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A view on Blu-ray by Colin Zavitz

Hounds of Love [Blu-ray]

 

(Ben Young, 2016)

 

Also available in an Australian Blu-ray Edition:

and a German Blu-ray:

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Factor 30 Films

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:48:00.000

Disc Size: 38,349,663,581 bytes

Feature Size: 27,817,328,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January 29th, 2018

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3591 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3591 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
 

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Interviews with actors Stephen Curry (4:02), Emma Booth (4:15) and Ashleigh Cummings (2:52)
Behind-the-Scenes footage (Reel - 5:22, Make-up transformation of Emma to Evie - 1:11)
Two short films from Hounds of Love director Ben Young: Something Fishy (2010 - 13:13)  is a dark film about Nick, a 15 year old boy and Bush Basher (2011 - 15:40) involves the story of a family coming apart during a weekend trip
John Butler Trio Only One music video, directed by Ben Young (5:31)
Trailer (1:59)
Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Loosely based on real-life events, this harrowing psychological thriller from Australian writer-director Ben Young is set to join the likes of The Silence of the Lambs as one of the most gruelling serial killer movies ever realised.

In 1980s Perth, Australia, a depraved couple are abducting and murdering young girls. When seventeen-year-old Vicki Maloney accepts a ride from the duo late one night, she finds herself catapulted into a nightmare beyond her imagining.

Bolstered by astonishing performances from its three main leads, Hounds of Love is bold and powerful piece of filmmaking which proves that Australian genre cinema is alive and well.

***

In 1987, murderous couple John and Evelyn roam the streets of Perth, Australia, searching for their latest victim. Fate leads them to Vicki Maloney, a teen who snuck out of her house at night to go to a party. Now held captive in a room, Vicki must use her wits to try and drive a wedge between the crazed duo before they can finish her off .

 

 

The Film:

Writer-director Ben Young makes his fiercely commanding feature debut with a nightmarish fictional variation on the story. A respectable-looking man and woman cruise around in their car, asking teenage girls out walking on their own if they would like a lift. The results are horrifying, and the very unwatchability of this picture, its ability to make you put your face in your hands, is ironic, considering how superbly and even beautifully photographed it is, in a flat, hard light. It is superbly acted by Emma Booth as Evelyn, a damaged and pathetic woman in an abusive relationship with psychotic John – a role in which the veteran comic actor Stephen Curry is blood-chillingly plausible. Ashleigh Cummings is excellent as Vicki, a teenage victim who fights back by trying to exploit the tensions between them.

Excerpt from TheGuardian located HERE

This is a fearsomely accomplished first feature: a kidnapping thriller that never gets too far from the action (even though you’ll want to be). It opens with an ominous montage of slo-mo camerawork ogling the bodies of high school cheerleaders, crosscut with the moist lips and eyes of a couple spying from a parked car. Elsewhere, bad sex is happening in trashy brick-walled apartments while the sun-bleached neighbourhood outside seems to invite a catastrophe.

Hounds of Love’ takes as partial inspiration two real-life killing sprees that still haunt the western city of Perth. Director Ben Young’s universe is a carefully recreated 1986, during which the so-called ‘Moorhouse murders’ – perpetrated by a married couple – transpired. Our heroine is frizzy-haired Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), who has a habit of sneaking out of home after dark to buy pot from strangers.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Hounds of Love gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Video.  It is a dual-layered disc and has a strong bitrate for the 1 hour 48 min feature. Colors are solid, bright and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 2.39:1 frame.  It's a very clean image, showcasing some hi-def detail, especially in some neat slow-motion sequences.  This Blu-ray of Hounds of Love seems to be a perfect replication of the theatrical version . It seems devoid of imperfections.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Arrow Blu-ray of Hounds of Love offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3591 kbps. The sound seems to be perfectly mixed and the levels are just right. There is a score credited to Dan Luscombe, and some great songs of the era are included in the film, featuring numbers by Joy Division, Cat Stevens, and the Moody Blues.  There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

There are a fair amount of extras, though no commentary is available. It is always interesting to see a director's earlier work, and that is exactly what we get here with 2 short films and a music video all directed by Young. The director's talent can be seen even in these early pieces.  Included are some interviews with the cast that prove to be quite informative.  There is also a some behind-the-scenes footage, and the film's trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
If you have the stomach for it, Hounds of Love is a worthy exploration of some very dark themes.  The film goes deep into understanding the motivations behind 2 very dark and disturbed lovers.  The tension in the film is palpable, thanks to wonderful performances by the leads and a great screenplay.  I would have liked an audio commentary but even without, there are enough extras here and I was very fond of the director's early work being included.  Though the subject matter is not for everyone, I would definitely recommend this disc to anyone interested.

Colin Zavitz

January 23, 2018

Also available in an Australian Blu-ray Edition:

and a German Blu-ray:


 




 

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Gary Tooze

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