Featured In Issue 254, March/April 2021

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Mark Tonderai
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Spell" follows a man who while flying to his father's funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise's (Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon. (Gary Reber)

Special features include deleted scenes; the featurettes "The Nightmare Spell," "Rootwork: Conjuring Spell," and "The Art Of Hoodoo" and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavision® and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The presentation has stylized elements in production design and lighting effects. The imagery is mostly darkly hued. Colors can appear quite saturated. Daylight scenes generally appear natural and exhibit blue and gray tints, with interior scenes tinted in warm oranges and a raging fire at story's end. Fleshtones are dark but revealing of good detail. Overall, the imagery is sharp. Contrast quality varies but goes dark with saturated black levels that are stylized. Overall, the stylization and dark imagery make for an effective presentation. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is energized with an aggressive music score, which occupies every channel for an enveloping soundfield. Atmospherics also envelop the soundfield. Deep bass is integrated into the music and sound effects, such as a pronounced rain storm, with low frequencies extending in the .1 LFE channel to sub-25 Hz. At story's end there is a raging fire that spreads in the soundfield. Dialogue is a bit unintelligible at times but is mostly well integrated spatially. While opportunities for more robust envelopment were not developed, overall the soundtrack is effective for the storytelling. Gary Reber)