The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Compass International Pictures- 1978
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Pj Soles
Directed by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Written by: John Carpenter
Music by: John Carpenter
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 24, 2013
Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies) in her debut role. Anyone who’s ever watched a horror film in the last 35 years knows the story of Michael Myers, who as a child, butchered his sister with a kitchen knife. Committed to a mental institution and watched over by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance, Halloween II, IV & V, Fantastic Voyage), he engineers his escape 15 years later, returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night to terrorize anyone who gets in his way, including babysitter Laurie Strode (Curtis). Co-starring P.J. Soles (Carrie, Stripes, Rock ‘n Roll High School), Kyle Richards (The Watcher in the Woods, Eaten Alive), Nancy Loomis (Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13, The Fog), Charles Cyphers (Escape From New York, The Fog) and Brian Andrews (The Great Santini, Three O’Clock High), Halloween also cemented the careers of many behind the camera including Carpenter, Cundey, producer Debra Hill and film editor/production designer Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, “It”).
This is one of those moments that has been happening to me way too much lately. I open up a package in the mail and its the 35 anniversary edition of Halloween. Really?? Wow...getting old quick over here. Besides the quick freakout about how time fly's, I started to think about horror movies in general, especially since I have been viewing a lot of them recently (The Friday the 13th Collection, Psycho 2, 3, Prince Of Darkness, The Lords of Salem), and asked myself "Is there a better all around horror flick than Halloween?? I couldn't come up with one that was better...well it and the Exorcist seem to duke it out for top spot.
You see, Halloween is a one of the rare movies where all things clicked. From the direction to the cast cast, the story, the cinematographer, music, pacing...it was all perfect for this movie. Budget dictated long steady cam shots that went on longer than usually. This created a brooding sense of the inevitable while making the fictitious town of Haddonfield feel like it was on the map. It made the teenage girls real as they walked the streets with their boy talk, smoking cigs and getting ready to babysit. The car popping up following them, the glimpses of Michael Meyers AKA The Shape in the backyard for the blink of an eye...The film spent an hour building up until the tension, along with the infamous score took a life of its own, making Halloween on of the, if not the most iconic horror movies of all time.
Is there a need to review this film other than mentioning its status as the best of the genres best? If you have seen it you know, if you haven't what better way than this newly transferred edition that was supervised by Cinematographer Dean Chudney? This edition is the definitive release as far as A/V is concerned and should remedy the much squawked about issues with Anchor Bays original release's color timing. More of this below...
Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug use
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Halloweencomes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 37.4 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8mbps
Halloween was first released in 2007 by Anchor Bay, and I went back and forth between the two transfers. The difference is large, especially in regards to the films colors. This release favors a cooler tone with muted colors that fit the films fall setting. The color timing of the original was the biggest complaint with the original BD release, gladly it has been corrected. Black levels are strong ans stable, details are apparent in shadows, but the biggest upgrade to my eyes was its level of sharpness and detail- It was significant. This is absolutely the best I have seen Halloween.
The films Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is not as significant an upgrade, however, it does benefit from what sounded like a wider dynamic range. Carpenters infamous score was brooding and big, neverslightly shrill like I recall it to have been in other releases. Dialogue was always in the right place, thought it could have stood for a bit more attention at times. This is not as much a revelation at the video, though it it quite a great track considering its 35 year age and low budget production.
- All-new Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis
- (HD) “The Night She Came Home” new featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis
- (HD)On Location
- (HD)TV & Radio Spots
- (HD)Additional Scenes from TV Version
35 years later, he is still coming home, and this time he looks better than ever. Mr. Micheal Meyers got a make-over and boy does he look good. This could have been the definitive copy of Halloween if only it was filled with more special features, or at least with the ones that have already been released on other editions. That was a bit of a disappointment as I love digging into to that stuff. The all new commentary with Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis was fun, as was hearing how much Jamie remembered and how burned Carpenter was on some of the details. A fun and informative track that's worth a listen. Fans will be very pleased with the films new transfer supervised by Dean Chudney, the films cinematographer, thought a bit disappointed in the lack of supplements.
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Reference Review Systems:
JVC DLA-RS56 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs
Panasonic TC-P65ZT30 3D 1080p Plasma
Marantz NR1603 Receiver
Sony PS3 (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
MKSound SB-8 Subwoofer