Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten, a found footage horror thriller that follows a group of video bloggers that spend the night in a legendary haunted sanitarium and come face to face with its dark secrets.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87

Details:

Studio and Year: Well Go USA – 2018
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): German DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Sonja Gerhardt, Tim Oliver Schultz, Nilam Farooq, Lisa-Marie Koroll, Emilio Sakraya, Timmi Trinks, Farine Flebbe, Maxine Kazis, Davis Schultz
Directed by: Michael David Pate
Music by: Andrew Reich
Written by: Michael David Pate
Region Code: A

Release Date: February 12, 2019

“Do You Dare?”

Synopsis:

“A group of vloggers illegally access a condemned asylum for a “Will you Survive the Night” viral social media challenge. Equipped with night vision and thermal cameras, the adolescent adrenaline junkies chase the rumors of paranormal activity, not only learning they are not alone…they are not welcome.” – Well Go USA

My Take:

Ah, the found footage horror genre. So well-traveled and pretty much passe. Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten is a German horror film, written/directed by Michael David Pate, that finds a group of twenty-something video bloggers attempting to solidify their “viralness” by spending the night in a legendary haunted sanitarium that dates back to the second World War, where atrocities against patients with tuberculosis were carried out.

After brief character introductions and short history on the aforementioned abandoned facility, every arrives for a night of found footage horror mayhem. I find that with supernatural horror films it is essential that the elements contained within the story allow us to identify with it on a level that successfully draws us in prior to unleashing the evil required to generate chilling suspense and terror. I didn’t have that experience. This is a decidedly contrived film, beginning with the paint by the numbers script which includes a series of been there and done that encounters and an attempt at a shocking twist of an ending that just came across as silly. The cast of unknowns do little to add to the proceedings. Even at 90 minutes this film had trouble sustaining its runtime. The outcome is a lackluster genre entry that is just plain forgettable.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The film contains language, disturbing images and thematic material.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

 

Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

 

Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

Being a found footage “documentary” as seen through the eyes of a “video camera”, this film uses both handheld and mounted camera perspectives often switching back and forth. As such many times the video rarely resembles high definition/film although this is intentional and adheres to the thematic tone set by the filmmakers. Conversely there are a handful of shots that look very good and reveal discerning levels of detail and dimension. When appropriate colors are natural, contrast is well balanced and black levels are notable. Shadow detail is quite good as depth of field in the plethora of low-level sequences is gratifying. I had no complaints with the stylized video quality which contributed to the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack offers detail rich clarity while making use of the entire surround platform to support the film’s thematic elements. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. Dynamic range is solid which enriches the authority of low frequency effects contained in the mix. There isn’t perpetual use of the surround channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are complimentary.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • DVD

Final Thoughts:

Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten is a found footage style supernatural horror/thriller that brings nothing original to the table and winds up a contrived, flavorless and ultimate ineffective genre entry. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA featuring solid high definition audio/video. Haunted Hospital: Heilstatten is an unremarkable film that isn’t worth 90 minutes of your time. Pass.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems 

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