Dare (The)
R2 - United Kingdom - Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (6th January 2021).
The Film

A rare family night for Jay takes a brutal twist when he awakens in a basement with three other prisoners. As their vengeful captor runs riot, Jay engages in a twisted battle to solve the puzzle to his past and save his family's future.

Video

Modern kidnap and revenge thriller with a touch of torture porn thrown in. As far as these things go it's decent enough without being a world beater.

Image quality is pretty sweet for a DVD release of a digitally lensed production. There's little or no grain which isn't surprising and compression artefacts seemed to be at a minimum considering how dark this film is. The colour palette is fairly colourful in that naturalistic sense we can expect from modern productions made cheaply and quickly. Flesh tones are solid, well defined and were on the cooler side when well lit as in exteriors; richer, deeper in darker scenes and interiors.

Black levels are deep and stygian but this is a dark, moody production. Shadow detail was decent for standard definition and contrast was mostly pretty lowkey taking on a more robust quality in the few exteriors but with no washed out blown out highlights. There is occasional crush in some of the less well lit moments but it was most likely intended and unavoidable given the aesthetic. The encode seemed solid and I saw no overt digital tinkering. As with many films of this ilk and look, best seen in a darkened room.

An HD version will add much greater levels of detail and grain.

PAL / MPEG-2 / 2.40:1 / 92:49

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English HoH

A modern 5.1 track the does great job of creating an atmospheric soundscape albeit in lossy Dolby Digital. Dialogue is always clear and remains front and centre with the score and ambiance being the main beneficiaries of the surround channels. Base is nice and throaty at times with the subwoofer kicking in occasionally. This isn't a track on a level with the biggest blockbuster but it certainly does it's job well. As good a lossy DD track as we can expect for the the of film it is and budget. Also good is that I didn't have to raise the volume to get a decent sound field unlike many DVDs I get sent. Obviously a lossless rendering will give greater nuance and depth to the proceedings.

Hard of hearing subs are always welcome and I'd argue essential; a shame they're not on every DVD and BD I get sent to cover but happily are on most.

Extras

Startup Trailers:
- The Driver (1:21)
- Survive the Night (1:58)


The usual promos for other releases; nothing of note whatsoever.

Packaging

Standard black DVD case.

Overall

Image and sound are decent for the format and the film is worth a look for those who like these kind of things. Extras are non existant but the price is cheap so on that basis recommended. Obviously, there are BD versions out there in other territories so the more technically monded will go for those.

The Film: C+ Video: B+ Audio: B Extras: E Overall: C+

 


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