The Haunting (1999)
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||108:03 (Case: 107)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (69:03)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Jan De Bont|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Everything seems to be going according to Dr David Marrow's plan with the subjects seeing and hearing strange noises in the night. Of course, he believes it is just their imaginations, but we the audience know that there is really something haunting the mansion.
Visually, the mansion is wonderful to look at and it really adds to the atmosphere of the movie. I was a little disappointed with this movie when I saw it theatrically, but I must say that I enjoyed it this time round.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture sharpness and detail is absolutely magnificent. There is also an amazing amount of subtle detail contained within the shadows. To see all this detail you will have to watch this movie in a room with tightly controlled lighting (i.e. curtains drawn, lights out). No low-level noise, edge enhancement or edge bleeding was seen.
The colour was exemplary - deeply saturated, rich and vibrant. It is without a doubt one of the best transfers I have seen in this respect.
Apart from one minor instance of grain in the sky at the start of the movie (at 0:40 - 0:48) this DVD is totally grain and pixelization free.
Because of the superb detail there are four really trivial instances of aliasing (at 1:23, 34:14 - 34:16, 54:24 and 57:55 - 57:58), but they are extremely trivial and they all disappear when a Progressive Scan DVD player is used. At 61:18 an extremely fast horizontal pan occurs and the picture becomes a blur, but this is more an observation than a criticism.
I counted eight film artefacts for the entire film. All were tiny and unobtrusive.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 69:03 in Chapter 16, on a scene change. It is only just detectable because the soft background music stops momentarily. This is a superbly placed layer change that does not disrupt the flow of the movie.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) soundtrack and a German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) soundtrack. I listened to the default English soundtrack. Again I would like to commend Dreamworks for choosing to use 448Kb/s audio streams instead of the lesser and slightly inferior 384Kb/s audio stream. If anyone needs convincing about the benefits of 448Kb/s audio bit-streams, just have a listen to this DVD.
The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie. No audio sync problems were noticed.
The one tiny fault that I previously referred to in passing is a small but noticeable click in the rear right channel at 78:35. I played this section several times just to make sure it wasn't a power surge or spike. The click is not present in the German soundtrack.
Jerry Goldsmith's musical score is excellent, but is overshadowed by the superb effects.
The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and lots of special effects, as well as subtle background detail and effects which are present throughout the entire film. Directional effects and precise sound placement within the sound field are the norm rather than the exception, putting you right in the midst of the movie at all times, not just during the action sequences. The sound placement across the front sound stage is superb.
The subwoofer is continually being used to add bass to most scenes, and is extremely active during the dramatic sequences, and I do mean extremely active. My windows were rattling and the floor was shaking, but the best thing is that it actually doesn't sound overdone. This movie has the best bass and subwoofer use I have ever heard, bar none. Subwoofer highlights are at 0:14 - 1:02, 13:05, 34:54, 38:05 (awesome) and 82:32.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Main Menu selections are; Play, Scene Selection (24), Bonus Material, Audio Languages and Subtitle Languages. The one thing that I missed was the inclusion of a Scene Selection Index, which would have helped speed up selecting the latter chapters.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is magnificent and is of reference quality.
The DVD is blessed with an absolutely superb soundtrack with only one tiny flaw, which unfortunately stops it from receiving a reference quality rating.
The extras are pretty limited.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|