Immaculate director unhappy with film’s look on streaming services

sydney sweeney immaculate
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Michael Mohan has taken to social media to express his dissatisfaction with how dark Immaculate looks on streaming platforms.

When it arrived in cinemas in March, Immaculate was the film that finally got 2024’s horror slate up and running. It’s a well-made horror flick, features an on-form Sydney Sweeney and was a lot of fun.

Given Sweeney’s perceived popularity with younger audiences, you might imagine that good word of mouth might have carried the film on to further successes following its streaming release. Instead, Immaculate seems to have hit a bit of a snag, with audiences complaining that the film is far too dark – as in, viewers aren’t able to see what’s going on.

The Hollywood Reporter has highlighted this issue, reporting that when one social media user stated that the film was ‘comically dark’, the film’s director actually took to X to reply.

“I know, man,” Mohan agreed. “This was absolutely not done intentionally. We have no control over the compression specs of each platform.”

Read more: Immaculate review | The first great horror film of 2024

It must be heartbreaking for Mohan and everybody else who worked on the film’s visuals to achieve a look using low-key lighting so effectively, to then have factors beyond their control effectively destroy all of those efforts.

Mohan expressed his disappointment, adding, “it’s a real problem that truly bums me out, and after comparing them all, iTunes is the closest to what we wanted / brighter than the rest.”

Unsurprisingly, the director isn’t the first filmmaker to voice concerns with streaming platforms and their compression rates. Christopher Nolan has talked about this before and it’s particularly galling to see some platforms (we’ll mention no names) continue to charge a hefty uplift for ‘4K’ streaming while using compression rates that are clearly compromised.

HBO had to remaster some episodes of the final season of Game Of Thrones because its faced a similar problem after the show’s last episodes aired in 2019. However, at least in that scenario the production team planned for a streaming release and chose that look for better or for worse.

Should streaming platform compression rates continue to be an issue, filmmakers planning to make dimly-lit films across theatrical releases and streaming platforms may have to consider making visual compromises to the former for the sake of the latter, which is hardly ideal.

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