There is no doubt about it, Halloween IS a classic. What John Carpenter and Debra Hill did, along with their dedicated group of talented artisans was create a film that truly stands the test of time. The movie resinates to this day and is just as creepy and unsettling as it was back in 1978. I’m not going to give you a slash by slash of the plot, you should ALL already know this. If not, do yourself a favor and watch this flick on Halloween night, with the lights off and preferably with a group of friends. You won’t be let down.
My review is going to focus on the new 35th Anniversary Blu Ray release from Anchor Bay. Most of you hard core horror fans know that Anchor Bay is NO stranger to releasing Halloween in several different formats, SEVERAL times throughout the years. I believe this and Army Of Darkness share the distinction of having over 150 different releases by AC ( joking of course, but by Odin, there were a LOT). The previous Blu Ray edition of Halloween was released by Anchor Bay back in 2007. It was light on extras, which was odd, and it also featured a pretty terrible HD transfer. It was rough to see such a beautiful movie look as if it were treated like a red headed step child. The print was just not up to snuff. But I think we ALL knew that there would be another release down the road.
Anchor Bay finally delivers what has to be the best looking version of Halloween I have ever seen. I was so pleased with this release. I watched it both on my 55 inch LG 3D TV and my 100 inch home theater screen played through a 3D 1080p DLP Projector. Both ways were pretty outstanding. The colors were vibrant and the blacks were rich. There was still film grain which was nice, there didn’t seem to be any digital noise reduction. Again this really is the best the film has ever looked and I commend Anchor Bay for bringing in the films cinematography, Dean Cundey.
He Supervised the HD restoration this time and it shows. Cundey is responsible for shooting some of my favorite films including The Thing, Back to The Future and Jurassic Park. Truly one of the greats. The Sound on the disc is pretty fantastic as well. I’m no Blu Ray technical aspects wiz, but the picture and sound here are just stellar. Take it from me, or don’t. Different opinions rock! As for the special features, they kind of dropped the ball again. I would have liked to see all of the features collected for the first time on one release. Instead you sort of have to have collected the different versions over the years to get all of the features you want. What they DO provide that I thought was pretty awesome was the “The Night She Came Home” documentary. It’s a 60 minute chronicle of last year’s Horror Hound Weekend convention where Jamie Lee Curtis, for the first and LAST time, signed autographs and took pics for the fans with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital LA Charity.
It’s such a cool feature, for those of us who could NOT attend the event (Damn it) and those who may want to get a glimpse of what a horror con is like ( I have been going to cons since 1993 and they STILL make me as giddy as Peter North shooting his never ending wad on Christy Canyon). Curtis comes across as a very real, honest and genuinely cool woman who finally comes out and speaks truth about her time with the horror genre and her time making the seminal film. Another super rad addition is the commentary track by John Carpenter and Jamie Lee. This track was a blast to listen to. To hear there affection for each other and how enthusiastic Jamie is watching and recounting history was infectious and made me want to get on a set again and make some wacky ass art.
As for the rest of the features you get a “25 years later: On Location featurette that was ported over from the DIVIMAX 25th anniversary DVD. You also get some of the TV edits and trailers. Fans, you want this release because of the new transfer first and foremost. It really is beautiful and I can’t recommend the disc enough. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest Halloween fan out there. It’s low on the wrung of favorite horror franchises. Halloween, Halloween 4: The Curse Of Michael Myers and Halloween 5 are the only flicks in the series I love, but you can bet your taint that these are films that show up on my yearly Halloween viewing list. For horror fans Halloween is really just another day for us, but turned up to 11. Make this release a part of your yearly traditions, won’t you?