The Devil's Tomb (2009)

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Sony || R - 90 minutes - $24.96 || May 26, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-19


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jason Connery
Writer(s): Keith Kjornes (written by)
Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman, Taryn Manning


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Cuba Gooding Jr. has had a rocky road the past few years. He was on top of the world after a few of his flicks, sorry I canít name them right now, but then he kind of lost steam after roughly 2003. He kept starring in a ton of bad movies, the first of which was Boat Trip, and then his career stumbled way past that. If you had asked me ten years ago if you thought I would be watching a direct-to-DVD film of his I would have laughed. But in all honesty, The Devilís Tomb is a kick arse movie that is fun, exciting, and actually terrifying. No, Iím not talking about Cubaís acting for once.

A group of soldiers is on a search and rescue mission in the desert and are heading to a colony that was once populated with scientists but strangely enough communication has ceased recently. The group consists of: Mack (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Doc (Taryn Manning), Hammer (Franky G), Yoshi (Stephanie Jacobsen), Nickels (Zack Ward), Hicks (Jason London), and Click (Brandon Fobbs). They are all highly skilled marines with distinct jobs within the group, but since this is a horror film those jobs obviously donít matter much. They are taken to the colonyís home and are forced to take along Elissa (Valerie Cruz), a scientist who is looking for someone at the colony.

Upon arrival the weird things start to happen. They find out that the communication has been ceased due to the fact that transmissions such as radios donít work too well in the area. Along with that part of the power seems to not be working either. Oh, and one last thing, thereís a dead body in the area. The group tries to inspect it but notices that the body has weird markings on its body as well as sores that cover part of it as well. This troubles the group, but since they are here to retrieve someone and get the heck out, they donít care that much. Nickels is assigned to guard the entrance to the place by himself along with the supposed dead body, but since we all know this is a horror film once again itís probably not a dead body, right?

The group heads off to explore the colony further, and they soon realize that the people arenít dead after all. See, I told you they would get it eventually. Doc tries to patch up one of the wounded colonists, but he has the strange markings all over his body and the group learns that there is a bigger problem going on: it turns out that this is really some sort of whacky cult who believes that the world is ending and they are the saviors. The people at the colony arenít really dead, they are more zombie-like but donít crave brains like the traditional zombies. They also canít be killed by most means, as they come back to life and have ghost-like powers as well and can perform hallucinations.

Doc ends up getting kidnapped by one of the colonists and Mack along with the other soldiers head off to find her, but Elissa reminds them that sheís probably dead and to move on with the mission. Mack ignores her constant bickering and says that getting Doc back is their first priority, and finding the colonist theyíre there to try and save is second. They interrogate one of the remaining zombie colonists but he lets them know more about their plans and Mack blows the living crap out of him, effectively putting him out of his misery. They wander around the place for a while before running into a colonist who is alive, Fulton (Henry Rollins). It turns out heís a priest and knows his way around the area, but can they trust someone they donít know? Will they find Doc?

This is a freaking awesome movie. Iíve always been fan of Gooding, Perlman, and Rollins and having them in one film is like a dream come true. The action sequences are great too, as there are needless amounts of blood and gore in every death accompanied throughout the runtime. The story is a bit out there though, but if you just disregard it and kick back, its one movie you can really enjoy. You can also play the game of ďguess who will die first,Ē as I was able to get most of them correctly, so see if you can beat me on that one!



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Jason Connery and Cuba Gooding Jr.: The two get along well for the duration of the film, and talk about their experiences and point out various scenes in the film that were fun to shoot. Finally, a Gooding commentary that is phenomenal like the film. Connery though has a bad memory and struggles to remember some things here and there, but itís still a great commentary.

Alternate Scenes (7 minutes): A handful of scenes that show miniscule difference from the actual scenes in the film.

Outtakes (2 minutes): The cast screw up lines or hit each other with items. Slightly funny but itís too short to be considered entertaining.

Behind the Scenes (17 minutes): Your standard behind the scenes special feature that details some of the movie scenes as well as cast and crew commentary. Itís actually cool to see some of the scenes shot and hear what the cast thought of the others, so Iíd recommend watching this. One of the people proclaims that ďCuba has never done a horror movie before.Ē Yeah, you never saw Boat Trip, did you?



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

This is a phenomenal transfer. Colors are perfect, contrast isnít an issue, and thereís no problem with black levels or flesh tones. Everything is how it should appear to be for this DVD transfer, and Iím glad to say that near-perfect DVD video qualities can still be found in 2009 in this high-definition world. The only slight problem with this one is a bit of noise that hangs around in the desert scene at the start and then at the very end. Other than that though, this is one great looking movie.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track that comes with this one is just as good as the audio. Surround use is perfect during its duration, and at times even scared me with a few of the jump moments found in the movie. Dialogue levels were consistent and I never struggled to hear the voices nor did I have to tweak the volume during my viewing. There isnít anything really wrong with the track, although it would have been nice to have it be a smidge louder, because at times the scare moments werenít as excellent sounding as the dialogue in the film. Otherwise, once again, a phenomenal audio track.



.::OVERALL::.

The Devilís Tomb is one of those rare direct-to-DVD films that work in this day and age. The story is entertaining, the special features are great including the commentary track, and finally the technical side is excellent for a DVD release. This is one tomb to pick up right away, just be careful. This is one tomb that may come with more than you bargained for.