Sick Boy (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 21-Feb-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror / Thriller Trailer-x 4 for other films
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 79:57
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tim T. Cunningham
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Skye McCole Bartusiak
Marc Donato
Debbie Rochon
Cas Rooney
Greg Dorchak
Pierre Kennel
Teresa Valenza
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Matt Linder


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD High Resolution Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Lucy (Sky McCole Bartusiak) has just lost another job and is fighting with her fiancé Chris (Marc Donato). By chance she picks up a babysitting job in the house of Dr. Helen Gordon (Debbie Rochon). She is told that the child has a serious medical condition and is locked in a room downstairs. Dr. Gordon gives Lucy an audio monitor linked to the boy’s room and instructs Lucy never, ever to go down stairs. If she hears anything on the monitor Lucy is to ring Dr. Gordon immediately. Of course, things do not go according to plan.

     Sick Boy, made on a tiny budget of approximately $50,000, was written and directed by Tim T. Cunningham, a visual effects supervisor who has worked on a range of films including X-Men: First Class (2011) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). Sick Boy’s opening credits give away part of the conclusion, so this film is not a mystery; we know that something bad is going to happen although we are unsure of who is involved. But this opening montage is effective because the film then goes into a slow, gradual build up for about 45 minutes before the mayhem commences. This allows Sick Boy to create its escalating tension and also to develop the personality of Lucy. Indeed, almost the complete film is told from the viewpoint of Lucy so it is just as well that Sky McCole Bartusiak is natural and believable as she appears in basically all scenes. We know she will go down stairs (otherwise there would be no movie) but her actions have a realistic motivation and make sense in terms of the plot.

     Sick Boy takes its time, and is certainly nothing new, the conclusion fairly predictable. The last 25 minutes are, however, well put together with some nice scares and the gory make-up is effective. The film may be somewhat too slow paced for gore and horror freaks, but for those who like a bit of realism in the plotting, plus some shocks, Sick Boy is by no means the worst horror film going around.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Sick Boy is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is low budget filmmaking with digital cameras and it shows. Close-ups are detailed enough, but wider shots are quite soft and show digital noise. The colours are often quite unnatural, some garish, and a lot of scenes have a yellowish tinge. The scenes of Lucy and Chris talking in bed all have a blue look. The colours do affect the skin tones, which do not look natural, although blacks are good and shadow detail not too bad.

     Marks were absent, however, there was some ghosting with movement.

    There are no subtitles.

     The print is OK but the colours can be unnatural.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1 at 2046 Kbps.

    Dialogue is always clear and centred. The surrounds were not used aggressively, except for the musical score that was electronic and loud. There was some use of the surrounds for effects, such as the audio monitor hiss, which was quite effective. The sub-woofer was also not overused, but supported the music and some effects.

     The score by Matt Linder was quite loud in the mix. It was quite creepy if a bit obvious. There was also some songs by Troy Buchanan and Earth At Night.

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

     The audio is good, perfectly adequate for the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     Trailers for Another American Crime (1:19), Gnaw (1:40), Spiderhole (1:55), and Neverlost (2:23) can be selected from the main menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray has an extra German audio track, and no extras. The UK release is not due until 6/5/2013. There is no reason to go past the local release.

Summary

     Sick Boy may be too slow paced for gore and horror freaks, but for those who like a bit of realism in the plotting, plus some shocks, Sick Boy is by no means the worst horror film going around.

     The video is not one to show off the advantages of Blu-ray, the audio is fine. There are no relevant extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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