Nature Of The Beast

Nature Of The Beast (1995)
New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Eric Roberts, Lance Henriksen, Brion James, Frank Novak
Extras: Commentary Track, Trailers

A slightly underrated thriller from the mid 90's that unfolds in the form of a road-style movie, pairs two would be societal misfits in the suspenseful film "Nature of the Beast".
After denying mysterious drifter Adrian (Eric Roberts) a lift through the sun-soaked Nevada desert, traveling businessman Jack Powell (Lance Henriksen) meets up with him later at a roadside café, where a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues. With the local law enforcement searching for a would-be-thief that fled with a million dollars from a Vegas casino and a murderous madman on the loose, both Adrian and Jack's lies and deceit begin to expose themselves, with surprising plot twists that await the unsuspecting viewer. Director Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers) produces a good mix of unnerving thrills and chills that balance out this relatively slow-paced, but well written, psychological yarn.

New Line Home Entertainment has produced a solid anamorphic enhanced transfer for "Nature of the Beast" on DVD, displaying an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The presentation was free and clear of any noticeable compression artifacts or dust particles. Colors were nicely saturated producing flesh tones that appeared quite natural. Some scenes featuring daylight were a little overpowering, making for a slightly soft-looking image, this however did not affect black levels as they remained rich and deep displaying good overall detail within the transfer.

Surprisingly, there is a DTS soundtrack included alongside the Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround presentations. With a good presence of bass that mixed well to provide naturally sounding vocals and highlighting surround effects as needed, the dts track did not overwhelm, but it still managed to deliver. The overall soundtrack was mixed to focus primarily on the front three channels, which suited the presentation well. Some of the sound effects did appear slightly dated in their audible reproduction, but this remained minimal at best.

There is an audio commentary from director Victor Salva, included in the limited special features, as well as trailers for "Cellular", "Highwaymen" and "Ripley's Game" which are also available from New Line Home Entertainment.

Fans of films from this genre, including the likes of "The Hitcher," might be pleasantly surprised with "Nature of the Beast," just as I was.