The Seventh Sign - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Apr 4, 2017
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    The Seventh Sign


    Movie: :3stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :3stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:

    [​IMG] Movie

    I’m still a firm believe that the 1980s were the pinnacle of the horror genre (at least for me personally). Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing, the list goes on and on. The amount of sheer classic films, as well as a ton of 80s cheese fests, is absolutely mind boggling, but there are still some of them have slipped through the cracks into relative obscurity. The Seventh Sign is one of those films, as it had a great cast, a solid director, and a good story line, but for some reason it’s been largely forgotten about by the movie going public in the horror arena. It’s not the single GREATEST religious horror movie out there, but it’s an enjoyable movie one one that really should have been released a long time ago (I remember it being in a 4 pack on DVD with The Blob, Christine, and Fright Night), but Scream Factory has once again stepped up to the plate to rescue a forgotten film and give it a nice life on Blu-ray (complete with a very nice set of brand new extras as well).

    Religious horror movies regarding the apocalypse have been around for a very long time, but tend to take up a small niche of the horror community. 1988’s The Seventh Sign revisits that concept as a mother fears that her child is the target of a religious fanatic. Abby Quinn (Demi Moore) has had issues giving birth in the past (from what the film leaks out, she has had several miscarriages), but this time it’s the real deal. Her child is just about to come into this world, and the hesitant reticence of her husband Russell (Michael Biehn) will not stop her hope. However, things start “happening” when a mysterious professor of dead languages (Jurgen Prochnow) named David rents a room from them. Mysteriously following her around and hoarding ancient Hebrew scripts, his oppressive presence causes Abby to look into his mysterious documents.

    What she finds is an ancient prophecy about the end of the world, and a child being born into this world without a soul. A birth that will hail the end of the world as all of the souls that God has created have been born into this world, signifying it’s inevitable end. Naturally her husband is a bit leery of her seemingly superstitious paranoia, and the only person who WILL believe her is Father Lucci (Peter Friedman), a priest who has been following the seven signs of the prophecy and is here to help her before it’s too late. Unfortunately for her, not everyone is as he/she seems, and no one, and I mean no one, is to be trusted as the clock for the world’s demise runs out without any hope in sight.

    [​IMG] I find it interesting how things change over time. Back in 1988 The Seventh Sign was considered a fairly large scale “apocalypse” film, but in today’s cinematic world it would seem pretty low key. We’d have buildings tumbling down, huge CGI sequences where the earth would be splitting apart, and thousands of people dying in chaos. The Seventh Sign plays out a little milder, with the tension and buildup being the focus here. We see little glimpses of the signs of the apocalypse coming through (blood water, earthquakes, dying animals), but it’s really the terror of what we DON’T see that keeps said tension high. The film even alludes that the signs will not be noticeable to all, but rather be happening behind our backs while the public cluelessly goes on with their lives, blissfully unaware that their wold is ending. It plays out more like a mystery and a puzzle rather than a bit CGI fest. Something which keeps The Seventh Sign so high on my appreciation list despite some hurdles.

    Demi Moore is a bit out of place in an end of the world thriller, but she does a good job here as Abbey. Being the 1980s we would be remiss without Jurgen Prochnow leering about the as “evil” David. It’s not a gangbuster films in general, but it’s solidly acted and has a fun premise. All involved do their job well and I really appreciate how low key the apocalypse is made out to be. The idea of people being unaware of their own doom is actually almost more scary than actual fire and brimstone coming down. A fun forgotten flick, The Seventh Sign works in many ways, even though it’s a bit slower paced than most in the genre.


    Rated R by the MPAA

    Video: :4stars:
    [​IMG] I don’t see any notations from Scream Factory about a new 2K or 4K remaster, so I’m guessing that
    The Seventh Sign is using an existing master that was provided to them by Tri-Star (Sony) of an unknown creation date. The encode wavers a bit, shifting from “good” to really impressive at the drop of a hat. Some scenes can be incredibly detailed, with sharp clarity and wonderfully nuanced textures. Then the next the film can look a bit worn and lightly gauzy with the clarity. Dusty and golden overtones dominate a lot of the film, and the whole grading leans a bit on the flat side. Primary colors can be good, but this is a really dark looking film that doesn’t really push the colors TOO much. Some primaries, like the Roman’s clothing looks appropriately bright, but a majority of time we’re inundated with dark shades and earthy tones. Blacks are solid, but sometimes a bit dusty, but I never really noticed any major crush to mar it too much. The Seventh Sign enjoys a rather good transfer, but one that I SUSPECT is a bit aged.

    Audio: :4stars:
    Even though it’s only a 2.0 track, the DTS-HD MA lossless mix from this Scream Factory release is quite a treat to listen to. The two channels deliver an electrifying experience, with the synthesized score taking front and center along with the dialog. Vocals are crisp and well defined, and the score gives a rich ambiance to the track. Gunshots have a little oomph, but what really stands out is the use of the limited directionality that all of the background noise creates. Crashing hail, thundering storms, and the crashing and banging of shutters along with the rest of the track make for a really nice 2.0 mix. From what I can gather, The Seventh Sign was never given a 5.1 mix of any kind, so the 2.0 mix is about as accurate to the source as you can possibly get, and a solid entry for Scream Factory.


    Extras: :3stars:

    • NEW Interview with Actor Michael Biehn
    • NEW Interview with Director Carl Schultz
    • NEW Interview with Actor Peter Friedman
    • NEW Interview with Actor John Taylor
    • NEW Interviews with Screenwriters W.W. Wicket and George Kaplan
    • TV Spots

    Final Score: :3.5stars:

    Among the religious/supernatural thriller category, The Seventh Sign is a forgotten flick that really is not half bad if I do say so myself. Back in 1988 it didn’t get much play time and vanished into obscurity for ages (despite having an excellent cast for the day), and really doesn’t deserve that. It’s one of the lesser religious thrillers out there, but still a much better movie than many of the copycat religious horror/thriller flicks of the 2000 era. Demi Moore was a BABY back then, but pulls the role off nicely as the “semi” virgin Mary, and Jurgen Prochnow did what he did best in the 80s and 90s. Act like a creepy villain. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release isn’t a collector’s edition, but it comes with a very nice set of brand new interviews and extras for the release to enjoy (although I was sad there was no original reversible cover art). Worth a very solid rental at the least.

    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Demi Moore, Michael Biehn, Jurgen Prochnow
    Directed by: Carl Schultz
    Written by: Clifford Green, Ellen Green
    Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Subtitles: English
    Studio: Scream Factory
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 97 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: September 11th 2018

    Recommendation: Solid Rental

    #1 Michael Scott, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

    Jul 13, 2017
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    Thanks for the review. Never caught this one long time ago. Will check it out once available on netflix, amazon prime. :)

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