The Blackening appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Expect strong visuals here.
Sharpness always worked well. Nary a sliver of real softness impacted this tight, accurate presentation.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws failed to become a factor.
Much of the palette leaned toward a heavy sense of amber, with some teal as well. The hues came across as well-depicted within stylistic choices, and HDR added impact to the tones.
Blacks felt deep and dense, while low-light shots displayed appealing clarity. HDR gave whites and contrast extra oomph. This turned into a solid presentation.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack added oomph to the proceedings, as the soundscape opened up matters in a positive manner. Music offered nice breadth and filled the channels in a consistent manner.
With a mix of lively fright scenes, the soundfield offered a few chances for fireworks, and it used them well. Various “action beats” appeared in addition to basic scares and created an involving impression.
Audio quality appeared good, with speech that came across as natural and distinctive. Effects also seemed accurate and tight, with clear reproduction of these components.
Music worked well, as the songs/score boasted solid range and dimensionality. This became a more than satisfactory track for the film.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the ? Both came with identical Atmos audio.
Visuals showed the standard format-based upgrades, as the 4K seemed a bit better defined and showed improvements in colors and blacks. I didn’t think the 4K blew away the Blu-ray but it became the more accurate representation of the source.
When we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Tim Story, actor/writer Dewayne Perkins and actor Tracy Oliver. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and path to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, influences, and related domains.
At their best, the participants deliver a good array of notes connected to the movie. However, these insights come with a whole lot of praise and happy talk as well, so expect a mixed bag from the commentary.
A mix of featurettes follow, and Do the Write Thing runs 13 minutes, 32 seconds. It offers notes from Perkins, Oliver, Story, producer Jason Clark, and actors Antoinette Robinson, X Mayo, Jermaine Fowler, Grace Byers, Yvonne Orji, Melvin Gregg, Sinqua Walls and Jay Pharoah.
“Thing” examines Perkins’ 2018 Blackening short film and its adaptation to feature length as well as what brought Story to the project and his impact, cast and performances. Some of this repeats from the commentary but we get a good overview nonetheless.
They Can’t All Talk First spans eight minutes, 53 seconds. It involves X Mayo, Walls, Story, Oliver, Pharoah, Robinson, Gregg, Fowler and Perkins.
They discuss movie-related topics like “favorite Kool-Aid flavor” and “how will you celebrate the opening of The Blackening?” in this fluffy piece. I like the way the program plops all these folks in one place, but it doesn’t offer much more than a few laughs.
Next comes Shall We Play a Game?, a three-minute, 50-second piece. This one offers info from Oliver, Story, and Fowler.
“Play” tells us about the creation of the movie’s titular board game. It offers a short but useful overview.
Cabin in the Woods spans three minutes, 11 seconds and features Story and set decorator Bryant Berry.
As expected, “Woods” looks at the main set and location. It gives us decent info about that topic.
After this we find Who’s the Blackest? Game Show. It fills 11 minutes, 28 seconds, with Story, Gregg, Pharoah, Perkins and Robertson on one team and X Mayo, Walls, Oliver and Fowler on the other.
Like the title implies, the participants must answer questions to “test their Blackness”. It uses a Family Feud-style framework and becomes amusing.
A Deleted Scene goes for one minute, 23 seconds and shows Dwayne as he does the “Aunt Viv Dance” from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It lacks much to make it especially compelling.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get four minutes, 30 seconds of Outtakes. It mostly shows goofs/giggles, but some improv lines add value.
A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of Blackening. It comes with the same extras as the 4K.
With Tim Story as director, I feared The Blackening would become a tacky, dumbed-down horror satire. While I think another filmmaker might have made something stronger, Story still delivers a pretty engaging mix of comedy and scary movie. The 4K UHD brings strong visuals, solid audio and a roster of bonus materials. Though not a classic, Blackening mostly achieves its goals.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of THE BLACKENING/b>