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Matt Peters
Matt Ryan, Grey Griffin, Lou Diamond Phillips
Writing Credits:
Ernie Altbacker

Occult detective John Constantine is trapped in the House of Mystery, a secret domain where none can escape from.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 27 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 5/3/2022

• DC Showcase Short Kamandi
• DC Showcase Short Losers
• DC Showcase Short Blue Beetle
• “One Story at a Time” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Constantine: The House of Mystery [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 25, 2022)

Though many of DC’s direct-to-video animated films seem mediocre or worse, 2018’s Constantine: City of Demons offered a noteworthy exception, as it became a highly enjoyable adventure. With that in mind, I went into 2022’s Constantine: The House of Mystery with higher than usual expectations.

Occult investigator John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan) helps save the Earth from the clutches of an alien tyrant. In this aftermath, though, Constantine gets stuck imprisoned in the “House of Mystery” for reasons he fails to grasp.

As Constantine explores this domain, he repeatedly encounters his death – and immediate resurrection. Constantine strives to use his skills and intelligence to find an escape from this loop.

Holy Groundhog Day, Batman! Though given its emphasis on death, perhaps comparisons to Edge of Tomorrow or Happy Death Day make more sense.

Whatever the case, House clearly works from the “same day repeated ad infinitum” conceit popularized by Groundhog Day, and it does reasonably well in that regard. With a mere 27 minutes at its disposal, it lacks a lot of space for depth and exploration, which seems like a drawback, though.

House tears through its themes and plot elements with alacrity. This means it ends when it feels like it should just be kicking into gear.

That said, at least the rapidity means House doesn’t wear out its welcome. Given its brief running time, it can’t bore the viewer or grow tedious.

And it manages fairly good entertainment across those 27 minutes, even if I do mostly feel it cuts things too short. Still, for the time we spend with House it keeps us occupied and invested.

The issue here stems from the fact that House offers a $30 MSRP Blu-ray with only 27 minutes of new content. Of course, other DC animated tales tend to run on the short side, but at least they usually clock in around 75 minutes, nearly three times as long as this one.

Though the package clearly uses House to sell units, apparently the folks behind it feel that we should view the disc itself as an anthology of “DC Showcase” shorts. In addition to House, we find three other “DC Showcase” films: Blue Beetle, Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth! and The Losers.

Even if DC intends to market this release as an anthology, I considered those other three shorts as bonus features for a couple of reasons. First, the disc’s packaging essentially lists them that way, as it spotlights House with the other “DC Showcase” material as a marketing afterthought.

In addition, House becomes the only new content we find here. The other three segments already appeared on previously-released Blu-rays, so many fans will already have seen them.

Kamandi appeared on Justice Society: World War II, Losers came on Batman: The Long Halloween Part One, and Beetle ran along with Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two.

On its own, House delivers a pretty enjoyable tale. However, I find it difficult to tell viewers to drop this Blu-ray’s price for such a short program.

If you don’t already own the Blu-rays with the three added “DC Showcase” shorts – and don’t plan to buy them – then this becomes an appealing disc. Otherwise, it just provides too little bang for the buck.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Constantine: The House of Mystery appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a solid presentation.

Overall accuracy varied from very good to excellent, with an emphasis on the latter. Don’t expect issues with softness.

No shimmering or jaggies materialized, and I saw no edge haloes or noise reduction. Of course, I found no print flaws here.

In terms of colors, House went with a stylized look. It tended toward low-key tones, all of which seemed fine, as they represented their intended schemes. Occasional brighter colors felt vivid as well.

Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows looked smooth and clear. This became a top-notch presentation.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of House, it created a mostly good sense of action. The movie oriented toward spookiness much of the time, with only occasional bouts of action.

In those areas, the track offered nice movement and breadth, but the back speakers didn’t participate as much as anticipated. Though the surrounds added reasonable pep, they could’ve been more active.

Across the board, the material sounded fine. Speech remained distinctive and concise, without edginess, and music seemed vivid and full.

Effects appeared accurate and tight, with clear highs and some powerful lows. This was a good but not great mix.

As mentioned in the body of the review, we find three bonus DC Showcase shorts. The Losers runs 16 minutes, three seconds and follows a misfit band of WWII veterans as they deal with dinosaurs on a hidden South Pacific Island.

General audiences probably know this comic series from the flop 2010 movie of the same name. I didn’t think that was a bad film, but it seemed mediocre at best.

With a fun concept and lively execution, this Losers proves more effective. It turns into a brisk little short.

Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! runs 18 minutes, three seconds. In this program, Kamandi (voiced by Cameron Monaghan) stands as the only human to survive a major catastrophe, and he now inhabits a world populated by humanoid animals.

Boy gives off a serious Planet of the Apes vibe, but it still finds its own path. Though this doesn’t become a great adventure, it does well enough for itself.

Finally, we get Blue Beetle. It runs 15 minutes, 30 seconds as it features the title hero in action.

We find a decidedly campy Saturday morning vibe here, replete with terrible dialogue, cheesy voice acting and even some “print flaws”. It walks a fine line between clever and stupid, but it entertains.

A featurette called One Story at a Time lasts 16 minutes, two seconds and involves directors Matt Peters and Milo Neuman and producer Rick Morales.

“Story” looks at the “DC Showcase” shorts as a whole, with some emphasis on House. Though it includes some good notes, it covers so much territory in such a short span that it lacks much depth.

Due to its brief 27-minute running time, Constantine: The House of Mystery can feel rushed and without great depth. Still, it brings a fairly entertaining twist on the Groundhog Day motif. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Though I like the main program, this seems like a pricey proposition for a disc that holds only 27 minutes of new content.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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