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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Mystery > 3-D > Dark Country (2009/Sony DVD/Thriller/2-D Version)

Dark Country (2009/Sony DVD/Thriller/2-D Version)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Film: B-



For all the bad 3-D releases we have seen, I am surprised actor Thomas Jane’s Dark Country (2009) did not get the same release and respect.  Besides being the lead, this is also his directing debut and because he loves the material, it turns out to be a fun surprise.


Jane and Lauren German play a newlywed couple in Las Vegas who are enjoying their time together and having a fun time, but when they leave the old motel they are in, their trip takes a bad turn when they pick up a man who has been in a terrible car accident.  From there, they start to suspect something is wrong and a mysterious figure in a diner made a strange comment to the husband as he left.  Then things become more and more bizarre.


Outside of straight-out Horror fare, 3-D has rarely been used on thrillers, but this and Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial ‘M’ For Murder (1954) are rare exceptions, ironically both not widely released in their native form.  Though obviously not (or intended to be) as good as the Hitchcock classic, Dark Country plays like a better episode of the original Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Twilight Zone, complete with a great role for Ron Perlman and good acting all around.  Tab Murphy’s screenplay is a rare case where a writer actually grasps how to do such a story and the result is a film that works on you in somewhere between a B-movie and A-movie way.


Definitely give Dark Country a try.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image was (as noted) original conceived as a 3-D feature and you can see some of that in the lighting and some clever shots, none of which are overdone to the credit of all.  You do get some motion blur, but it is not too bad and this is meant to look a bit surreal.  Hope Sony issues this on Blu-ray as a 3-D exclusive.  Director of Photography Geoff Boyle has previously worked with Jane and Perlman on Mutant Chronicles and this is a dual-strip 3-D production.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is lively and has interesting ambiance even when there is only dialogue, with a good score by Eric Lewis and an attempt to enhance the 3-D with sound by being surrealist versus Mickey Mousing the images.  I would like to hear this in a lossless mix.  Extras include a good featurette called Journey To Dark Country and interesting audio commentary by Jane, Writer Murphy and Producer Patrick Aiello.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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