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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > TV > Horror > Supernatural > Drama > Comedy > Heist > Where The Scary Things Are (2022/Lionsgate DVD)

Batwoman: The Complete Third & Final Season (2021/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray set)/The Cellar (2022/RLJ Blu-ray)/The Duke (2020/Sony Blu-ray)/Flatliners 4K (1990/Sony/MVD/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Where The Scary Things Are (2022/Lionsgate DVD)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B+/B/X/B- Sound: B+/B+/B/A-/B- Extras: C+/C+/C-/B/C- Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/B/C

Here's one of our more unusual mix of genre thrillers and mysteries for you to consider...

DC Comics's Batwoman series hasn't been without its own personal behind the scenes drama over the years of its making that resulted in changing the lead a whopping three times. Now, with Javicia Leslie (God Friended Me) as the female captured crusader, and still taking place in the Arrowverse, the show chugs to a halt here. In Batwoman: The Complete Third & Final Season (2021,) the new Batwoman takes up against the Alice in Wonderland gang, which includes The Mad Hatter, and a bunch of other Bat-related misfits. With the help of Luke Fox (whose father was Lucius Fox, of course, was a sidekick to Bruce Wayne), and others, she attempts to take these deadly forces down against the backdrop of Gotham City.

We have covered the past two seasons of Batwoman on this site at these links as well:

First Season


Second Season


The final season spans three Blu-ray discs and includes thirteen episodes: Mad as a Hatter, Loose Tooth, Freeze, Antifreeze, A Lesson From Professor Pyg, How Does Your Garden Grow?, Pick Your Poison, Trust Destiny, Meet Your Maker, Toxic, Broken Toys, We're All Mad Here, and Are We Having Fun Yet?

Batwoman stars Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey, Reign), Meagan Tandy (unREAL, Teen Wolf), Nicole Kang (You), Camrus Johnson (The Sun is Also a Star), Victoria Cartagena (Gotham, Manifest), Nick Creegan (David Makes Man) and Robin Givens (Riverdale, Boomerang).

The series is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, again a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.00:1, and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix. The 1080p image looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format and is a bit sharper and easier to watch than the original broadcast version. There is obviously some money put in to the show and it looks comparable to other DC shows such as Gotham and others.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

and Batwing: A Hero's Journey.

From Shudder / RLJE, Brendan Muldowney's The Cellar (2022) is in the same vein as The Ring or Insidious films and is a slow burn mystery, supernatural, demonic film. A family buys a big creepy house that used to belong to a deranged Professor. When the teenage girl ends up missing after walking down into the house's creepy cellar at night, her mother starts to piece together bizarre clues all around the house, many involving mathematics equations, to hopefully figure out where the missing girl is. The house has a deadly satanic connection and starts to lure the other family members to what could be a pathway to another dimension.

The Cellar stars Elisha Cuthbert, Eoin Macken, Abby Fitz, and Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, both of which are of the norm for the format. The film has a great atmospheric score that mimics The Shining and other creepy scores to help bring out the tension.

Special Features:

Interviews with The Cellar Cast & Crew

The Cellar VFX Before & After

Director & Producer Commentary

and "The Ten Steps" Short Film & Commentary

The Cellar is pretty well done and certainly had some money behind it as the production value and effects are pretty top notch. The scenes with the demon are pretty realistic and creepy and some interesting filmmaking choices are made here. I think it's certainly worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.

Roger Michell's The Duke (2020) would at first seem like a comedy or drama with Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren playing an old couple in the U.K. in the early 1960s whose life is quiet, until he decides he is sick of people having to pay a tax to watch the BBC on airwaves that he believes should be free. What is his protest? Goya's famous portrait of The Duke of Wellington goes missing and at first, no one knows how or why, but the shock is huge. Then he gets accused!

There is humor throughout, much of it subtle, while the story is obvious for the most part, even if you do not all of the actual history. The locales are fine, recreating the period effectively (if digitally, you get some obvious softness from that) and clothes seem accurate, while the supporting cast does a good job. Its just that the directing and script do not go that extra step to really deliver what the film could have, playing it safe politically and otherwise. Yes, the idea this older man with no financial or political power could cause such a fuss is devilishly amusing, but that can only go so far. If you are interested and have moderate expectations for this, you'll be able to enjoy it enough.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an HD shoot that gets carried away with split-screen a little, but is consistently fine for what it is, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has some good ambiance surrounds and the music kicks in here and there, but this is still a mostly dialogue-based film as you would imagine and you can only expect so much from the sonics. The combination is fine as it is.

Trailers for this and a few other Sony Pictures Classics releases are the only extras.

The late Joel Schumacher's Flatliners (1990) is an interesting science fiction film that challenges what happens beyond death. Featuring an all-star cast including Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt, Flatliners gets a nice 4K restoration on 4K UHD disc thanks to Arrow Video that is pretty impressive and comes out nicely in this release.

A group of scientists decide to push the limits of mortality and flatline (die) for a few minutes and are then brought back to life. The goal of the experiment is to see what lies beyond and to answer one of man's biggest mysteries. However, each member of the team that goes under experiences traumatic events from their life, and once brought back these visions leak into their conscious lives as well. Is today a good day to die?

Flatliners is a beautifully shot film by Jan De Bont, who also directed Speed and Twister, and his work has been captured nicely here in a HEVC / H.265 codec, Dolby Vision / HDR 10, Native 4K resolution in 2160p, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and audio mixes in English lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo (both 48kHz, 24-bit) mixes. Orange and blue are predominant colors in the film and it still has a bit of that Lost Boys Schumacher feel to some moments. This restoration is from the original 35mm camera negative, approved by Director of Photography Jan de Bont (Starship Troopers) himself.

Special Features include:

Brand new audio commentary by critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry

The Conquest of our Generation, a brand new video interview with screenwriter Peter Filardi

Visions of Light, a brand new video interview with director of photography Jan de Bont and chief lighting technician Edward Ayer

Hereafter, a brand new video interview with first assistant director John Kretchmer

Restoration, a brand new video interview with production designer Eugenio Zanetti and art director Larry Lundy

Atonement, a brand new video interview with composer James Newton Howard and orchestrator Chris Boardman

Dressing for Character, a brand new interview with costume designer Susan Becker

Theatrical trailer / Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes and Peter Tonguette.

Flatliners has an interesting concept and was a film that I only caught bits and pieces of over the years, and so it was nice to finally sit down and experience it in 4K. The film certainly has great performances and talent behind the scenes as well. I can see how films like The Matrix have been inspired by it, even if it's ever so slightly. This is a great looking release with cool extras as well and shouldn't be missed.

Lastly, B. Harrison Smith's Where the Scary Things Are (2022) is a low budget monster movie involving a small group of teens - one girl and five guys - who spend a lot of free time in an abandoned amusement park. When they are given an assignment to 'Create Your Own Urban Legend' they end up coming across a real live monster. They start to film videos of the monster and gain internet popularity as a result. None of the kids are particularly likable characters, which is what makes Stranger Things and It and other movies of the like with a teen cast a bit more involving. Where the Scary Things Are is a movie essentially about how the real monsters are these teenagers and not the scary monster itself.

The film is presented in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced, 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio track. The image is a bit compressed, but doesn't look too bad on an HD upscale. The film is shot decently and has a pretty cool soundtrack.

The cinematic influences behind Where the Scary Things Are is pretty apparent and it has a few good moments, but isn't without some so-so acting and silly moments.

No extras, except for a trailer.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Duke) and James Lockhart



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