Heart of Midnight (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray)

Director - Matthew Chapman

Cast - Jennifer Jason Leigh

Country of Origin - U.S.

Discs - 1

Distributor - Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Reviewer - Scott MacDonald

Date - 10/26/15

The Film (4/5)

     Carol (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a mentally disturbed young woman who has just inherited her late Uncle's night club the "Midnight". She moves into the apartment upstairs from the club, and oversees the renovations that were going on when her Uncle died. Unfortunately for Carol taking over the club is not as easy as she hoped, and she finds herself in the middle of a series of bizarre and disturbing situations that slowly peel back the secrets of her Uncle and the club, and why taking over the place may not have been in her best interest.

   Matthew Chapman's Heart of Midnight was made in 1989, and feels like a precursor to the erotic thrillers that were popular in the 90's mixed with a strong influence from the films of David Lynch.  Of course, unlike many of those films Heart of Midnight is actually quite good. The film is dripping with a sleazy, otherworldly atmosphere for much of it's running time. Chapman even on a low budget manages to create quite a stylish piece with an interesting color palette and lighting choices. The film has a measured pace for much of it's running time, with a bizarre change in tone for it's third act that ramps things up quite a bit for a truly disturbing and suspenseful conclusion.

     The lead performance from Jennifer Jason Leigh definitely falls into a sort of Lynch-lite mode with a very stylized dramatic performance. The rest of the cast including Frank Stallone, Peter Coyote, and an early in his career Steve Buscemi handle the material quite well. We also get a truly interesting and atmospheric score from....Yanni.

 

Audio/Video (4/5)

     Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents Heart of Midnight in a fantastic 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. The transfer preserves the OAR of the film, and shows off Chapman's diverse and interesting colors very well, black levels are solid, and there is a nice grain structure at play. There is some damage from the source material, but it's minimal, and there is some minor softness, but nothing overly distracting.

   The DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack in English sounds similarly well with the dialogue and Yanni's score coming through nice and clearly with no issues detected.

 

Extras (2/5)

   Kino Lorber Studio Classics has included a decent commentary track with director Chapman and Peter Coyote. We also get the film's trailer and another Jennifer Jason Leigh film called Rush.

 

Overall

   Heart of Midnight is a bizarre, and occasionally disturbing thriller with some nice flashes of style, and a solid atmospheric score. The A/V looks and sounds quite excellent, and though the extras are slim, the commentary is a nice addition to the package. I will say the film is not for everyone, but I will definitely RECOMMEND it.