Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] (2009)

Actors: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles
AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Subtitles: French, Japanese
1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs:
Studio: Warner
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009
Run Time:
924 minutes



The next time your pastor tells you that horror movies are godless entertainment, don't sigh and roll your eyes. He's actually right.

The fictional universes represented in most horror movies are indeed God-less: they may be haunted by demons and devils, but there are seldom (if ever) any angels in them. This was particularly true of the television series Supernatural, in which two unlikely brothers (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) travel from one small American town to the next in their souped-up late-?Sixties muscle car, battling ghosts and demons along the way like an outlaw Mulder and Scully. (Like the best X-Files episodes, the series is actually filmed in Canada.)

Supernatural was populated by a host of demons that actually possessed humans, bought their souls, sent them to hell, etc. Hell was very real, but God and His angels were largely AWOL. It was like the Tom Waits song that went that the Devil created the world while God was sleeping . . .

Season Four of this series however rectifies this rather one-sided state of affairs by bringing God and His angels into the mix. In fact it is an angel that rescues Dean (Ackles) from hell ? to which he has been condemned at the end of the previous season ? itself.

However in true Hellblazer-style these angels ain't no cuddly Michael Landon types. These angels are terrifying creatures and to make things more muddled, "God works in mysterious ways" - at times it seems that Heaven might be actually run by The Sopranos. Also interesting is that God is not all-powerful and needs the help of the heroes in the upcoming battle between Heaven and Hell. (If He was all-powerful of course there wouldn't be much of a story, so don't take any of the show's assertions as religious statements.)

It seems that some demons are one-by-one destroying the mystical seals that would free Lucifer himself from the confines of Hell, unleashing the Apocalypse in the process . . .

One can write quite a few essays on the metaphysics on movies and shows such as Supernatural, but that would be missing the point: Supernatural is a fun horror TV show which doesn't take itself too serious. In fact the best episodes from this particular season are the "funny" ones: an episode that homages old Universal horror flicks such as Dracula and Bride of Frankenstein; another episode in which a cursed wishing well grants the wishes of some small town residents; an episode in which one of the heroes catches ?ghost flu? and becomes afraid of small dogs; and so on.

THE DISCS: The more we use the new Blu-Ray menu system that comes standard with all Blu-Ray discs, the more we hate it. We also can't get used to episodes that simply start playing when you insert the disc. It is slowly becoming our pet gripe to be honest.

Plus why Warner would put an advertisement for Blu-Ray at the beginning of the disc is also a mystery. After all, you've already converted to the new format haven't you? Why should you still be bombarded with more advertising for the new format? (Maybe they simply want to remind you of the high-def resolution and stuff so that you don't bitch too much about the fidgety menus, who knows?)

Anyway, all 22 episodes from this season are spread over four discs. You get a spattering of special features such as a few featurettes, the occasional commentary and some deleted scenes as well as a gag reel.

WORTH IT? One could argue that Supernatural became more than simply ?monster of the week? when it more explicitly embraced its own mythology arc. The truth is however that this show slowly became one of our favorite TV shows thanks to some fresh writing and its likeable, charismatic leads.

RECOMMENDATION: Supernatural is an underappreciated show that simply got better with time. Horror (and even some non-horror) fans would want to check it out while existing fans won't think twice before buying it. Say what you like, but Supernatural has over time become one of our favorite genre shows edging out competitors such as Smallville and StarGate Atlantis along the way . . .

The best news we had in ages was that Supernatural has indeed been renewed for a fifth season! Hallelujah!



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