Prowl appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As far as SD-DVD transfers go, this one looked pretty mediocre.
Sharpness was up and down, as the movie exhibited inconsistent levels of clarity. Overall, close-ups boasted good definition but wider shots suffered from mild to moderate softness. Artifacts made the image a bit messy at times, but no issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement failed to appear throughout the movie. Source flaws weren’t a factor.
Colors weren’t much of a concern in this fairly monochromatic affair. Given the nature of the story, I didn’t expect dynamic hues, and the film tended toward a subdued brownish look much of the time. What colors we found seemed decent but unexceptional.
Blacks tended to appear somewhat loose and inky, though, and shadows were often too dark. The shadow scenes weren’t horribly dense, but they could be a bit tough to discern. All in all, there was enough positive material on display for a “C+”, but it wasn’t an inspiring presentation.
Stronger material cropped up with the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Like many horror movies, it mostly went with creepy atmosphere. A few action/scare sequences brought the track to life in a more active manner, though, and these used the channels well. The audio used the speakers in a natural manner that created a good soundscape. Music also featured nice stereo imaging, and the surrounds contributed to the ambience.
Audio quality was positive. Music showed nice range and clarity, while effects offered good accuracy and punch. The smattering of loud scenes showed solid definition, and they lacked distortion. Speech was also concise and natural. Nothing here dazzled, but it achieved its goals.
Only a couple of extras appear here. The most significant offers an audio commentary from director Patrik Syversen, writer Tim Tori and actors Courtney Hope and Joshua Bowman. The commentary come constructed in an unusual way: while three of the participants sit together for a traditional running, screen-specific chat, Syversen appears via voice mail; stuck in Norway on another shoot, he leaves messages on Tori’s phone, and we occasionally hear these. During the commentary, we learn about the film’s influences, story/character elements, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and audio, and stunts.
Syversen is a non-factor; he only pops up five times, so he appears for maybe 10 minutes of the film, and he doesn’t say a whole lot when he does speak. The others do little to carry the load. Tori provides the best information, as he throws out nuggest about the story and deleted/altered sequences. Much of the track drags, though, as nobody has a whole lot to say. This is a slow and only occasionally informative commentary.
The Making of Prowl runs only two minutes, 42 seconds. It gives us some background on “the strays” – the movie’s creatures – along with some from Syversen, Tori, Hope, and actor Ruta Gedmintas. Little information appears, so don’t expect anything more than basics and promotion here.
The DVD opens with ads for Husk, “After Dark Originals”, “After Dark Horrorfest 4”, Break.com, the Epix Channel and FearNet HD. These appear under “Also from Lionsgate” as well. No trailer for Prowl shows up here.
When it comes to horror films, you’ll find a whole lot of dreck and few effective efforts. I certainly don’t expect to find a gem among direct-to-video fare, but Prowl delivers a generally strong effort. While it occasionally falters, it does more than enough right to turn it into a solid scarefest. The DVD demonstrates average picture, very good audio and lackluster supplements. Horror fans should give Prowl a look.