After a short run at festivals throughout 2012/13, The Butterfly Room is finally available on DVD, on European Region 2 discs from Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. A further Region 2 release, from Anchor Bay UK is due on 10th February 2014 which you will also be able to rent from LOVEFiLM. If you are in the Netherlands, you can download The Butterfly Room from the iTunes NL store too. No news on a Region 1 or Blu-ray releases at this time.

The Butterfly Room DVD cover, Anchor Bay

The Butterfly Room DVD cover, Anchor Bay

The Butterfly Room stars Barbara Steele in the role of Ann, a reclusive lady with a morbid hobby: collecting butterflies. Befriended by youngster Alice, Ann develops a strong mothering relationship with the girl, but Alice is not all she appears and soon Ann finds herself compelled to commit murder to satisfy her obsessions – and protect the secret of the butterfly room.

Eschewing bright, daylight locations over stormy nights, masked killers and stalk and slash frights, Jonathan Zarantanello’s film delivers a chilling insight into the modus-operandi of an un-balanced mind. Oddly, though for all it’s masterful ingredients the film rarely creates an atmosphere of unease or tension. Possibly due in part to the complex story line, which skips back and forth in time.

Neither plot nor camera elicit much sympathy for Ann. Her ruthless nature reflected in harsh makeup and lighting. Steele’s eyes however have a timeless sparkle, her presence adds elegance and gravitas to the proceedings. A fine performance for a horror icon some 50 years after the startling movie scenes which secured her fame.

Watch a trailer for The Butterfly Room on YouTube.


The Butterfly Room premiered on April 7th, 2012 at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, with both director Jonathan Zarantonello and Barbara Steele in attendance. You can view a Q & A from the event here.

Barbara Steele opens the 2012 BIFFF

Barbara Steele opens the 2012 BIFFF
©Charles Six 2012

30th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

Barbara Steele at the 2012 BIFFF with her magnificent butterfly hat
©Aurore Belot 2012

The film went on to win the Denis-de-Rougemont Youth Award at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, in Switzerland, where it was shown on July 9th and 12th 2012.
On the 4th October the film was shown, again with Zarantonello and Steele in attendance, at Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, a large and respected event where Barbara received the Time Machine Award, which is presented annually to outstanding figures in fantasy film.

Barbara Steele receiving The Time Machine award for Lifetime Achievement. Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2012

Barbara Steele receiving The Time Machine award for Lifetime Achievement. Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2012
©Unknown

Moving to the United Kingdom, the film appeared at Abertoir, Wales’ International Horror Festival in Aberystwyth on November 11th 2012, before premiering in England at Grimmfest 2013, in Manchester on Sunday 6th October, where it received a positive reaction from fans enjoying a 5 day horror film festival.
The Butterfly Room was released to a selection of italian cinemas on June 6th, 2013.

Online reviews of The Butterfly Room have been positive, including two informative articles from David Del Valle and Kim Newman.

If you live in Europe, or have access to a multi-region DVD player, you can pre-order the Anchor Bay DVD here.

Special thanks to Aurore Belot and Charles Six for allowing me to use their images.

If you believe any image on this page to be used without permission please email me and I will remove it.