Review: Haven: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

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Title: Haven: The Complete Third Season
Format: Blu-ray / DVD
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Studio: Entertainment One
Original MSRP: $49.98 (Blu-ray) / $39.98 (DVD)
Number of Discs: 4
Language: English
Subtitles: English
MPAA Rating: NR
Haven: The Complete Third Season is also available on DVD.
The Blu-ray version was used for this review.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this is available on Episode 336 of the podcast.

Story:
Two years ago, FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrived in a small town in Maine called Haven to track down an escaped prisoner. She quickly found that things aren’t quite what they seem. You see, every twenty-seven years, the town of Haven is beset by “The Troubles”. These supernatural occurrences are centered in specific people who often don’t even know and can’t control what they’re doing and as she arrives, they’re starting up again.

Audrey, who was raised in a series of foster homes, learns that the last time the troubles occurred, a woman named Lucy Ripley, who looks almost exactly like her, was there to help. Wanting to track down more information on the woman, whom Audrey now believes may be her mother, she takes a leave of absence from the FBI and joins the Haven Police Department as a Detective to help with the troubled herself.

It’s very loosely based on The Colorado Kid novella by Stephen King, with only a few of the character’s names and the setting being the only real link. I won’t spoil anything in explaining how we get to Season 3, but I can tell you the the show starts with a somewhat lighter X-Files vibe in the first two seasons and shifts drastically to a much darker tone. Several major characters have died, one in particular was a big mistake as far as I’m concerned, but it seems it was needed to push the show in this direction.

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Haven adds a few new characters this season as Dorian Missick arrives as a Detective from Boston with a shady past tracking a serial killer and Bree Williamson is Claire Callahan, a psychiatrist who helps with the “Troubled”.

They join Emily Rose as Audrey, yes, that Emily Rose, along with Lucas Bryant as Chief Nathan Wuornos, Eric Balfour as the somewhat shady Duke Crocker and Richard Donat and John Dunsworth as Vince and Dave Teagues, brothers who run the local newspaper and seem to have a vested interest in the goings on around town. We also get a couple of sweet guest appearances in the form of Nolan North and Claudia Black, courtesy of one of the writers, who happens to be a huge fan of the Uncharted series.

The over-arching stories this season revolve around a serial killer who’s collecting body parts, Audrey learning more and more about her past and a shadowy organization called “The Guard” dedicated to protecting The Troubled. While this season definitely feels different than the first two, each episode works towards moving the overall story forward in some fashion and it holds up pretty well with some surprising and even shocking revelations. Of course it all ends in a massive cliffhanger setting up Season 4 which will begin Friday, September 13 on SyFy (so you still have time to catch up).

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Video:
Shot almost entirely on location, in Nova Scotia, the picture is excellent. Clean and crisp throughout, even in low-light situations it’s definitely a step up from broadcast where compression is often used.

It really looks fantastic overall on Blu-ray whether it’s a location or studio/interior shoot. Skin tones look natural and the color balance is great. With plenty of gorgeous shots of the town from above and great set design, there’s always something nice to look at.

Audio:
Presented in DTS 5.1 Surround, the audio is really good throughout. It’s a TV show and even though it has a supernatural twist to it, you’ll be getting a lot of dialogue. Fortunately, it’s all crisp and clear in the center channel, never drowned out or muffled by the ambient noise or background music.

That music gives the show its very different feel this season. Upbeat acoustic guitars have been replaced by moodier strings and synths along with the occasional melancholy guitar. It’s all really a bigger factor in changing the tone of the show than anything else they’ve done on screen.

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Bonus Features:
Along with audio commentaries on six of the thirteen episodes, there’s a 16-page comic book titled “Haven: After The Storm” included in the packaging. It tells the story of the immediate aftermath of the season-ending cliffhanger and sets things up for Season 4.

The rest of the material is really good with the documentary and the Comic Con Panel being the strongest of the bunch.

  • The Haunting Truth About Haven: A Documentary (42:14) – A pretty decent documentary focusing on the cast and crew, their experiences on the show and how it all comes together to make an episode
  • Haven Panel From New York Comic Con (47:50) – The entire Haven panel from the 2012 New York Comic Con featuring many of the writers, producers and cast
  • Cast Interviews
    • Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant & Eric Balfour (14:39)
    • Iain Glen (5:29)
    • Nolan North & Emily Rose (7:27)
  • “Escape To Haven” Webisode Series (16:01) – A series of eight short webisodes designed to get new viewers up to speed in the guise of recruitment videos
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes (11:01) – Seven total scenes giving a different look or more information to a particular story
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage Reel (4:22) – Montage of footage taken around the set of Haven all set to music
  • Blooper Reel (5:32) – Standard series of line flubs etc.
  • Season 3 Trailers (3:52) – International Promo, New Season Trailer and Coming Soon to DVD Promo
  • Season 4 Teaser (1:30) – Teaser trailer for the upcoming season

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Conclusion:
Going well beyond the original novella over the past few years, Haven took a darker turn this season and while the scripts in the first few episodes were a little shaky, the production team quickly found their footing and pulled together one helluva season finale. It’s going to be really interesting to see where the show goes next season.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the movie using the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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