Blu-ray Review: ELIZABETH HARVEST Re-Imagines BLUEBEARD

Editor, U.S.; New England (@m_galgana)
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Blu-ray Review: ELIZABETH HARVEST Re-Imagines BLUEBEARD

One of the many releases just out now from Scream Factory is the 2018 film Elizabeth Harvest, from Sebastian Gutierrez. It stars Abbey Lee (The Neon Demon), Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones), and Carla Gugino (Gerald's Game). The key cast is joined by Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game) and Dylan Baker (Happiness). You can read Martin's review here.

Essentially, the new, mostly one-location horror/thriller film Elizabeth Harvest is a re-telling of the classic folklore/warped fairy tale of Bluebeard, who had a nasty habit of killing all of his young, beautiful wives because they entered a forbidden room while he was traveling. The biggest difference is that Elizabeth Harvest veers into Black Mirror territory, which I can say without giving anything away. I did, however, see the main twist coming, but for me, movies are more about the journey than predicting what I think will happen, and Elizabeth Harvest is an interesting film to watch, due to the rich colors, and good-to-great cinematography and cast.

So, in line with the Bluebeard tale, young, naive, wide-eyed Elizabeth has trouble containing her boredom and checks out the forbidden room, of course, only to find make a horrifying discovery. Elizabeth Harvest is a stylized film, borrowing from the lush greens and reds of Mario Bava's (and then Dario Argento's) filmography, but why not? There are plenty of interesting shots here, and even as the danger and twist was telegraphed to me, I didn't mind, especially because there were a few sub-plots I didn't expect. Some of the actors really bring the creep factor, and all of them sell what their respective characters are going through.

I found myself wondering why I didn't see Elizabeth Harvest at more film festivals, but that can be for any number of reasons. (It did play SXSW and Sitges, which are both excellent fests to play.) The film is a bit long, which may frustrate modern viewers, but I didn't mind that much.

This is also another one of those films where the location is a silent character. Elizabeth Harvest takes place in the middle of the woods somewhere non-disclosed. It's the home-mansion-complex-compound of the ultra-wealthy, Nobel Prize-winning scientist played by Hinds. It's both luxury, cold, dystopian, and intimidating, yet compelling.

As for the Blu-ray release itself, the film looks wonderful, as it should for a brand-new feature. The sound mix is fine, but I recall having to ride the sound levels on the remote control.

Bonus features are scant, but here they are:

  • "Making Of Elizabeth Harvest" Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

These are standard bonus features, especially the talking head "making of" interview segments. I would have loved to have seen some concept art, or something more than the perfunctory inclusions, but it is what it is. 

Interested? Watch the trailer for Elizabeth Harvest and check out more info on the film at Sceam Factory's site here.

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