The review of The House – The Awakening of Evil on blu-ray: the Warner product produces an excellent video but above all excellent audio capable of generating fear and tension. However, the absence of extras disappoints.
For being the return of an iconic horror franchise that has always been for strong stomachs, The House – The Awakening of Evil certainly did not disappoint expectations. The one directed by Lee Cronin, is in fact a hard and pure splatter, where blood flows and gruesome details abound. This time the action moves from the woods to the city, to tell the story of Beth and Ellie, two sisters whose reunion is interrupted by the rise of demons in the flesh. This time the Necronomicon unleashes its terror upon a building at the top of the city. It’s up to Beth to try and save her family as she wanders the skyscraper haunted by the dead.
And horror classic style, without many frills, which in the end is the one that has obtained the highest receipts of the whole saga. A horror to watch at home, to scare comfortably on the sofa, where you can scream without fear of the judgments of other viewers. And here comes to the rescue the blu-ray branded Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which we were able to analyze and which we tell you about in this review. In which we explain why, especially on the audio front, The House – The Awakening of Evil it gives a really strong experience.
The video: bloodbaths and splatter scenes with lots of highlighted details
However, let’s start from the video, premising that The House – The Awakening of Evil has soft colors, decidedly heavy shadows, very poorly lit scenes: a whole series of factors that make the task of the video complicated, especially if we are not talking about a 4K UHD in able to circumvent certain problems, cancel them or at least limit them, but of a blu-ray HD. Yes, because this is the video format in which the film was released in Italy (apart from the DVD of course), and this must be done well. In any case, the fears vanish almost all upon viewing: to help digest a material that is rather difficult to manage, even the total absence of extras, which if on the one hand is a not indifferent flaw of the edition, on the other guarantees at least that all the space of the disc is dedicated to the audio-video part, with obvious benefits on compression.
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A few hints of banding or there are some smudges on deep blacks, as is the inevitable emergence of a little mellowness in detail in very dark scenes, but they are small reliefs that remain well below the guard level, while the general quality level remains very high. In short, the detail is ensured, the compactness of the picture never fails, and above all everything is splatter and the gruesome details between decomposing bodies, quarterings, bloodbaths and whatnot, are well defined in detail and always perceptible. Which then for horror lovers is the only thing that really matters.
Scary audio that ensures tension and scares
But if the video is already promoted despite its limitations, the strong part of the edition is certainly theaudio. Unfortunately the Italian one stops at one Dolby Digital 5.1 which in any case makes an excellent impression, resulting compelling and full-bodied. And if you want an even more satisfying immersion in the demonic atmospheres of the film, here is a ready Dolby Atmos truly amazing English. The film plays a lot on a sound carpet full of tension to underline the key moments above all, something to which all the loudspeakers and also the subwoofer contribute actively and with great precision. In this respect, the English Atmos can also count on the height channels which in some sequences clearly make the difference, further amplifying the feeling of claustrophobia.
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Just to introduce the atmosphere of the film, there is the opening sequence with the drone which immediately makes it clear how the viewer will be placed at the center of the story without sparing sound effects. THE scary noises pop up here and there, then there are strong scenes like the earthquake that help flex their muscles with an LFE channel that packs plenty of energy and punchy, punchy bass. All supported by an apt soundtrack, creative touches, distorted and disturbing voices that sow terror, for a truly compelling mix, which as mentioned in the original version is even more convincing. Unconvincing, however, there is the complete absence of special content.
At the conclusion of the review of The House – The Awakening of Evil on blu-ray, we reiterate how the video of the Warner product gets along very well despite the difficulties of a very dark horror, but also that the real trump card of the edition is an audio powerful and full of tension, capable of making the viewer jump. Too bad for the total lack of extras.
Because we like it
- An audio that especially in the original Dolby Atmos has great energy.
- Even light sound effects manage to create a constant tension.
- The video’s ability to digest difficult and very dark scenes.
- The nasty surprise of not finding a shred of extras.
- Some physiological smudges in the images in the more problematic sequences.