Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2012



“The Vampire Diaries Season 3" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle



We pick up right where Season 2 left off with Stefan having joined Klaus in his quest to create more vampire/werewolf hybrids.  Stefan is quite the ripper leaving a trail of blood and bodies in his wake.  Elena tries desperately to find him and when she does, Klaus compels Stefan to bury his humanity.  The war escalates when the rest of Klaus’ family is awakened along with his mother, the original witch.  She hatches a plot to correct her mistake in creating vampires by killing off her children, the original vampires.  By season’s end the war is in full swing and Elena starts down a path she never anticipated.


  • Warner Brothers
  • 2012, Color, Not Rated, 15Hrs 27 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Implied
  • Language: No


While teen vampires have reached a saturation point in film and on TV, The Vampire Diaries manages to stay fresh and interesting when other shows lapse into the romance and forget about the action and intrigue.  There are many plotlines going on at once and there is no shortage of chaos and mayhem in each episode.  Watching the season on Blu-ray is much easier than following the series week to week when the long breaks make it easy to forget what’s going on.  There is plenty of young cheesecake, of both sexes; to please everyone and all the actors are very skilled.  Ian Somerhalder is the best of the bunch performing a perfect balance of good and evil behavior.  Even though the show is aimed squarely at a teen-aged demographic, some of the subject matter is very adult.  People die with alarming frequency in Mystic Falls, promiscuity is common among high school students, and there is plenty of drinking and joint smoking on screen.  Parents might want to check this out before letting their kids watch.


The image quality is a curious mix of sharp detail and crushed blacks along with an extremely warm color palette.  On one hand, facial close-ups and outdoor shots brim with crisp features and great dimension.  On the other hand, dark details are crushed in almost every scene that takes place indoors.  Most of the actors have dark hair which results in them appearing to wear black helmets all the time.  The darkest scenes are a series of disembodied faces floating on a murky background.  The color appears to be a director’s choice but it almost never looks natural.  Saturation is high though which gives a decent pop to brighter material.  At least there is no edge enhancement!

Sound quality is quite good thanks to the lossless encode.  Surrounds are used sparingly but the sub gets quite a workout.  Both the sound effects and the music make frequent use of the low end.  My only complaint was occasional sibilance in the dialog track.  It’s not too bad but a little surprising in a modern Blu-ray release.  The front soundstage is broad and deep and I enjoyed the pop music that is used quite liberally throughout.



Bonus features include three featurettes and fan-favorite scenes that total about 74 minutes.  Also included is a gag reel and some deleted scenes.  The package now includes DVDs of the entire series plus a digital copy accessible via the Ultraviolet service