The Toybox (Skyline Entertainment) Blu-ray Review



Studio: Skyline Entertainment

Release Date: September 18th, 2018 (both theatrical and blu-ray)

Region Code: REGION FREE

Picture: 1080p (2.35:1 Aspect Ratio)

Sound: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio / English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English

Starring: Mischa Barton, Denise Richards, Jeff Denton, Brian Nagel

Written by Jeff Denton

Directed by Tom Nagel

Rating: Not Rated (strong horror violence and gore and language)

Note: This blu-ray was sent to me for review purposes. This is a full retail version of the blu-ray, from what I can tell, but the blu-ray format of choice is a BD-R. This means that this is not a pressed disc like 95% of the discs out there. Some people only buy pressed discs and not manufactured on demand discs (MOD) or BD-R discs. Everything here plays just like a pressed disc and there were no problems playing the disc on my region free Sony player. However, this disc would not play on the blu-ray drive on my PC. This is the only disc I have come across that would not play at all. It just gives me an error message. This may also hamper some from buying this disc as they may only have a blu-ray drive to play their discs.

Also, the screenshots in this review are not from the disc as noted above. These are taken from the film's trailer, found on Youtube. They are here to give you a sense of what the film looks like and are not representative of what the blu-ray looks like.


THE FILM ⭐
Charles has purchased a vintage RV with the hopes of taking his family on a road trip to reconcile with his two sons, a promise he made to his wife before she recently passed. His oldest son, Steve, his wife Jennifer (Denise Richards), their daughter and family dog, are excited for the excursion, however, his youngest son Jay is less than enthusiastic. Along the way, the family picks up Samantha (Mischa Barton) and her brother, broken down on the side of the highway. Before they get them to a service station in the next town, however, Charles insists on taking a detour into the desert to visit a landmark and they soon get lost. Now stranded in the desert, the unsuspecting group is blindsided by the terrible secrets they discover within the walls of the RV and find themselves in the fight of their lives.

The Toybox has a novel premise: a family gets trapped in the middle of the desert and are killed off one by one by a haunted RV that they drove into the desert. It is a very simple and easy to follow the plot, but the film is not easy to watch. Not because of the sometimes graphic violence, but because the film is not very well made. One would think that the acting would be the worst part of the film and you wouldn’t be all that wrong. The acting is horrible. There is a scene where someone gets killed when the RV backs into, and then over, them. The reaction from one of the actors is so laughable and cringe-worthy that you can’t really take anything seriously anymore. It is just an awful scene and the acting puts the scene way over the top. Everyone else gives a lazy performance and there are still some laughs to be had from this acting.

The script is the major problem here. Everything from the dialogue to the actions of the characters feels forced and unnatural. When people get hurt or killed, the reactions from the cast are more in line with a deer caught in headlights than a real reaction. Also, the whole thing with the family being caught in the middle of the desert isn’t played the way it should be. You would think that someone would try to walk to find some help. Nope. Two people decide they are going to go at two separate times and neither even gets to the door. Also, if the RV has been doing some weird shit wouldn’t you want to get away from the RV as quick as possible? Also, when the remaining family members find out what is going on, they find out so with actual physical evidence. This RV has been sitting around for a long time and the police clearly never searched the RV very hard because this family finds all this stuff by looking in the back of a cabinet.

The Toybox is schlock, but it is bad schlock. It could have been good schlock if the filmmakers put any type of effort in doing so. Instead, they give us a film that is just really boring to watch. We don’t care about anyone in the film and we are just waiting for them to die. There is one effective jump scare in the film and I do applaud the filmmakers for being able to pull off this one minor detail. The practical effects are also very nice, but the film is shot in a such a way that we can’t really appreciate them because the film decides that it wants to start inserting jump cuts score with a razor blade. Don’t bother with The Toybox as it is dead on arrival.


THE PICTURE ⭐⭐1/2

Preserving the film’s OAR of 2.35:1, The Toybox looks good but not as good as a brand new film should. The picture appears washed out at times and detail can drop at times. When the detail is good it is really nice, but there are plenty of times when everything looks kind of crappy. Colors look natural for the most part and skin tones are good. The one color that looks really good is red, but that should be a foregone conclusion for a horror film.


THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐

Presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track (as well as a 2.0 option), The Toybox sounds fine. Everything, including dialogue, effects, and music, come through crisp and clean. The surrounds get used for the music and effects and sounds fine.

THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐1/2

The Toybox comes to us courtsey of Skyline Entertainment.




 The disc is REGION FREE


THE FEATURES ⭐⭐

Trailer (1m 11s, HD)

Behind the Scenes (9m 17s, HD)

Cast and Crew Audio Commentary The track features director Tom Nagel, writer Jeff Denton, producer Jeff Miller, and actor Brian Nagel.

Not much in the way of special features. The trailer is ok. The behind the scenes is of the “fly on the wall” variety and the commentary track is somewhat informative but leans more towards the self-congratulatory side of things.


OVERALL ⭐⭐1/2

The Toybox is not a good film. The acting is awful, the script is beyond terrible, and the direction is average at best. The film doesn’t really do anything right except for a well-planned jump scare and some impressive gore effects. Don’t waste your time with this film.

The blu-ray, from Skyline Entertainment, is decent. The picture is hit or miss, but the sound is good. The special features leave something to be desired. I would only recommend this film to those who have to see every horror film out there and to those who love bad films.