Barrens, The

Featured In Issue 176, April/May 2013

WSR Score2.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
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Violence and language
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Darren Lynn Bousman
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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The Barrens is one of those campfire ghost stories that launched thousands of nightmares at summer camp. It's known as the Jersey Devil, the winged beast spawned 400 years ago by Satan himself. Some say this creature still inhabits the dense pine forests of southern New Jersey, where Richard Vineyard (Moyer) takes his family for a rustic weekend camping trip. As the Vineyard family ventures further into the woods in search of the perfect campsite, Richard teeters on the edge of sanity. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a deleted scene with commentary by Writer/Director Darren Lynn Bousman and Director of Photography Joseph White (HD 03:25) and upfront previews.

The 1.78:1 1080p AVC picture is generally mediocre in appearance, with permeating grain throughout that detracts from the imagery. The picture was shot in 16 mm and the image is softly focused and not defined. Still, textural content is discernible, though, lacking resolution. The color palette varies but is generally cold in hue and stressed with a pasty appearance. Blacks are undefined and white shadows are washed out. While filmic, the excessive grain and undefined focus is detrimental to the visual experience. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced with a haunting, well-recorded music score that provides effective surround envelopment. Atmospherics and sound effects also are dimensionally presented with an immersive soundfield presence. Deep bass enhances the low-frequency spectrum of the music and enhances the more dramatic segments, and supports the sound effects with .1 LFE energy. Dialogue is intelligible, but spatial integration is not always convincing. Overall, this is a haunting soundtrack that effectively supports the haunting mood of the storytelling. (Gary Reber)