surround

Pet Sematary (Blu-Ray) – Atmos Immersiveness Level

Paramount

Blu-Ray • Atmos • 1080p Upconverted

Horror films are often discounted by people as not scary or dumb, but when you find out how they watched these movies, you might not be surprised they watched with all the lights on while laying in bed with their laptops. Well, the new version of Pet Sematary definitely deserves the full surround sound treatment.

I saw this unforgivingly mean movie in the theaters one Saturday afternoon after indulging on some magically edible delights, and I’ll tell you right now, that was probably the wrong move. I remember shrinking lower and lower into my chair, and though I didn’t have an Atmos receiver at home yet, I knew this was going to be especially wild in the quiet of my basement when it came out on Blu-Ray. I finally got the chance this week, and it did not disappoint. Here are some moments that stood out:

• Chapters 1-3: Several scenes with ambient bells and whispering voices in the overheads, interrupted a few times by the Orinco trucks blowing by, exciting the sub each time. Really fun jump scare moments

• Chapter 4: Whenever Louis dreams, Atmos and surrounds kick into high gear and there are ghosts whispering, as well as really unsettling wind and knocking effects. They really went for it

• Chapter 5: The infamous dumbwaiter scenes start here. Whispering, walking and things falling from above. Makes the movie that much more terrifying.

• Chapter 7: Another dream sequence with some really cool “god’s voice” narration gives way to some terrifying noises in the attic as Zelda’s dumbwaiter is again teased (strictly from above) and holy shit. Goosebumps 😰

• Chapter 10: Louis enters the Pet Sematary, and whispers, screaming, wood cracking, bugs, wind and more crawl across the ceiling. It’s almost torturous and made me giggle nervously at one point.

• Chapter 13: Zelda finally makes her grand appearance. The squeals of the dumbwaiter coming from above, along with the creepy, crawling ghost are insanely detailed across the ceiling. It’ll grind your nerves

Here’s the thing. When this movie decides to get active in the overheads, it goes for it. Possibly more than any other Atmos movie I’ve seen at home yet. That being said, a lot of the movie is really quietly dialogue-driven, as the main characters spend a majority of the movie grief-stricken. So, for that reason, I can’t give Pet Sematary the full 5 speakers. It’s close, but not quite there. I definitely suggest you grab it just for those moments mentioned above, though, because they’ll rattle you.

DOLBY ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

Cliffhanger (4k UHD Blu-Ray) – Atmos Immersiveness Level

Sony

4k UHD Blu-Ray • Atmos

Helicopters, trickling caves, and explosions galore! I never got to see this classic in theaters, though I was only 8 when it came out, so I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it like I do now anyway. After buying an Atmos receiver, this was one of the first purchases I made, and I knew that I had to dedicate a Saturday afternoon to it so I could savor every second of this new transfer. And wow, as many times as I have seen this movie, this was like a brand new watch all over again. Not only is that 4K transfer simply incredible, the Atmos track is almost dumbfounding. Here are some moments that really stuck out:

• Chapter 1: Helicopter over your head before any credits even begin to roll. Continues throughout scene as a dramatic rescue attempt unfolds

• Chapter 3-5: Scene begins with a jet going right over the middle listening position to the front of the stage. Rain pours over the roof of a ranger’s station. The two planes attempting to tie off on each other features a lot of ambient, overhead noise and talking into headsets. Ends with an insane jet explosion and crash landing that makes use of all the speakers across the stage. Ridiculously fun. Really active Atmos scene that is definitely demo material

• Chapter 7: Wind and snow dance across the ceiling as Stallone begins his first free climb. Makes you feel like you’re there. Bullets and explosions whizz from back to front right over you, causing an incredibly active avalanche that’ll wake your neighbors

• Chapter 10: Stallone and companion are in a cave. Water drips from above all around you before they find some bats who begin to flutter from all directions. Pretty much every scene that is shot in the caves goes insane with the overheads. Really fun use of Atmos

• Chapter 12: After blowing up a mountainside with C4 and debris rains down all around you, a helicopter climbs through the sound field to a windswept peak. Stallone runs across a bridge and you can hear the ropes tearing all around you before another C4 explosion rocks the entire room. Insane

From here until the final credits, the movie is just a full sonic assault. It has to be seen to be believed. Yeah, it’s probably overkill, but so is Atmos anyway, right? Like many 90’s movies that got the 3D Blu-Ray treatment and caused you to think halfway through, “This 3D transfer is insane!,” the Atmos mix on this disc is probably excessive, but it’ll be to the delight of those who really love incredibly active overheads and dramatic explosions every few minutes. Whoever mixed this over at Sony knew what the average Cliffhanger viewer wanted. Buy this one immediately.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5