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SRP $24.96 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY

Director Lucky McKee's follow-up to the cult hit "MAY", "THE WOODS" has finally been released on dvd.  The studio shelved this film, and while that typically sounds fair warning of a bad film, "THE WOODS" is actually one of the better horror films to come out in the past few years. Not perfect, but far more chilling and original than the dreadful remake of "THE OMEN!"

Agnes Bruckner plays Heather, a young girl whose act of rebellion with a small fire causes her parents to send her off to an isolated girl's school that's literally far deep in the middle of "THE WOODS".  All the anxieties of youth, along with less than friendly new schoolmates and an unfriendly headmistress are the least of her problems as she uncovers darker secrets lie in this new setting, and past schoolmates that didn't fall in line, suffered mysterious ends.

SONY has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. A pan&scan version is also offered, but it's abysmal to watch.  The letterboxed version offers solid colors, although darker scenes, of which there are many, lack the detail found elsewhere in the film. Contrast is adequate for the most part, but those darker scenes can be annoying at times.  Grain is minimal.

SONY has provided a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 mix.  It's a great mix, filled with creepy, effective surround effects. Not a lot of bass here, but when it is utlized, it's with great impact. There's great utilization of separation throughout all speakers and dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.