On the Inside (Blu-ray)

July 16, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Allen (Nick Stahl) was a college professor, but now he resides in a psychiatric hospital for criminals. He was put into the ward after he killed a man he believed to have raped his girlfriend. Now he is part of a socialization program at the hospital, an experiment to see if social interaction can help these troubled individuals. In the program he meets a beautiful woman (Olivia Wilde) with her own dark secrets, as well as an openly violent psychopath (Dash Mihok). The idea is for these patients to explore resolution of their inner problems through social interaction, instead of the violent, impulsive methods of their pasts. Allen experiences a lot of progress within the program, but still finds he has room to improve. Can these patients, who once relied on violence to solve their emotional problems, find a new way of life, or are they doomed to repeat the past?

I had never heard of On the Inside prior to this release, which is a surprise given the rock solid cast involved. You have Nick Stahl, Olivia Wilde, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and others all on deck. The tone of the film is dark and tense, but with an ever present flicker of hope, which is what drives the entire experience. A lot of time is spent to develop the characters and have them process their inner demons, which works well thanks to the cast. With a lesser group, this would have been a slow, perhaps even dull film at times, but not with this roster of players. Nick Stahl is quite good and while I am not normally a fan of Olivia Wilde, this is probably her best work to date. Pruitt Taylor Vince is dynamic as well, so the cast is impressive. While the film doesn’t end with the power I hoped, On the Inside is still a good movie and worth a look.

Video: How does it look?

On the Inside is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. The transfer here is great and maintains the film’s cold, gritty visual design approach. The film has a dark and cold environment in most scenes, but detail remains high even in the darkest of scenes, which is impressive. The colors tend to be reserved, but look as they should and are consistent throughout. No issues with contrast emerge either, as black levels are deep, but refined. So in the end, quite a nice visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is present and while not on par with an action movie, On the Inside provides an active, effective sound design. In more tense moments, the surrounds engage to enhance the atmosphere. This adds to the mood and does a lot to add to the film’s overall experience. The quieter moments sound good too, with clear dialogue and front channel presence that is always on the mark. Not much else I can report in this section, this is just a rock solid soundtrack. This disc also includes English and Spanish subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

In addition to a DVD version of the movie, this release also includes audio comments from the director and two of the film’s actors.

Disc Scores