Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

October 10, 2013

Movie Review: Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition, Blu-ray)

When John Carpenter and Debra Hill unleashed the original Halloween on moviegoers in 1978, horror would never be the same. The success of Halloween brought on hordes of rip-offs - even the equally lucrative Friday the 13th series was a cash-in. This amazing feat in independent cinema a testament of the magic created by the team of those talented young filmmakers and actress, Jamie Lee Curtis. I don't know how many times I've seen it but I do know I've seen Halloween on just about every format. The latest Blu-ray release of Halloween has some nice little upgrades on quality on the previous release - but is it worth the upgrade?

Halloween hits the viewer instantly with a fantastic opening P.O.V showing a young Michael Myers lurking around his house, grabbing a knife and slowly going up the stairs where he goes to off his very naked sister. This is a textbook way to open a horror movie in my opinion. It is horror, right? Carpenter is aware of what he wants do - and that's to scare the shit out of you.
As we all know, Michael grows up, escapes from an insane asylum and returns to the scene to murder his younger sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, The Fog, Prom Night). Possibly the greatest character in this storied franchise is Dr. Sam Loomis, played by the always remarkable Donald Pleasance, a man on a mission to kill the hulking, William Shatner mask wearing psycho.

Director of Photography, Dean Cundey makes Carpenter's job easier with his masterful use of the entire frame. His techniques are a huge reason why this film still grabs you even after seeing it multiple times. Cundey is thankfully on board here to help make this 35th Anniversary edition of Halloween the best representation of the film ever produced.

The extras on this new Blu-ray release should not disappoint as we get some deleted scenes that you may recognize from the TV version, a couple of  featurettes – The Night She Came Home and On Location: 25 Years Later, newly recorded commentary with both Carpenter and Curtis as well as some trailers. It’s not quite as loaded as you’d might think but that’s a small complaint.

Carpenter and Curtis have a fantastic camaraderie on the commentary track - as well they should because they had what was almost a father-daughter relationship on the production. The late Debra Hill (who you can see in the interviews) was a motherly type to the at the time, 19 year-old Curtis. Overall the track has a nice balance of technical and playful reminiscing from both. Curtis seems to be having fun watching it yet again and actually embraces her start as a “scream queen”. The track is definitely worth a listen and one of the reasons to snatch this edition up.

I could gush for hours about how great Halloween is with a series of frothy, cotton-candy remarks about the film, but I'm not. Chances are you've seen it and already know that it's one of the greatest genre films ever made. What is important is whether you should upgrade. My answer to that is, with the improved restoration and some of the new extra features, this release is a no-brainer purchase that needs to be in the collection of everybody who calls them self a horror fan. Highly Recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment