Mark Pellington’s 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies is a wonderfully tense psychological thriller that finally arrives on Blu-ray thanks to Australian label [Imprint]. Starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney the film follows the strange happenings in the small town of Point Pleasant, WV. The Blu-ray from [Imprint] provides an excellent A/V package and a wealth of bonus features for fans of the film. Recommended.
“Ah, there’s a happy couple. I’ve been looking for you.”
Washington Post reporter John Klein (Richard Gere) is house hunting with his wife Mary (Debra Messing). On their way back from buying their dream home they’re involved in a car accident. As the car speeds down the snowy residential street the last thing Mary sees is the glowing red eyes of a large moth-like creature diving into the windshield. An MRI reveals a brain tumor that ultimately takes her life soon afterwards. John dives into his work to forget the pain of losing her. A late night drive to chase a story mysteriously leads him 6 hours west to the small town of Point Pleasant, WV. When he befriends local police officer Connie Mills (Laura Linney) hoping to find answers to his strange journey she reveals that he isn’t the only odd occurrence to plague their small town. Klein begins investigating the strange cases around town after he sees a crazed drawing of a moth-like creature that resembles one Mary drew before her death.
The Mothman Prophecies avoids a creature feature trajectory and instead goes deep into psychological and paranormal trauma materialized in the form of a supernatural essence. Klein’s search for answers pushes him further into a pit of despair while the town is inundated with strange happenings. All the while he is trying to make sense of everything like any good-natured reporter should, right? The haunting presence envelopes the town and as the body count rises Klein’s emotional investment becomes leveraged for his sanity. As supernatural author Alexander Leek (Alan Bates) puts it: “It all comes down to one decision: Having proof or being alive”.
Throughout the film we get plenty of superimposed images of moth-like shapes running across scenes adding some texture to the thrills but its more of a reminder I suppose. The voyeuristic POV shots from behind curtains and outside windows does a far better job at creeping me out! Pellington’s slow POV creep through scenes is the most unsettling thing I’ve seen in a long time. Combined with the use of light as a playful motif he offers plenty of avenues to explore with static, lens flares, electric pulses, and flickering surges adding an eerie texture that is both inviting and repulsive.
Performances are engaging with an excellent cast well suited to handle the intensity of the material. Richard Gere is solid as the flawed every man with a deep seeded trauma looking for answers, As Connie Mills Laura Linney provides a strong yet calm resolve that balances well against the amazing character actor Will Patton. His role of Gordon is an electrifying glimpse into the mind of someone taken over by this unexplainable presence.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
The Mothman Prophecies arrives on Blu-ray thanks to [Imprint]. The Region Free disc is housed in a standard transparent keepcase with a limited edition slipcover. This release is Spine Number 39. The disc loads the Via Vision logo, [Imprint] logo, then lands on the static Main Menu screen with typical navigation options.
The Mothman Prophecies gets the HD treatment from [Imprint] with pleasing results. In 1080p with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 the HD image is impressive with plenty of fine detail and strong contrast levels. Primaries are strong from red moth eyes cutting through the deep blackness of night to the twinkling Christmas lights on Klein’s street. Skin tones are even offering plenty of detail in facial features. Closeups offer plenty of detail from the fearful expression in Debra Messings’ eyes to the pores on Gere’s nose as he leans into his wife. Black levels hold strong throughout the feature. Overall a fine transfer here that offers a step up from previous home video releases.
The Mothman Prophecies arrives on [Imprint] Blu-ray with two audio options: a DTS-HD MA 5.1 and a LPCM 2.0 Stereo track. The DTS is surprisingly robust, offering an immersive experience thanks largely to the surround channels. Dialogue is clear and clean with no hiss or pop detected. Scoring from tomandandy is wonderfully suspenseful while complimented with various other electronic music from bands like Bowery Electric and Glenn Branca. English captions are available.
[Imprint] has provided a wealth of bonus features making this Blu-ray release a no-brainer for fans of the film. New featurettes and documentaries are combined with archival content giving you permission to toss out that old DVD gathering dust on your shelf.
The Mothman Prophecies takes what could have been yet another creature feature and instead developed an intensely eerie psychological thriller about dealing with grief. Pellington’s film is one you can’t look away from even if you wanted to. From an outstanding cast to the spot on sound design and visual effects, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Point Pleasant all these years later. The Blu-ray from [Imprint] provides an excellent A/V package and a wealth of bonus features for fans of the film. Recommended.