Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is a love letter and a refreshing contemporary take on the classic murder mystery genre. Taking inspiration from the great Agatha Christie and other fantastic whodunits, the film features the classic murder mystery tropes of a dysfunctional family caught up in a murder of the family patriarch, and the eccentric detective who is the only one who can solve the case. But Johnson takes that a step further by weaving in socio-economic and political themes into the film to make it feel more contemporary and aware.
Now the Oscar-nominated Knives Out comes home on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. The film stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jarden Martell, Christopher Plumber, and Noah Segan, all of whom play a collection of interesting characters who are all caught in Johnson’s contemporary vision of a whodunit that also plays reverence to the genre. But there is so much more to the Blu-ray than just the film. There are wonderful bonus features to look forward to, none of which feel generic and typical. They provide an in-depth look at all of the complementary parts that make Knives Out complete and thoroughly entertaining.
Knives Out revolve around the murder of Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) who is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday. Though local police believe that it was a mere suicide, the debonair and eccentric Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) suspects that someone close to Harlan, from the immigrant caregiver Marta (De Armas) to everyone in the highly dysfunctional family may be the killer.
As Blanc begins to sift through all of the clues and untangle the web, he discovers that there is much more to Harlan’s death than what you see. As Knives Out progresses, it takes plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. And if you’ve already seen the film, there are still things that you may have overlooked that makes the film so great and beautiful. There is just so much to discover my looking at the overlooked aesthetics and smaller details.
Knives Out may feel like it follows the traditional rules of a murder mystery, yet, it feels so new with its socio-economic and political undertones. Set around the Thrombey mansion – which looks more like a Clue board – the film is populated by caricatures of the 1%, who are genuinely out of touch with the other parts of the society. And yet, there is Marta, who acts as the one character we can all connect to as she is caring, generous, and humble. She’s always been there to take care of the Thrombey patriarch. It’s almost as if she were his daughter.
But strange circumstances would lead up to his death, which was made to look like suicide. However, Blanc, a southern detective with unusual charm, suspects foul play. His energy is infectious, and you can’t help being drawn in by his enunciation as he breaks down the case by looking in places where no one bothered to check or asking the questions that no one bothered to ask. However, the Thrombeys are annoyed by it, and Marta is unsure who she can trust.
Even without the murder mystery element, the film moves like a stage play, with much of the film confined to the extravagant Thrombay mansion, which is filled with all sorts of eclectic characters.
But Knives Out deserves so much more than just a simple rewatch. There are plenty of bonus features to look forward to that will surely add to the film’s enjoyment, show why it is one of the best, and prove it is deserving of all of its accolades.
Films like these come with the traditional audio commentary. But Knives Out comes with two of them. Yes, there are two. The first one has Johnson, with his frequent director of photography, Steve Yedlin; and his acting muse Noah Segan. The second one is the in-theater commentary that was released as a rare exclusive commentary that was recorded and released just for the film during its original theatrical run.
Of course, there’s also the deleted scenes that come with the director’s commentary, as well. Not to mention the trailers, and a “Meet The Thrombeys” viral ads that get you acquainted with the dysfunctional family members that find themselves tangled in this murder mystery web of lies and deceit.
While those bonus features are customary for any home entertainment release, the best bonus features for this film are “Making A Murder” and the “Director and Cast Q&A.” The former is a loose documentary that fully breaks down the film into its individual parts like pre-production, scriptwriting, casting, costume design, production and design, cinematography, editing, the score, and more.
Then there’s the Director and Cast Q&A, which is a 42-minute feature that sees the cast and Johnson together answering questions about the film. It’s a rare bonus feature – because seeing an entire cast and its together like this happens only during press events – as it sees the whole cast and Johnson together to talk about the film’s impact, their characters, and its production.
There is just so much to discover by watching these bonus features, which will only make the Knives Out an excellent addition to your Blu-ray collection.
Here’s a full list of the bonus features you can expect to see:
4K UHD / BLU-RAY / DVD / DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan
In-Theatre Commentary by Rian Johnson
Deleted Scene: “Bicycling Accident” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
Deleted Scene: “Don’t Do Anything Rash” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
“Making a Murder” Eight-Part Documentary
“Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” Featurette
Writer-Director and Cast Q&A
“Meet the Thrombeys” Viral Ads