THE CABIN IN THE WOODS 4k UHD and Blu-ray Review
When five friends; Curt, Dana, Jules, Marty, and Holden are invited to go to Curt’s cousin’s lake house for the weekend, they are ready to have some fun away from campus.
Meanwhile, two men named Gary and Steve are in a facility prepping for something pretty big. What do the two groups have in common? You’ll have to wait and see.
Dred Goddard directs THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. He also co-wrote it with Joss Whedon. The movie is a horror movie with a really good twist and a great cast of characters. You can clearly see the Whedon influence with his usual style of creating strong female characters in Dana. She doesn’t start off strong but she is going to make it out of this terrible situation no matter what. All of the roles have been perfectly cast with every person embodying who they play.
Kristen Connolly – Dana Polk
Chris Hemsworth – Curt Vaughan
Anna Hutchison – Jules Louden
Fran Kranz – Marty Mikalski
Jesse Williams – Holden McCrea
Richard Jenkins – Gary Sitterson
Bradley Whitford – Steve Hadley
The transfer is a 2160p HEVC that isn’t a huge improvement over the Blu-ray like some of the other 4k UHD discs have. Where is difference is the details are sharper and the lines are cleaner. There is also a grain present that keeps in line with the tone of the movie. The HDR is where the two are very different with the coloring being brighter where they can be and have an overall richer look. The gore towards the end of the movie does have stronger colors than the Blu-ray. The blacks are only slightly darker on the 4k UHD version and this movie spends a lot of time in the dark.
The transfer is a 1080p AVC presentation that has also been done very well. There is a good amount of detail in the images from the concrete walls in to the gritty, beaten survivors in the cabin. As for the blacks on this transfer, they actual seem a bit inkier and darker on this disc than the 4k disc. Otherwise, it is a really good transfer.
The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix that defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix. The Atmos mix that creates an immersive horror experience. Everything starts out relatively calm until they drive the RV and you get some ambient sound from the vehicle. You also get good movement of the eagle hitting the hidden barrier. Once all of the chaos happens, the overhead sound and the way that things move works so well on this mix. The LFEs are heavy and the highs are crisp. The effects and dialogue are realistic.
The audio is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that has everything that the Atmos track has minus the overhead audio. The 7.1 mix allows the sound to pass through the sound field with smooth movement and clarity. The score aids in jump scares and also showing how this movie is different than most of the things that are currently available. The LFEs hit hard where they need to and never take a break. It’s not only in the subwoofer but also in the bass from all channels.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Audio Commentary: with Writer/Director Drew Goddard and Writer/Producer Joss Whedon.
-We Are Not Who We Are: Making THE CABIN IN THE WOODS: The featurette is with the cast and crew explaining why they did a movie like this and their motivations.
-The Secret Stash: This is two featurettes about the props and set design.
-An Army of Nightmares: Makeup and Animatronic Effects: This featurette looks at the effects from the film.
-Primal Terror: Visual Effects: This featurette looks at the visual FX in their stages like pre-viz and green screen as well as practical effects for scenes.
-Only on Blu-ray-
-It’s Not What You Think: This is a PIP with some good information about the film. It is only on the Blu-ray and not the UHD.
2-disc set w/ 1 4k UHD and 1 Blu-ray
2160p HEVC / H.265
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 5.1
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is one of those films that if you have never watched it before, you have no idea what you are getting into. Its original and keeps you riveted up until the end. The movie looks excellent in HD and there are definite improvements with the 4k UHD release but not as much as I think most people were expecting.
To me, the blacks are definitely darker on the Blu-ray than the 4k disc. I don’t know why that is with the HDR but I was expecting the black scenes to feel endless. The audio is a huge step up from the Blu-ray with the inclusion of the overhead channels. The extras included cover just about everything that the viewer may be looking for from them. Either way, this is still worth the 4k upgrade for the cleaner images and incredible audio alone. I can highly recommend picking up this release.