Martha Marcy May Marlene

Featured In Issue 165, March 2012

WSR Score2.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Sean Durkin
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Martha Marcy May Marlene chronicles a young woman named Martha (Olsen) after she escapes from a dangerous cult and the watchful eye of its charismatic sociopath leader. She tries to reclaim a normal life with her uptight sister and her husband at their swank
lakeside vacation home, but the haunting memories, seen as flashbacks, from Martha's past trigger a chilling paranoia—and nowhere seems safe as the fragile line between her reality and delusions begin to blur. (Gary Reber)

Special features include five featurettes: Mary Last Seen (SD 01:26), Spotlight On Elizabeth Olsen (HD 02:46), The Story (HD 03:41), Making-Of (HD 03:09), and The Psyche Of A Cult (HD 05:06); a conversation with filmmakers (HD 03:14); "Marcy's Song" music video by John Hawkes (HD 03:58); the theatrical trailer; and up-front previews.

The 1080p AVC picture is a low-budget production with an inconsistent visual quality. At times the imagery appears essentially natural, but at other times the picture is poorly photographed. Black levels are not particularly deep, and shadow delineation often is crushed and not visually revealing. Otherwise, the color palette appears naturally hued without exaggeration. Resolution is softly focused and not particularly detailed. This is a very mediocre visual experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is mostly frontal focused with poorly integrated dialogue. Atmospherics occasionally present a more open, engaging soundfield with effective surround. The music score also is frontal focused with just audible surround envelopment. This is a basic soundtrack that is not distinguished in any sonic characteristics. (Gary Reber)