Visitors (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Alexandra's Project, The Rage In Placid Lake
Trailer-Erskineville Kings,Japanese Story
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 86:27 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Richard Franklin
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Radha Mitchell
Susannah York
Ray Barrett
Dominic Purcell
Tottie Goldsmith
Che Timmins
Christopher Kirby
Jan Friedl
Soula Alexander
Roberta Connelly
Michelle McClatchy
Diana Greentree
Brigette Burton
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Nerida Tyson-Chew


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Visitors stars Melburnian Radha Mitchell (Phone Booth, When Strangers Appear) as Georgia Perry, a lone yachtswoman, aiming to circumnavigate the world single-handedly in 140 days. Things seem to progress quite satisfactorily, until she becomes becalmed in her 44 foot yacht. Talking to your sole shipmate - your pet cat - may be considered quite acceptable given the circumstances. Listening to him talk back, and then having heated arguments with it is slightly less acceptable...

    The back-story of her relationship with sponsors, boyfriend Luke (Dominic Purcell), mother (Susannah York) and ailing father (Ray Barrett) is revealed through flashbacks. Things start to go from bad to worse for Georgia as she experiences ever more surreal visions and visitations. Are the visitors to her ship real - or simply figments of an imagination over-heightened by the onset of cabin fever? As her loneliness and isolation deepens, Georgia is haunted by memories of her depressive mother, and her crippled father. Her feelings of guilt become a constant torture as she slips ever deeper into a surreal world where she cannot be sure of what is real and what is imagined.

    When the wind finally picks up, Georgia is delighted - she can now proceed with her journey and intends to reach the Australian mainland within a few days. Unfortunately, no mater how fast you sail, you cannot outrun unwelcome visitors when they are inside your head. When I first heard of this film, I thought it sounded like a supernatural thriller - and indeed the trailer makes it look much more exciting than it is. This is a rather less dramatic character study of one woman's battle with ghosts - but the ghosts of her past rather than some otherworldly beings.

    To be frank, I found this film to be a fairly boring watch. There is nothing particularly scary or challenging about it and I found myself looking at my watch with increasing frequency as it dragged on. The final reel does get a bit livelier, but it takes too long to reach any sort of climax, and feels somewhat repetitious for the first hour. Not particularly recommended, other than for die-hard fans of Radha Mitchell.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this film is fairly good. Whilst it does tend towards a slight blurriness at times, the overall sharpness is acceptable.

    The material is presented in an anamorphically enhanced ratio of 2.35:1 which I assume is the original theatrical aspect ratio.

    The film features rather a lot of unlit, night shots and I would suggest watching it in a darkened room to get the most from the cinematography. Blacks are quite solid with no low level noise on show, but I felt that shadow detail was a little lacking on occasion in what is overall a rather gloomy film. Colours are rendered solidly enough, with some vivid hues cropping up from time to time. There is no sign of colour bleeding and skin tones look perfectly natural.

    I noticed no significant problems with MPEG artefacts. Edge enhancement is present from time to time but I didn't find it significant enough to become an annoyance. There were no issues with aliasing on my (progressive scan) system. Telecine wobble is not present.

    There are a very few film artefacts present but they are fleeting and generally have no impact on the transfer.

    Disappointingly for such a recent film, there are no subtitles available.

    This is a single-sided, single layered disc (DVD 5), so there is no layer change to detect.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is technically adequate and occasionally quite enjoyable.

    The main audio track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 transfer, encoded at 448 kbps. I also sampled the stereo track (Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 224 kbps) and found this to be serviceable, but not as enjoyable as the surround track.

    Dialogue is always clear and well anchored in the centre channel. I noticed no significant problems with audio sync, except for a moment at 79:50 where a news reporter is talking on the dock.

    The music is credited to Nerida Tyson-Chew who seems to have done most of her work in the field of television. There is nothing truly outstanding here, although occasionally the sound effects support the visuals in raising the pulse-rate slightly with stabbing strings and a pulsing bass. There is an eclectic mix of incidental music present, ranging from jazz to opera to a middle-eastern sounding song.

    The soundstage varies. The main front speakers provide a reasonable degree of separation, but there are only rare significant panning effects. The surround channels are used sporadically. When something stressful is happening, the surrounds spring to life to deliver an enveloping and fairly atmospheric tense feel. There are some occasionally striking localised effects (for instance at 39:52) and a couple of decent helicopter fly-bys (for instance at 80:06). Between those times, however, it collapses into a heavily frontal field - perhaps to intensify the solitude of the lone yachtswoman? The subwoofer is used fairly subtly to support the occasionally tense musical effects, but is not a major feature of the soundstage.

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

Extras

    There are a few minor extras present on this disc.

Menu

    The menu is a series of animated clips from the film accompanied by a haunting song. It is presented at 1.33:1 and allows the choices of playing the feature, choosing the audio format, selecting one of a slim nine chapter stops or viewing the following extras:

Biographies

    Two reasonably informative text-based and silent screens for each of the five main stars, the director and the producer.

Photo Gallery

    My least favourite type of extra. A collection of around twenty stills from the film. Yawn.

Theatrical Trailer

    Making the film look far more exciting than it really is, this trailer is presented letterboxed with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 448 kbps. It runs for 1:58.

Trailers

    Trailers for other Palace Films releases, presented in varying aspect ratios with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 448 kbps:

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release of this DVD is a Pan and Scan 1.33:1 version with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The Region 4 release would appear to be the version to own.

Summary

    Visitors may be worth a rental for fans of Radha Mitchell, but I found it to be a fairly tiresome watch, taking far too long to get to the quite entertaining final reel. It does manage to generate some tension, but this is not a thriller (as the trailer may lead you to believe), rather a character study of a lone yachtswoman's battle to come to terms with her own private ghosts.

    The video quality is fairly good if a little soft at times.

    The audio quality is technically fine.

    There are a few lightweight extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)
AllZone4DVD - DonovanS

Comments (Add)
Most boring film - ever!!! - Steven Cameron (read my bio)