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Lake Placid

Blu Ray

  • Score
    65
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'Lake Placid' entertains with humor and horror, buoyed by standout acting and solid Blu-ray quality.

    Lake Placid Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    68
  • Lake Placid's Blu-ray boasts strong visuals with minor issues, offering detailed outdoor scenes and inconsistent clarity, alongside a mostly impressive but slightly inconsistent 1080p transfer.

  • Audio
    70
  • Lake Placid's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix enhances shock sequences with a vibrant low end and good separation, offering clean dialogue and dynamic range, yet it's front-centric with modest rear activity, complemented by effective wildlife sounds and Ottman's tension-inducing music.

  • Extra
    51
  • The 'Lake Placid' Blu-ray features exclusive content including a detailed making-of featurette, vintage promo material, insightful interviews, captivating croc test footage by Stan Winston, and a behind-the-scenes gallery, all in high definition.

  • Movie
    70
  • 'Lake Placid' blends horror and comedy with a monstrous crocodile tale, showcasing witty performances and a self-aware script that revels in genre campiness without forsaking scares or laughs.

    Video: 68

    The video presentation of "Lake Placid" on Blu-ray, offered by Scream Factory, sports an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 2.36:1. This release exhibits a mostly strong video quality, underpinned by a palpable fine grain that lends an authentic filmic texture, particularly noticeable in brightly lit outdoor scenes against the serene backdrop of a blue sky. However, the clarity isn't uniform throughout; while the underwater sequences boast a convincingly murky aesthetic, they occasionally suffer from minor banding issues. Moreover, both stock and wide-range location footage intermittently display a softness and a touch of variable clarity that detracts from the otherwise pristine visuals. The contrast, although slightly inconsistent, mostly holds up, with colors displaying accuracy albeit lacking in vibrancy except during certain vividly gruesome scenes.

    On the flip side, the Blu-ray's 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode reveals a somewhat uneven performance, with exterior daylight scenes not quite reaching their potential, marred by an overly warm contrast that introduces mild posterization and dims the overall sharpness and brightness of the image. Colors, too, come across as somewhat washed out across various scenes. Nonetheless, the presentation redeems itself during nighttime sequences, where deep and rich blacks alongside a well-adjusted contrast set a compelling cinematic tone. Here, primary colors pop with an intensity that’s absent in some daylight scenes, and flesh tones are rendered with a naturalism that brings out fine facial details. The resolution significantly amps up in these moments, bringing to light the intricate textures in clothing and foliage against the film's 2.35:1 framed visual expanse. While not without its flaws, this high-definition presentation of "Lake Placid" provides enough visual fidelity to keep fans engaged, particularly in its more visually dynamic and darker scenes.

    Audio: 70

    The audio presentation of "Lake Placid" on Blu Ray, featuring a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, showcases its strengths and a few minor weaknesses with respect to its sonic footprint. The upgraded 5.1 mix greatly benefits from a richer low end, providing an enhanced experience during the film's shock sequences, where the synergy between sound effects and score is significantly amplified across the surround channels. This mix, while often front-centric, exhibits admirable separation, with directional foley effects adding to the ambience as characters traverse through forested areas and explore the lake, enhancing the overall immersion. Dialogue remains crisp and intelligible, bolstered by a wide dynamic range, highlighted by effects such as the thunderous roar of a helicopter.

    However, it's notable that despite these strengths, the audio mix may not entirely satisfy audiophiles seeking an aggressive rear-channel experience. The surround soundscape benefits from strategic use of wildlife audio to augment the film's setting, though this aspect isn’t aggressively utilized. John Ottman’s score makes judicious use of the high-resolution audio capability, subtly expanding into the surround channels to elevate tension and craft a more enveloping atmosphere. The soundstage is well-constructed, with a clear and expansive mid-range ensuring that each element remains sharp and distinct. Nonetheless, the low-end spectrum occasionally lacks the vibrancy expected in certain sequences, displaying only sporadic moments of depth and impact.

    The balance between these elements results in an audio presentation that, while perhaps not groundbreaking, effectively complements the film's narrative and visual elements. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix delivers a mostly satisfying auditory experience, marked by clean dialogue delivery and a sound field that carefully employs ambient sounds to add layers to the viewing experience. Despite some limitations in the rear channels and low-end response, the soundtrack provides an amusing and engaging accompaniment to "Lake Placid's" visual spectacle.

    Extra: 51

    The extras on the "Lake Placid" Blu-ray present a comprehensive and delightful dive into the making and marketing of the film, significantly enriching the viewing experience for fans. The highlight is undoubtedly the "Making of Lake Placid" featurette, which delivers intriguing insights into the film's production through interviews with cast and crew, seasoned with nostalgic anecdotes. The inclusion of the "Croc Test Footage" offers a unique peek into the practical effects genius of Stan Winston, demonstrating the painstaking craftsmanship behind the movie's iconic creature. Additionally, the vintage featurette, theatrical trailer, TV spots, and a visually engaging behind-the-scenes gallery round off a well-curated selection of extras. These supplemental materials not only serve to enhance understanding and appreciation of the film but also stand as a testament to its lasting impact and the collaborative effort involved in its creation.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Making of Lake Placid: Interviews with cast and crew sharing insights and fun memories.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Original cinema promotion.
    • Featurette: Extended advertisement offering a glimpse behind the scenes.
    • TV Spots: Short promotional pieces for television.
    • Croc Test Footage: Behind-the-scenes look at the creature effects by Stan Winston.
    • Behind the Scenes Gallery: Collection of behind-the-scenes images.

    Movie: 70

    Lake Placid," a film that intriguingly straddles the line between horror and comedy, showcases an attempt to blend chuckles and shrieks with mixed results. The 1999 movie, directed by Steve Miner and penned by David E. Kelley, explores a peculiar yet fascinating hybrid genre but struggles to find a consistent tone, wavering between moments of genuine suspense and deliberate levity. The storyline, centered around a gigantic crocodile in the serene waters of Maine's Lake Placid, unravels through the efforts of a diverse group of characters led by Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda, supported significantly by the entertaining dynamics between Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Platt. Despite its quick dive into the monstrous premise, the film falters in fully developing its characters and their interactions, underscoring a missed opportunity for deeper engagement alongside its comedic and thrilling elements.

    In contrast to traditional horror narratives, "Lake Placid" embraces its identity as a creature feature with a conscious nod to the campiness of the genre. The inclusion of Betty White in a spirited role adds to the film's whimsical charm, juxtaposed against the backdrop of a prehistoric predator. The screenplay winks at its own absurdity, especially in scenes involving scientific justifications for the crocodile's presence, further emphasizing the film’s playful disdain for conventional logic. The dynamics among the cast—particularly the friction between Gleeson's sheriff character and Platt's crocodile enthusiast—injects a lively energy into the story, with their banter offering some of the movie's most memorable moments.

    Director Steve Miner's decision to withhold full visuals of the crocodile until the latter stages proves effective in building suspense, although the aging CGI occasionally detracts from the experience. This calculated obscuring of the beast, paralleling strategies employed in classics like "Jaws," cleverly amplifies tension through anticipation rather than overt display. "Lake Placid" ultimately revels in its genre-blurring premise, underscored by performances that playfully acknowledge the film’s dual identity. While it doesn't seamlessly marry horror and comedy, it delivers an entertaining if somewhat uneven homage to the creature features of yesteryears, marked by a cast that finds joy in the absurdity of their predicament.

    Total: 65

    Lake Placid," as a unique blend of comedy and horror, presents a film experience that intriguingly teeters on the edge of being both genuinely suspenseful and hilariously self-aware. The performances, particularly from the likes of Gleeson, Platt, and a strikingly bold Betty White, bring a vibrant life and energy to the screen that arguably outshines the film's main stars, Pullman and Fonda. The creature feature, under the capable direction of Steve Miner and the sharp pen of David E. Kelley, excels in delivering a darkly humorous narrative that engages without fully tipping over into either horror or comedy. The Blu-ray presentation maintains this delicate balance with a visually appealing transfer and commendably clear audio, although it's noted that the video quality, while strong, is somewhat average by contemporary standards.

    Supplementary materials, though not extensive, add value to this release, showcasing unique content that complements the main feature well. Scream Factory, known for its dedication to enhancing films with additional context and fan service, does not disappoint here. Fans of the genre will find the package worthwhile, thanks to these thoughtfully curated extras and the overall quality of the film's presentation on Blu-ray.

    In conclusion, while "Lake Placid" may not fully realize its potential as a comedy horror classic due to some underdeveloped aspects, its Blu-ray incarnation certainly offers enough to warrant recommendation. The interplay of engaging performances, balanced tone, and quality home video presentation creates a compelling case for adding this creature feature to one’s collection. Whether for the nostalgia of late 90s horror-comedy or the enjoyment of a film that playfully dances between terror and laughs, "Lake Placid" on Blu-ray is a rewarding experience for aficionados of the genre.