Secret, The

Featured In Issue 135, October 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Image Entertainment
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Language using some sexual references and drug and alcohol use involving teens.
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Vincent Perez
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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When a traffic accident kills Ben Marris' (Duchovny) wife and soul mate Hannah (Taylor), sparing his 16-year-old daughter Sam (Thirlby), he feels as if his world is coming to an end. When the girl wakes up in the intensive care unit after the accident, she is not Sam at all—instead her deceased mom's spirit has taken over her body. Not knowing what else to do, Hannah begins her life as her teenage daughter, until she can figure out how to reunite her daughter's soul with its rightful body. When Sam's return to her body is eminent, both Ben and Hannah are not sure how they will tell Sam of The Secret possession of her body. Based on the novel Himitsu by Keigo Higashino. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include an eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette; interviews with Lili Taylor (12 minutes), David Duchovny (ten minutes), and Olivia Thirlby (eight minutes); and the original theatrical trailer.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.32:1 DVD is dominated by hues of brown and green, with a slight desaturation of colors across the board. Black levels are generally solid, but there are times when darker scenes are washed out. Resolution is slightly soft, but there are scenes that are resolved quite well. Shadow delineation is good. Contrast is balanced well, but fleshtones appear garish. Edge enhancement is not a problem, compression artifacts are rare, and source artifacts are very rare. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc also has slightly soft resolution, but black levels and shadow delineation are nicely rendered, and the image can have an agreeable sense of depth. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack provides some surround envelopment, but the star of the mix is the front stage. Music and effects are mixed well across the stage, with good imaging between the loudspeakers. Phantom imaging around the rest of the room is limited, though. Dialogue sounds articulate and natural, but fidelity in general is slightly lacking. Dynamic range is good, and there is a palpable sense of dimension in the front stage. There is little in the way of sub-50 Hz bass, but what is there is well defined. The Blu-ray Disc's DTS-HD Master Audio™ encoding improves fidelity across the board, with even more natural-sounding dialogue and improved imaging across the front stage. Dynamic range is also improved, and subtleties in the soundtrack are nicely captured. (Danny Richelieu)