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The Spine Of Night 4K UHD Steelbook Review

“The Spine Of Night” is too unwieldy. 

Directed and written by Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King, “The Spine Of Night” is a horror fantasy adventure revolving around a blue flower known as The Bloom which holds a great deal of power. The main players in this tale are a swampland Priestess (Tzod) and a power hungry scholar (Ghal-Sur) who seeks to conquer with Bloom power flowing through his veins. Elsewhere in the story are plots involving Lord Pyrantin, The Guardian who watches over The Bloom, recounts of the past, and a group of assassins who hope to end Ghal-Sur’s reign of terror. 

In an era filled with IP sequels and generally safe animated features, “The Spine Of Night” is a rare throwback to the adult animated fare of yesteryear (namely the works of Ralph Bakshi). Admittedly, it deserves credit for originality and world building, but the story itself is a structural mess that lacks excitement. For a medieval fantasy story filled with magic, gore, powers, nudity, and the undead, it’s a bit of a slog to get through. The mythology comes across as too muddled and rushed to ever fully engagewith. Likewise, there’s more of a focus on story than there is characters (much to the film’s detriment).

Visually, the movie is rather striking. The detailed environments mixed with the old school  animation style of the character models gives the film a unique look from an animation perspective. 

The voice cast boasts some big names ala Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Richard E. Grant, and Joe Manganiello, but aside from Lawless (who brings a fiery passion to the role of Tzod), the voice acting is a little stiff (particularly from Jordan Douglas Smith as Ghal-Sur).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 2160p. How does it look? The transfer may not be up to 4K standards, but it’s still a quality transfer nonetheless.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The sound design is satisfactory on this 5.1 track.

Extras include a Blu-ray copy, a code for a free 30 day trial for Shudder (highly recommended), RLJE Films trailers, a making of featurette and 2 animated short films titled “Exordium” and “Mongrel.”

February 2, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , ,

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