The Experiment (Blu-ray)

What happens if you take 24 volunteers and have them role play as prisoners and guards in order to simulate the conditions of a prison? They're cutoff from any contact with the outside world and must adhere to a specific set of rules in order to receive a payment of $14,000 for their time.

From the opening credits there's an ominous undercurrent that the experiment isn't going to end well. The film is well acted and directed, especially by former Oscar winners Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker, and it's certainly thought provoking although isn't for the faint at heart due to the brutally violent conditions that erupt during the experiment.

Video Highlights

  • AVC/1080p encode on a BD-50 disc
  • Outstanding detail
  • Inky blacks with reference-quality shadow detail
  • Razor-sharp imagery on both close-ups and long shots

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack
  • Dialog-driven production
  • Front-loaded presentation
  • Occasional use of surround speakers

Sony delivers another outstanding video presentation that has outstanding find detail, accurate color representation, and reference-quality shadow detail. The audio track is pedestrian, although at the beginning of the third act there's a scene that has great sound design and places voices all throughout the room.

Bonus Materials

  • Theatrical trailers of other Sony pictures
  • BD-Live enabled

I can't say this was an enjoyable experience due to the violent nature of the film, but it certainly is thought-provoking. The character development is decent for the two leads but it's hard to have much sympathy for the supporting characters since virtually no time is spent developing them. If violence doesn't turn you off, be sure to check it out.

Release Date: September 21, 2010
Studio: Sony

Movie: 6/10
Picture: 10/10
Sound: 8/10

Review System

Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player

JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Panamax M5400PM 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

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics