Dream Cruise

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Jack (Daniel Gillies) is haunted by his past, in specific a tragic incident from his childhood. On a boat with his younger brother, Jack was confronted with grave danger when the boat capsized. In order to save himself, Jack had to keep a hold of the overturned boat, but in the process, he couldn’t reach his brother’s hand. He tried to reach out and pull his brother to safety, but instead, his brother drowned. Now Jack is terrified of the open water and while he has become a successful lawyer in Japan, his mind is still haunted by his brother’s death. He also happens to engaged in an affair with the wife of one of his clients, so when her husband invites them both on a short cruise, Jack is petrified. Does his client know the truth about the affair and in any event, will Jack be able to cope with the water, amid the other tensions?

At one point, the horror cinema from Japan was like a revolution, with unique, creative films that inspired genre filmmakers all over the world. But now the trend has reversed, as Japanese horror has become retread and most of the films are so similar, using the same conventions time and again. Would Dream Cruise be just another mediocre J-horror effort, or would it be prove to be a return to forms of sorts? Dream Cruise isn’t bad, but it never does much and never aspires to be great. The story is basic and unimaginative, with an almost soap opera feel at times. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is yet another long haired ghoul, a concept that has been overdone to the point of exhaustion. This is just a by the numbers J-horror production, all the cliches are here and the film never tries to do more or break new ground. Even so, you could do worse with an evening than Dream Cruise, but I do think most will be let down with this installment.

Video: How does it look?

Dream Cruise is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a very well done visual presentation, even if some small flaws do surface at times. As this is a dark movie in terms of visuals, contrast is vital to the visual scheme and for the most part, black levels are on the mark here. But in a few scenes, I saw some grain present and while not a serious problem, it is worth mentioning in this review. No issues with colors though, as the hues look bold and dead on, especially those wonderful reds, which we see a lot of in this flick. In the end, the small errors don’t impact the transfer much and as such, I am giving this one a rather high score, which it more than deserves.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included Dolby Digital 5.1 track is a great one, with only a couple flawed instances keeping the score down a shade. All of the speakers get a workout with this track, thanks to a tense atmosphere and a lot of impact sound effects, all of which are presented to near perfection in this terrific mix. The surrounds are used almost all the time once the tension kicks in, but the material is still natural in tone, so no gimmicky sound to be heard here. I did notice a couple spots where dialogue is a little hard to understand, but on the whole, the vocals are flawless in terms of clarity and volume. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary is up first, as star Daniel Gillies and producer Mick Garris talk about the production. The two discuss the differences between Japanese and American horror movies, from the basic approach to the subtle details. A brisk lesson in cinema culture, the track is enjoyable and adds some real value to this release. A half hour featurettes provides more insight, but runs a little too short.

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