The Outsider: The Complete First Season Blu-ray review

Jul 29, 2020- Permalink

HBO’s miniseries The Outsider, based on the 2018 Stephen King novel of the same name, is a horror crime drama that follows a detective trying to solve the murder of a young boy in a small town. Can people be in two places at once? Can you have a solid case and a rock solid alibi? Are supernatural forces afoot? Ben Mendelsohn stars as Detective Ralph Anderson and leads an all-star ensemble that includes Bill Camp, Paddy Considine, Julianne Nicholson, Jason Bateman and Cynthia Erivo. We had a chance to review The Outsider: The Complete First Season Blu-ray. As this is a Warner Brothers Home Entertainment release (and they love their disclaimers), I’ll say that WBHE provided us with a copy of this series for me to review. The views below are my own.

The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is presented in a 2.20:1 aspect ratio. Simply put, it’s a great presentation. The colour palette is mostly muted, with light blues, washed greys and deep greens. There are a few times where the scenes have some brighter colours and ruby red blood. The show is very dark (and I’m not just talking about the story) but even in these dark scenes the dark shadows and black levels hold up. Those types of scenes can be a hotbed for compression artifacts or banding but that’s not perceivable here. The deep-focus style of cinematography is used frequently and details and textures are crystal clear from hair and fabrics to natural and building elements and surfaces.

On the audio side, there’s an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack with English SDH and French subtitles. Dialogue is clear, centre-focused and well-prioritized in the mix. The surround channels are used perfectly, placing you in the environment and allowing the creepier atmosphere and moments to sneak up on you. A good horror needs an ominous score and The Outsider’s is presented with great placement in the soundtrack.

The three-disc set comes with a digital code. There’s a series of ten short (roughly three minutes) featurettes for each episode, that discuss the characters, locations, and relation to the novel. These pieces feature Stephen King, series creator Richard Prices, executive producer Bateman and writer Dennis Lehane. There’s also a series trailer, an interview with Batman, a look at Cynthia Erivo’s character, an interview with Stephen King, a piece on adapting the novel, and a look at how “dream monsters” appear in various cultures around the globe.

Whether you’ve seen the series and want to own it, have heard about it and want to watch it, or love Stephen King and want to continue your collection, The Outsider: The Complete First Season is a great addition to your home entertainment library.