The Deep House - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Mediabook Cover B [German Import]Overview -
Terror takes a dive with Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s clever creeper The Deep House. A slick spin on the classic haunted house flick, the third act may be a little off the mark, but the film’s use of underwater sets offers some genuinely scary set pieces and plenty of jump scares to keep you entertained. Germany’s Turbine Medien delivers an excellent 4K Ultra HD Mediabook release with a creepy shadowy Dolby Vision transfer and an immersive Atmos mix to match. Recommended
Tina and Ben, urban explorers from New York, explore abandoned places and buildings on their European trip. A special highlight: In the 1980s, a village in south-west France was sacrificed to the floods to prevent the region from being constantly flooded. At the bottom of the resulting lake there is said to be a villa that has been perfectly preserved ever since. What the two divers first consider a unique find turns into a nightmare. They realize the house has a cruel secret. Trapped and with dangerously low oxygen reserves, Tina and Ben ask themselves the frightening question: are we really alone in the house?
Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, the directors of INSIDE and LEATHERFACE, invite you to dive into horror. THE DEEP HOUSE haunts with a haunted, otherworldly atmosphere and an exciting new haunted house twist. (Bloody Disgusting)
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
There’s always a moment in every horror film where someone has a bad idea. Renfield walks up the steps after Dracula vanishes through a spider web. A group of teens picks up a random hitchhiker on a rural Texas road just outside an abattoir. A blue-collar space trucker decides to get a better look at some mysterious eggs inside a derelict spacecraft. All bad ideas. But bad ideas are the cornerstones of great horror movies inevitably leading to some genuinely terrifying setups. After their interesting contribution to the Texas Chainsaw franchise with the under-appreciated Leatherface, the directing duo of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury give the haunted house genre a new spin with The Deep House offering some genuinely unsettling and terrifying setpieces - all due to one character’s bad idea.
Our film follows the antics of would-be social media urban explorers Tina (Camille Rowe) and her boyfriend Ben (James Jagger). The pair explore extreme locations hoping to dum up hundreds of thousands of views on social and go viral. Their next big opportunity comes when they explore a man-made lake that decimated a town in France. But in a remote corner of the lake, far away from the tourist beaches and boat launches, a forgotten abandoned house sits hundreds of feet below the surface, perfectly preserved. As Tina and Ben explore the ruins, they soon learn the house's dark secrets and the terror that lurks in the darkness.
Horror doesn’t have to be complicated to be scary. More often than not, the simpler the setup and premise, the better and scarier the movie is going to be. If you start adding too much stuff, the whole house of cards falls apart. At a swift and breathless 82 minutes, The Deep House sticks to the basics of its unique idea of an underwater house of horrors and doesn’t waste time over-cooking the plot. Without shortchanging character development, we get to know Tina and Ben early and just long enough to like them - at least Tina anyway, before their misadventures start. We see Ben as an unsatisfied risktaker while Tina is more of the shrewd cautious type that knows when enough is truly enough. But we wouldn’t have a movie if we didn’t have Ben’s bad idea of going along with a mysterious stranger to a remote part of the lake just to hopefully score extra views and go viral.
The thing I appreciate about The Deep House is while sure, the filmmakers couldn’t actually use a real house in a real lake, they did utilize sunken sets. That part wasn’t faked. They may have used some CGI trickery to superimpose the actors’ faces over the stunt divers, but much of the horror is captured in camera. The tight claustrophobic rooms, the murky silty water, the limited lighting sources, it’s some damned effective and chilling imagery that amped up my claustrophobia. I’ve only done some shallow dives, not more than 30-50 feet down in calm waters, but my worst fear was getting hung up on something or trapped inside a small space and running out of air. More than once, The Deep House effectively triggered that fear. On top of the haunted horror elements and the truly creepy location, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury smartly apply a ticking clock of limited air supply that times almost perfectly right from the moment Tina and Ben submerge to the film's climax.
Where the film misses the mark a little for me is the third act reveal. Feeling the need to explain things, The Deep House loses a bit of that enigmatic tension and terror. You can overexplain your haunted house movie and this film does slip into that trap. Not enough to completely throw off the film, the reveals do make sense I still greatly enjoyed it, but I think a less overt, more cryptic finale would have gone further. With that in mind, do stick through the credits for a final stinger. Overall I enjoyed The Deep House. I’d seen trailers for it awhile back but it somehow escaped my orbit until now. On a hot summer day, it was a great flick to pull the shades tight and sit back with my audio turned nice and loud. So do the same, get your screening room nice and dark, crank the air conditioning, and let it rip!
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Deep House floods your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collection with a limited edition two-disc Mediabook release from German outfit Turbine Medien. Testing on multiple setups, both discs are Region Free. The 4K scores a BD-66 disc with the Blu-ray using a BD-50. The discs are housed in a slick Mediabook with essays and photos in between. The essays are in German, but as I’ve mentioned in past reviews, using the Google Translate app on my phone, it’s a relatively easy way to enjoy that bit of content if your German is as rusty as mine. Each disc loads to a static image main menu. Menu options are in German, but it’s easy enough to navigate around.
The Deep House creeps around in 2160p Dolby Vision at 25fps. You read that right, the film is presented in 25 frames-per-second instead of the more traditional 24fps (or 23.97fps depending on any given disc's encoding). This slightly higher frame rate doesn’t impact the viewing experience in terms of speed or timing, you won’t have any audio issues or experience any kind of weird “Soap Opera” effect. This frame rate was used in conjunction with the camera rigs for underwater photography and really it’s all quite brilliant looking. Details are never lacking as our two divers descend deeper into the house. Sharp detail is oftentimes limited to the range of a flashlight beam, but that’s all the better as some of the creepiest moments don’t strike until they’re right in your face.
Where Dolby Vision HDR is an obvious benefit is the deep dark shadows within the film. Those black levels are deep and inky and the gradience between limited light sources is beautiful and damned spooky. A large crucifix of Christ in the house’s kitchen is a great example before our divers swim down into the bowels of the structure. Clever uses of floating fabrics, silt, and other objects lend to the shadow play. With that, this isn’t the most colorful film ever made. The surface scenes are generally gorgeous with a full range of primaries. Those slip away once the film moves underwater - at least until the big climax then you have an interesting range of reds to enjoy.
Talk about a hell of an Atmos mix! While this may not sound all that impressive to people who haven’t done any diving or at least gone deep while snorkeling, Turbine gives The Deep House a uniquely immersive audio experience. The hiss of the regulators, the rising bubbles, the shifting whirl of water and silt moving around - every channel is thoroughly used for this mix. Once the show goes underwater, there’s never a moment of dead air in the front/center, side, rear, or height channels. Throughout the show dialog is crystal clear. The truly creepy and ominous score by Raphaël Gesqua offers the right amount of tension and suspense without overpowering the mix or overplaying its own hand. Height channels most work for atmospheric effects of creaks and groans of the house or bubbles escaping overhead, but there are a few key scenes that exercise those height channels. Clanging chains underwater is a pretty awesome sound effect in Atmos! Levels are spot on so there’s no need to keep a thumb on the volume, but I recommend you run it loud for maximum impact. LFE on this mix is excellent with plenty of rumble in the subs. The mix makes great use of those quiet moments to really sink the tension hooks and exploits them. A terrific demo-worthy Atmos mix.
Bonus features may not be the biggest batch ever assembled, but it’s a quality assortment. Clocking in at a little over 26 minutes is the very thorough Making of The Deep House documentary. Far better than your average EPK piece of behind-the-scenes content, the doc covers a lot of ground about the conceptualization of the film to the final execution in very quick order. It’s most fascinating to see how they’d build each room of the house, dress it with period items, and then slowly submerge it in a giant tank. After that, we have a small collection of deleted scenes, but they don’t really add much to the story, there’s one good jump scare in there, but it wasn’t needed. Then of course there’s the essay content in the booklet that’s well worth reading through.
- The Making of Deep House (HD 26:33)
- Deleted Scenes
- Preparations (HD 00:45)
- Through the Looking Glass (HD 1:17)
- International Trailer
- German Trailer
- US Trailer
- Booklet: Inside The Deep House - Essay By Tobias Hohmann + Interviews with Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Maybe not the greatest haunted house film ever made but The Deep House gets bonus points for originality. Using sunken sets and the concept of a couple of daffy YouTubers trying to go viral exploring areas where they don’t belong makes for a damned creepy film. At just over 80 minutes the film doesn’t waste any time but it also doesn’t shortchange itself or its characters. Perhaps it didn’t need to find an explanation right at the end, but it proves to be a slick and creepy horror flick with smart direction and a great cast. Now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Turbine delivers a solid Mediabook release. The Dolby Vision HDR grade makes incredible use of the limited light sources and shadows and the Atmos audio is fully immersive letting you feel every wave and bump in the darkness. If you’re in the mood for a simple and to-the-point creepy flick, turn out the lights and take a dive with The Deep House. Recommended
Order The Deep House 4K Ultra HD Mediabook Cover B HERE
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