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Special Edition

THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES ($28) isnít your typical horror movie designed to drag teens into the theater and clean up at the box office opening weekend. Instead, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES presents audiences with something a bit more cerebral, taking a slow, deliberate and decidedly stylish approach to horror. Sure, the movie is creepy as all get out and does supply a number of modest shocks, which is probably why I liked it better than your average slice and dice gore fest. Much like old style horror movies, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES doesnít show the audience anything explicit- leaving a lot of things to be played out in the audienceís imagination.

Using real life events as a springboard, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES tells the story of a recently widowed reporter named John Klein (Richard Gere), whose car breaks down in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a town hundreds of miles from the actual direction in which he was driving. After a series of even more odd occurrences, John decides to remain in the town, where he begins an investigation into the reported sightings of a strange creature, reminiscent of something that his wife claimed to have seen shortly before her death. To say anything more about the plot of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES would do a disservice to those that have never seen the film. The fine cast of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES also features Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing and Alan Bates.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Like any new movie, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES looks great on DVD. The image is very crisp and highly defined, so much so, that even minute details are easy to discern. Colors tend to be very nicely saturated and flesh tones generally appear natural, depending on the filmís lighting. There are no signs of chroma noise or smearing of the more intense hues during the presentation. Blacks appear deep and velvety, while the whites are clean and stable. Much of THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES takes place under low lighting and despite the darkness, the image produces excellent shadow detail and a good deal of dimensionality. Digital compression artifacts are usually very well concealed.

THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES features an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack that goes for atmospherics over pyrotechnics. As I stated above this is a genuinely creepy movie, which benefits from a very subtle sound design that creates a sense of unease through well-chosen and well-placed sounds. There is also a good deal of directionality in the track, which puts the viewer in the moment, but also helps to cocoon within the movieís sense of dread. Also contributing to the filmís atmosphere is the filmís unnerving score, which is reproduced with marvelous fidelity. Dialogue is generally crisp and intelligible, except when it is being purposely manipulated. The bass channel is very deep and highly effective, without being artificially boomy. A French 5.1 track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVDís interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials that have been spread across both discs of this two-disc set. Disc one features a rather detailed audio commentary with director Mark Pellington, which will be of great interest to the movieís fans. Moving on to disc two, one will find Search For The Mothman, a near hour-long documentary that places a real life and historic perspective on the events depicted in the movie. I found this to be a fascinating, if somewhat disturbing program, which makes a great companion piece to the film. Also included is Day By Day: A Director's Journey, a two-part program that runs roughly an hour. The documentary features Mark Pellington who takes the viewer through the filmmaking process for THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES. Closing out the supplements are five deleted scenes, a music video for the song Halflight by Low and theatrical trailers for THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, FORMULA 51, and xXx.

THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES is a stylish and unnerving horror outing that I found quite enjoyable. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has done a fine job with their Special Edition DVD, offering a great presentation and some very interesting supplements that fans will definitely want to check out.



The Mothman Prophecies (Special Edition) (2002)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2003 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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