The Orphanage (Blu-ray)
The Orphanage is a scary movie, which I normally don't care for, but the web of intrigue and mystery drew me in, and I didn't mind the spine-tingling moments, of which there are many. The film looks at the classic story of Peter Pan, but from the mother's point of view. While the kids are off playing in Neverland, how does Mom feel when she discovers that her child is missing?
New Line delivers a nearly flawless high-bitrate VC-1 presentation. The exterior scenes look magnificent, offering the "looking through a window" experience that is expected from high definition. Black levels are rock-solid, adding excellent depth and dimensionality to the picture. The color palette leans toward blue for artistic reasons, which I interpret to signify death, but this only adds to the movie's creepiness. The only visual drawbacks are some minor banding and slightly waxy flesh tones, but otherwise this is an outstanding video presentation.
The audio consists of a Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel mix with your choice of subtitles in English, English SDH (descriptive subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing), or Spanish. Thankfully, the PS3 was recently upgraded to decode DTS-HD MA, and it is quite impressive on this disc. The sound design is first-rate, especially with well-placed discrete sounds as the characters are walking through the orphanage—a creaky door, a step on an old floorboard, the wind blowing against the aged windows. Imaging is excellent, and the soundtrack utilizes the full 360-degree soundfield with superb dynamics and ample use of the LFE channel.
The bonus materials include four informative featurettes that delve into the cast, crew, sets, make-up, etc., which run about 40 minutes total and are presented in standard definition with Spanish audio and English subtitles. In addition, there are some still photos as well as two Spanish and two English trailers.
I can't remember the last time I watched a movie that truly frightened me, but The Orphanage did so on many occasions. I found the story very engaging, and the personal hell that Laura is thrown into at the loss of her child was certainly believable from this parent's point of view. If you are looking for a terrific ghost story, look no farther. Highly recommended!
Release Date: April 22, 2008
Film: 9 out of 10
Picture: 9 out of 10
Sound: 10 out of 10
Sony PlayStation 3
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Yamaha RX-Z11 AVR
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector