Near Dark Review
The farming family that Caleb grew up from may lack a mother but it is clearly much more traditional than the one that adopts Caleb and then tries to make him part of their rituals. The balance of the directorial perspective is heavily biased to consider the family of vampires, and Bigelow's main interest is following this way of life of hunting and feeding. Caleb, once turned by blood, must choose to become like his adopted family or to hold onto his birth family's values and face ostracism and a hunger he can never satisfy.
Yet despite the sympathy for the outsiders, the film chooses to eventually affirm the more "normal" lifestyles of Caleb's human family. The drifting bloodsuckers are eventually seen as a lonely blight that are judged for their crimes of nature, and the cure for their condition is to be made normal or to be destroyed. This means that for all of the imagination of the screenplay the eventual work merely flirts with heterodoxy before affirming conformity.
Technical SpecsAs Matt has pointed out with the recent plethora of Optimum releases, quite often masters have been used that were created for standard definition releases. Near Dark may be another example of this as the transfer does show some edge enhancement that looks a little out of place in high definition. This is an AVC encoded transfer on a region B encoded single layer disc with a filesize of 17.9GB of the discs total used capacity of 18GB. Contrast is crucial to the treatment of this film and there is some slight greying in the deepest shades and a lack of shadow detail her as well. The grain does not seem to have been raised by sharpening the image and the colour balance seems very good to my eyes. It's a huge improvement on existing treatments which could be improved with less boosting of edges and better black levels, yet this film has never looked this good before.
SummaryA very fine movie that follows the same pattern as a lot of Bigelow's later films where outsiders are flirted with but eventually judged by the mainstream. This is a nice treatment of what can't be the easiest film to do justice to, and well worth picking up.
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