The Moth Diaries (BLU-RAY)

The Moth Diaries

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Running Time: 
82 minutes

When I saw that Mary Harron (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page) wrote the screenplay for, and directed The Moth Diaries, I was interested. While she hasn’t particularly wowed me with her films she does manage to create some sense of personal investment in each picture that she’s done. So what could she possibly have to offer in her first dive into the horror genre?

The story revolves around Rebecca, played by Sarah Bolger (The Tudors, Once Upon A Time), a student at an all girls school whose father has committed suicide recently and who has been looking forward to the school year with close friends. A new student arrives, Ernessa, played by model turned actress Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Doctor Who: The Curse of the Black Spot) who ends up turning Rebecca’s world upside down. First Ernessa integrates herself in Rebecca’s world, steals Rebecca’s best friend, then is seen several times in unexplainable moments. Is she a vampire, a ghost, a demon? 

In short, the film is a real bore with a very loose tie holding what’s conceivably coherent about the plot in place. The acting is sub par, the story is pieced together to come off as dark and cool. It’s about as dark and cool as a Hot Topic shop in your local mall though. It seemed to me to be all flash and no bang. Goth kids will love it, well, the ones who won’t question how poorly pieced together the end of the film is and how it leaves a lot of head scratching moments in its wake. Question is, how did it look on BD?

Like the film itself I wasn’t very impressed with the picture quality. Harron settles with a lot of dark, low lit sequences. It seems like she tried too hard to bring the tone of the film, aesthetically, into a more gothic look that just comes off passé and unimaginative. The picture is mostly soft from a distance and only really captures the definition you’re likely looking for in close up shots. Despite choosing a mostly dark setting for picture black levels are weak and often times are spotted with white hue, especially in fade out sequences. 

Audio is decent. Harron doesn’t go for the soft/loud approach to scaring the bejeezus out of you, but the more frightening scenes pack very little punch in regards to volume. I take it this was her way of keeping the tone neutral in order to keep the allure of not knowing what’s really going on throughout the film. At best it’s good for dialogue and not much else.



~Behind The Scenes: Nearly twenty minutes of behind the scenes interviews with cast and crew. 

~Video Diaries: Nothing is more pretentious to me then spin cloaked as something else. 



AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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