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The Reptile [UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English HOH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: 15
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Run time: 90 Mins.
  • Studio: StudioCanal
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 18, 2012
  • RRP: £22.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Another creature-feature from classic British horror house Hammer, The Reptile bears all the earmarks of the other films from their golden period of the 1960s and early-70s. Set in Victorian England with a low budget aesthetic that still manages to evoke fear and many moments of sustainable horror, The Reptile on the surface is a reworking of typical werewolf tales, replacing the lupine monster with reptilian. In reality, it looks back on the anxieties of when Britannia ruled the world, and perhaps the guilt or fear of it tainting their well guarded culture.

Married couple Harry and Valerie Spalding (Ray Barret and Jennifer Daniel) arrive in the rural Cornish village Clagmoor Heath after Harry’s brother dies under strange circumstances. Greeted with suspicion by the locals, Harry launches an investigation into his brother’s death that leads him to the doorstep of Anna (Jacqueline Pearce) and her strange father Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman). It is soon found out that the locals are being killed off by a strange reptilian creature that is connected to Anna and her father in some way. Despite being urged, nearly threatened, by Dr. Franklyn to leave, the Spaldings stay and eventually find out the terrible truth behind the killings in the remote village.

The Reptile is not one of Hammer’s finer horror moments, the film being hindered by a limited budget due to the studio’s previous efforts, including Dracula, Prince of Darkness, running over budget. It does still effectively create an overwhelming sense of dread and contain more then enough creepy scenes, often difficult to watch, that make fit right in line with the better entries from Hammer.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

While this latest Hammer effort seems to be slightly better than the last item I reviewed from the StudioCanal/Hammer collaboration, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, it still seems overly DNR’d to me. Skin textures are a bit waxy and there are moments where the film grain just swirls around objects unnaturally. With that being said, the AVC/MPEG-4 transfer in its original UK aspect ratio of 1.66:1 does have its strengths, those being the vibrancy of the colors, the contrast and deep black levels with extended shadow details.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The original monaural recording is offered up in LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit). It is relatively clean with little noise or crackle and has intelligible dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

The supplements follow the pattern for previous Hammer releases from StudioCanal, offering a really good making-of, that gives some interesting information on the history and production of The Reptile, alongside a World of Hammer episode and a restoration comparison for the techies.

The supplements:

  • The Serpent’s Tale: The Making of The Reptile (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:21:50)
  • World of Hammer Episode “Wicked Women” (1.33:1; SD/PAL; 00:24:54)
  • Restoration Comparison (1080p/24; 00:02:17) – a silent side-by-side comparison of the original source and restored version of The Reptile.
  • Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
  • DVD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

While there are some good scare scattered throughout The Reptile, the overall impression here is that the film was not given quite the same attention that the previous films were. Despite that, it is still quite scary (and often repulsive) at times, so hold on to your gal or guy, grab some popcorn, and start watching.

Additional Screen Captures

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

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006C1B104[/amazon-product]

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

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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