Dark Country (2009/Sony DVD/Thriller/2-D Version)
C+ Sound: B- Extras: C+ Film: B-
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.
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.
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.
give Dark Country a try.
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.
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
- Nicholas Sheffo