Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell Blu-ray Review
Written by R.J. MacReady
Blu-ray released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Directed by Don Michael Paul
Written By John Whelpley
2018, 98 Minutes, Rated PG-13
Blu-ray released on May 1st, 2018
Michael Gross as Burt Gummer
Jamie Kennedy as Travis B. Welker
Tanya van Graan as Dr. Rita Sims
Jamie-Lee Money as Valerie McKee
Jay Anstey as Dr. D
Greg Kriek as Dutch
Let's all get on the same page here, since I've never reviewed a Tremors movie before. Here's how I rank them if I'd done so:
Tremors - 10 out of 5
Tremors 2 - 3.5 out of 5
Tremors 3 - 2 out of 5
Tremors 4 - 1.5 out of 5
Tremors 5 - 3 out of 5
Now here we are with Tremors 6, aka "A Cold Day In Hell". Going in, I was a little worried. Moving your franchise to a new climate almost always smacks of desperation, and rarely works. Would this, from the writer of Tremors 3 and Tremors 5, be the exception?
Our opening scene reveals some "Glaciologist" and other scientists in the arctic – well, it turns out to be Canada, but I guess Canada's in the arctic? I dunno, geography's not my strong point. Anyway, they're taking samples from the ice. We get the standard Tremors cliches: Disturbing seismology reads. Someone's digging and hits something underground and it drags them off. A CGI graboid leaps from out of the ground and eats someone. A pretty so-so opening teaser, though the CGI is well done. (As an interesting aside, this entire movie was filmed in South Africa, so all that "snow" is actually sand – they talk about it in the Making-of segment.)
Cut to Burt Gummer, cranky anti-government graboid hunter, who is called and told about the suspected graboid-attack in ice. He's skeptical, because graboids are desert hunters, but he needs the money due to some tax bills. He packs up his guns, puts on some arctic camo, and heads to Canada with his protege (and maybe son) from part 5, Travis Welker, played by Jamie Kennedy.
As the plane travels over the Arctic terrain, an ass-blaster flies into it and they have to make an emergency landing. Given that I think the ass-blasters are the worst addition they ever made to the franchise, this movie is on rocky ground so far.
They meet some locals, including the daughter of Val and Rhonda from the first Tremors (you know, Kevin Bacon's character and the girl he was crushing on). All the locals are forgettable, including Valerie (Val's daughter). There's plenty of talk, or "sassafras" as Burt says, before we get to some action, and unfortunately it's AB action (ass-blaster).
Eventually graboids attack, people get killed, you know the drill. There's a few small twists in the story, but this movie's basically a Snickers for your Tremors appetite. It's not gonna fill you up, but maybe it'll keep you satisfied until the Tremors TV series. Here's hoping that brings back a dose of the old Tremors spirit, since it will feature the return of Kevin Bacon (and there are now rumors that Fred Ward may return too), because you're not going to get much here. And for the record, the CGi graboid tongue-snakes look terrible compared to the practical ones.
If you're a hard core Tremors fan who has enjoyed the other movies then you'll probably enjoy this to the same extent. It's not the weakest of the series, but it's certainly closer to that side than the other.
Video and Audio:
Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The cinematography is adequate, the picture clean.
The sound choices are English Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish/French DTS Digital Surround 5.1. You also get regular English Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles in English SDH, Español and Francais. Once again, the audio is what you'd expect on a straight-to-dvd release from a big company. On the above-average side, but it isn't going to test your system.
They've laughably split this 14-minute extra, "The Making of Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell", into 6 sections – I guess to make it seem like you're getting a real making of. (And included is an ad for the original Tremors movie at the end of each.) It's not as bad as some – you DO get some interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, and not just recycled footage from the movie you just watched – but it doesn't really give you much and will only entertain the fans of Michael Gross or Jamie Alexander.
"Anatomy of A Scene" is a four-minute examination of a water-attack by a graboid. This is more like what you'd hope for in a making of. Looking at some of the hows and whys they made decisions and accomplished shots in the movie. You see some stunt work, some FX work and more. I'd like a 30-minute version of this sort of thing, and would watch one even on a movie I didn't like much.
Not quite three minutes long, "Inside Chang's Market" looks at the replication of Chang's market. Not much to see here.
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