Plot: What’s it about?
Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Basset (Fred Ward) might live in Perfection, Nevada, but to them, even Perfection isn’t an ideal place to reside. The town is remote and isolated, which to Val and Earl makes life feel like one dead end after another, so they plan to leave once and for all. Just when they finally get the gumption to actually leave Perfection, they run have a run in with some giant carniverous worms, which have devoured a squad of road workers. The two decide to head back into town to warn the others, as the creatures seem to be en route to feast on the locals. The locals band together to try to fend off the creatures, but they find limited success. With four creatures to deal with, the townsfolk have to depend on gun power and good old fashioned luck to survive, but could this be the end of Perfection?
A fun throwback to the old school monster movies, Tremors has turned into a genuine cult classic, complete with multiple sequels and even a television series. Tremors is a ton of fun to watch, with a brisk pace, a good sense of humor, and some cool monsters in the graboids. The movie doesn’t aspire to do more than just entertain, so the story is thin, but for a movie of this kind, Tremors is able to do a lot with a rather basic premise. The cast here is great in their roles, from Kevin Bacon to Reba McIntyre to the franchise’s key players, Michael Gross and Fred Ward. The cast seems to understand the film’s tone, so the performances reflect that and add a lot to the movie. The special effects aren’t the best out there, but the graboids still look good and that’s what matters. Tremors in high definition is a treat, with a much improved transfer and better than expected soundtrack, plus the extras from the DVD. So if you’re interested in Tremors, this HD-DVD is the best version available.
Video: How does it look?
Tremors is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a tough one. The movie looks awesome for the most part, with a much more refined and detailed image than ever before. I had hoped for a sharper image, but I was beyond impressed here, subtle touches stand out and detail depth is superb. You can see individual fabric strands here, which is just incredible. Also improved are the colors, which yield bright and accurate hues, not to mention dead on flesh tones. The print even looks good, but then we have the bad news, as the transfer has serious edge enhancement issues. The amount of halos is massive, which detracts from an otherwise killer visual presentation. But even with the halos, the transfer performs very well and an upgrade is a no brainer, fans will still love this new treatment.
Audio: How does it sound?
The soundtrack here is excellent, thanks to a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option that delivers on all fronts. This is a movie about creatures that burrow underground and this track is so effective, you might think your own floorboards are about to be shattered. The bass is deep and the LFE is impressive, so the seismic rumblings just sound awesome here. The surround use is great too, with memorable directional presence and impressive atmospheric immersion. No issues with dialogue in all this however, as vocals remain clear and loud throughout. This is one of the best catalog titles I’ve heard in high definition and this disc offers a massive upgrade in terms of audio. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 option, a French language track, and subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The best of the supplements is The Making of Tremors, which runs almost an hour and details much of the production. In addition to interviews with cast & crew, we’re shown the process of how the graboid were created, which is cool. This isn’t quite as in depth as some of the better behind the scenes pieces I’ve seen, but it has good information and is never dull to watch. This disc also includes a promotional featurette, some outtakes, talent files, and the film’s theatrical trailer.