Out of the Shadows
R0 - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (24th October 2017).
The Film

"Out of the Shadows" (2017)

Unaware of its dark and sinister history, police detective Eric Hughes (played by Blake Northfield) and his pregnant wife Katrina (played by Kendal Rae) move into their dream home, sparking a chain of events destined to haunt them beyond their wildest nightmares. Fearing their baby is being tormented by a supernatural force they seek the help of renegade demonologist Linda (played by Lisa Chappell) who must investigate the past to save the family. What they uncover reveals a threat that not only wants to destroy them, but claim their very souls.

Independent Australian horror films have certainly crossed over to the mainstream with audiences and critics worldwide in the 2000s with films such as "Saw", "Wolf Creek", "Undead", and "The Babadook" to name a few. "Out of the Shadows" follows the footsteps of the current trend, and while it does have a fairly strong first act with the setting and the eeriness, what does not seem to work is the second half that falls into cliche territory. The film follows basic rules of the rural haunted house genre along with the baby-snatching supernatural entity genre and there are some genuinely good moments to set up the tension. The grizzly murders of pregnant women seen from the beginning sets up the disturbing atmosphere, as well as the fixer upper of the old house in the rural area. But once the evil spirits come to the fold and the audience is taken into the maddening supernatural world, there isn't much we hadn't seen before. The paranoid wife that no one believes, the police husband that doesn't believe it, the church figure who knows the reality of the situation. With films such as "Insidious", "The Conjuring", "House of the Devil" and others tackling similar subjects and doing them effectively with some elements of originality, it seems like a slightly frustrating venture into "Out of the Shadows" because it had potential to be a better film.

The film is rather well shot with its great looking outdoor scenes and the framing of locations. Director Dee McLachlan was able to capture some excellent vistas inside and out, though she plays things safe for the most part. The performances are fair though none particularly stand out as greater than the other. Characterizations also have some minor issues such as having Australian actress Kendal Rae playing the wife as an American for no apparent reason except to think that her conversation with her mother on Skype was long distance rather than in country. Also Lisa Chappell's character of Linda had the most depth with backstory yet the audience never really feels full sympathy or empathy for Linda. "Out of the Shadows" is competent and does include fine scares, but it sadly falls toward an average modern horror film.

Note this is a region 0 NTSC encoded DVD which can be played back on any DVD or Blu-ray player worldwide

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement in the NTSC format. Considering it is a 2017 film the transfer looks great as expected. Dark colors are well represented and the greens of nature also look vibrant. If is not particularly a film that stands out in color palate though it certainly looks fair. Depth and clarity is also not an issue, and neither is anything with damage or errors on screen. This is a single layer disc but with the film being less than ninety minutes and not sharing anything else on the disc, the film has good enough breathing room with no troubles with compression.

The runtime of the film is 88:29.















Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
The original English track is presented in 5.1 surround. As with most modern horror films the surrounds are frequently used for music and effects for scares and tone. The piano and strings score by Christopher Gordon is very active and plays quite beautifully with good use of the surround channels to envelop the audience. The dialogue is mostly center based and there are no issues of dropouts or volume troubles. It is a fairly well balanced track.

There are no subtitles for the main feature.

Extras

Sadly there are no extras provided for the film. Not even a trailer.

Packaging

Cover mistakenly states region 4 only. This is in fact a region 0 DVD.

Overall

"Out of the Shadows" does have its moments but just does not have the originality factor and falls mostly toward ideas already executed by other films in the haunted house genre of recent years. It does have its creepy moments and jumps and there will be audiences that will surely enjoy the scare factors. The Umbrella Entertainment DVD presents the film with a good transfer in audio and video but sadly nothing in the extras department.

The Film: C Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: F- Overall: C

 


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