The Eclipse (Blu-ray Review)

Continuing the trend of low budget thrillers, we now bring you an entry all the way from Ireland called The Eclipse.  First and foremost, do not confuse this film with that other film involving vampires.  They have nothing to do with each other, so it kind of confuses me as to why Magnolia would release this film on Blu-ray the same week as that other film premieres in theaters.  Shot on a relatively low budget, director and co-writer Conor McPherson maximizes his limited resources and brings us a not so generic film about “hauntings.”


Michael Farr (Ciaran Hinds) is a wood shop teacher raising his two children alone after the death of his wife a couple of years earlier.  As his family tries to move forward, Michael starts seeing and hearing things at night.  He’s not able to explain any of it, so he just presses on.  Michael volunteers at a local literary book festival and is assigned to drive around Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejile), who just so happens to be an author of ghost and haunting books.

As Michael and Lena get to know each other, we’re introduced to the popular, but scumbagish Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn) who is also an author and is there to participate in the book festival.  Lena and Nicholas go way back if you get my meaning, so that kind of throws a wrench in Michael’s direction, because he’ll have to deal with the mysterious happenings by himself while trying to stay true to his children. As the hauntings continue to escalate, Michael is pretty much convinced that he’s going insane.  He even begins to hallucinate that his children are dead, along with premonitions about what may or may not happen in the future; or is it all a dream?

All of this comes through loud and clear.  From the opening frames of the film I was immersed in the surroundings of the island.  I even commented to my editor that the film was beautiful.  I NEVER use words like that when I describe thrillers or horror films.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is horror, because it does have horror overtones along with drama and stillness.  But I will say that when the horror hits the screen you will jump…I don’t care who you are.

I will now insert a disclaimer of sorts.  The Eclipse is not a fast, slam-bam, furious horror, thriller-fest.  Far from it.  Those that go into it thinking it’s going to be a rampage of a film will be severely disappointed.  Think of it as a four or five course meal that gets served in increments.  If you do it that way, in my opinion, when the end comes you will have had a great feast.


The Eclipse is presented in a 1080p 16X9 (2.00:1) aspect ratio.  The video quality is near reference, in my honest opinion.  I did some research and found out that The Eclipse was shot using film and the RED camera.  No wonder!  From the opening scenes one is transported to this sleepy little Irish island town.  There are no crushing black levels, blown out contrast, etc…  Colors are rich and vibrant throughout the entire film.  The video presentation of The Eclipse is a treat.


The Eclipse is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  As with the video, it contains a near reference soundtrack.  Granted, this isn’t a film that contains explosions, martial arts, or any of that junk.  Music comes through the channels in a comfortable wave, as does the dialogue.  Ambient surround effects also come through clear and unobstructed by the other effects.  Nothing in the soundtracks overlaps, so you get a clear audio representation of what’s going on onscreen.  Be warned, the hauntings are down right aggressive, but do not sound distorted-great use of the LFE channel.

Special Features

The Eclipse contains just two featurettes.

  • Making of The EclipseA standard making of documentary of behind the scenes footage, but very entertaining.
  • HDNet: A Look at The Eclipse – Standard EPK making of.

Final Thoughts 

The Eclipse is not your typical thriller, so take that however you want.  If you have ADD or can’t sit still for long periods of time (not a valid excuse considering the film is only 88 minutes without credits) then you may want to look elsewhere.  If you want to be taken on a journey through Ireland then what better way than with this film.  I won’t recommend The Eclipse as a blind-buy, but a rental for sure.  The Eclipse is another pleasant surprise in this underrated genre of ours.

Bring home The Eclipse on Blu-ray!


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “The Eclipse (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I would give this flick a watch on Blu-ray!

    I hope those peeps from RED camera are at Comic-Con again this year.