Horror author Clive Barker made a smooth transition from writing to directing, he ended up only directing three films the most notable and successful of which was Hellraiser the others were Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions.
In Lords of Illusion, the story begins for detective Harry D Amour (Scott Bakula) when he is approached by a beautiful woman, Dorothea Swann (Famke Janssen). Dorothea is married to Philip Swann (Kevin J. O Connor), a wealthy illusionist who has found fame by disguising real magic as stage trickery, and believes that her husband may be in danger. Harry reluctantly agrees to investigate, and he discovers that Swann has made enemies of a bizarre religious cult who wish to resurrect their sorcerer leader, and now the real horror is about to be thrust upon him.
A mix of film noir with modern horror the film starts out well with good performances especially from Bakula, there is plenty of gore on offer and the effects, apart from some dated CGI, are impressive. Clive Barker stated that the world of magic would be a fertile area for a horror film because people have eerie feelings about magic and illusion.
This film certainly conjures up some of that, but it seems to get lost in the final act, piling on the gore effects which quickly become tiresome. It certainly has a lot to recommend it, Simon Boswell’s score serves the film very well and horror fans should find a lot to like in this release.
101 Films have released Lord Of Illusions onto Blu ray with a good 1080p transfer. Colours are solid, blacks deep and the presentation is very satisfying. Audio is PCM stereo and is fine, with good use of the sound-stage. Sadly the release is only the theatrical cut, not the director’s preferred cut, that is on a second disc but only in SD as a HD master of the directors cut was not available. The Director’s Cut contains more violence and sex as well as a more fleshed out storyline and is superior.
The only extra is an audio commentary but that is on the directors cut DVD only. A mixed bag of a release, the transfer is good but its a shame that the directors cut could not have been included in HD as well.
FILM: 7 PICTURE: 7.5 SOUND: 7 EXTRAS: 5