In Darkness

Featured In Issue 168, July/August 2012

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Classics
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Violence, disturbing images, nudity and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Agnieszka Holland
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In Darkness is based on a true story and book In The Sewers Of Lvov by Robert Marshall. Leopold Socha (Wieckiewicz), a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town's sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha's conscience. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes: An Evening With Director Agnieszka Holland (HD 29:23) and In Light: A Conversation With Holland And Krystyna Chiger (HD 28:01), the trailer, and up-front previews.

The 1080p AVC picture exhibits an emotionally dark appearance, with a raw quality underscored with film grain. Above-ground contrast is revealing of the environment, while below ground in the sewers contrast is poor and shadow delineation is virtually non-existent, with blacks that are crushed and unrefined. Still, this is the stylization sought to heighten the tension, terror, and unknown. The color palette is mostly desaturated, with occasional saturated highlights exhibited on people's clothing. Resolution is revealing, especially in close-ups, but generally the imagery is softly focused. This is a haunting picture that graphically portrays the awful plight of Polish Jews during World War II. The imagery is emotionally charged. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is ridden with impressive low-level atmospherics that portray the soundscapes in the sewers and in the town occupied by the Nazis. The realistic sonics are enhanced with enveloping ambiance. Gunfire sounds real and reverberates throughout the soundfield. Dialogue sounds spatially integrated and even unnatural sounding. Deep .1 LFE bass supports the more intensified segments, but overall the sound is focused on the atmospherics, particularly the close quarters of the sewers. The orchestral music score is well recorded and nicely supports the intense drama. This is a real emotional experience. Well done! (Gary Reber)