atmosphere impressed me here, particularly during some of the heightened horror moments,especially the film’s closing scenes. It’s during this scene, that LFE is deep and immersive, as are varying discrete effects. I don’t want to go into THAT much detail, as it may reveal plot points. I’ll just say that the mix does help to make this just a bit more terrifying.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Skies_5

All included features are presented in High Definition:

  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes – 9 scenes, totaling 11:21 in length, are shown.
  • Audio Commentary by Director Scott Stewart, and Producers Jason Brum, Executive Producer Brian Kavanugh-Jones and Editor Peter Gvozdas
  • UltraViolet – An UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film has been included.
  • DVD – A DVD of the film has been included on a separate disc.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Skies_6

As paranormal films go, Dark Skies is somewhere in between. Not as good as the original Paranormal Activity, yet not bad either. Anchor Bay has put together a faithful Blu-ray presentation, as well as a solid commentary. I’m going to recommend this one as a rental for those who want an above average horror film.

Additional Screen Captures

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Best Buy:
Dark Skies (2 Disc) - 2 Pack - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Dark Skies on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

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Skies_8

Skies_9

Skies_10

Skies_11

Skies_12

[amazon-product]B00CKH2E46[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00BEIYGFC[/amazon-product]

Best Buy:
Dark Skies (2 Disc) - 2 Pack - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Dark Skies on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

 

 

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

 

 

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