5 Reasons You Should Definitely Rewatch The Revenant

One of the most visually spectacular films of 2015—or the most visually spectacular of 2015, according to Academy voters—Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s The Revenant managed to create a viewing experience so visceral you can almost taste the raw bison liver. While director Iñárritu and star Leonardo DiCaprio are the most celebrated A-listers behind the film, another key player is DP Emmanuel Lubezki, who’s won three consecutive Best Cinematography Oscars (for The Revenant, Birdman, and Gravity) and has been nominated on five other occasions. So yeah, the film’s a stunner, and here are five reasons why you should rewatch it in all its Digital HD (out today!) glory.

1. No green screen

the revenant 20th century fox

Pretty much everyone knows by now that shooting The Revenant was an incredibly gruelling experience, and that’s mainly because it didn’t take any green screen shortcuts. Just how important was it for Iñárritu to keep things authentically cold, damp, and deadly? The director had this to say to The Hollywood Reporter: “If we ended up in green screen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of shit. When you see the film, you will see the scale of it. And you will say, ‘Wow.'” And we all did.

2. The opening scene took forever to rehearse


Right out of the gate, The Revenant sees DiCaprio and his fur trapper allies attacked by Native Americans in a breathtakingly choreographed single-take sequence. Further complicating matters, Lubezki insisted on shooting the film with natural light, so they had an extremely short amount of time to perfectly capture that magic hour.

3. That avalanche was real


You may not have noticed it the first time, but there’s a moment when DiCaprio is walking through a valley as a massive avalanche occurs in the background. And guess what? They actually dropped explosives onto a mountain in Alberta to give viewers the real McCoy. The crew was only able to capture this in one take, and luckily they got it.

4. The bear attack was fake, and that’s all the more impressive


Hands down the most talked-about moment of the film, DiCaprio getting brutally mauled by a mama bear is also its most frightening. Again, the entire sequence was shot in one agonizing, six-minute take. We’re not entirely sure how they pulled it off, but according to the director in an interview with ScreenDaily, “It took a lot of rehearsals for me to understand how we were going to shoot it to enable the audience to share in the experience of being attacked by a bear.” We’d say it was a success.

5. They hired a Canadian meteorologist


After working on 2014’s Interstellar, Calgary meteorologist Jordan Witzel (who’s essentially the luckiest meteorologist alive) was hired as a forecasting consultant. His job was to establish immaculate shot continuity by letting the crew know about ideal locations and weather conditions to shoot in. Gotta have consistent snow and clouds, eh?

The Revenant is out now on Digital HD and arrives on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD April 19.  Put on your warmest parka and check out the trailer below.