Featured In Issue 180, October 2013

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
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John Carpenter
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
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One of the seminal horror films of the 20th century, Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut role, along with Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis, Michael Myers' doctor. The story follows Michael Meyers, who as a child, butchered his sister with a kitchen knife, but escapes 15 years later from the mental institution he was committed to. Returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night, wearing a painted-over William Shatner mask, he terrorizes anyone who gets in his way, including babysitter Laurie Strode (Curtis). (Gary Reber)

Special features include new commentary with Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actor Jamie Lee Curtis, the featurettes The Night She Came Home (HD 59:43) and On Location: 25 Years Later (HD 10:25), the TV version footage (HD 10:46), the trailer, TV and radio spots, upfront previews, and 20 pages of archival photos and an essay by Historian Stef Hutchinson in a collectible 35th Anniversary limited-edition, book-style package.

This latest release was created with an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by the film's original cinematographer, Academy-Award® nominee Dean Cundey. As such, the 2.35:1 1080p AVC picture represents the filmmakers' intent. And this re-issue delivers! The contrast balance is greatly improved, with brightness that appears more natural throughout. The color palette also is well balanced, with natural hues rendered throughout. Fleshtones appear perfectly natural and never pushed, as in previous releases. Blacks are deep and solid and shadow delineation is revealing. Resolution is revealing of texture detail and features related to faces, hair, and objects. The imagery appears naturally sharp and pleasing throughout and true to the source material. This is an engaging cinematic experience and the finest presentation of this classic ever released. Fans should be thrilled with this collector's edition. (Gary Reber)

The new Dolby® TrueHD 7.1-channel audio soundtrack (the original monaural track is also available) was mastered at 96 kHz/24 bit resolution. The remastered soundtrack is one of the best restorations ever produced using original sound elements. John Carpenter's iconic legendary orchestral music score sounds chillingly terrific, with defined sharp piano accents played against foreboding low frequencies and piercing synthesized strings. The score is incredibly spooky and the recording quality is superb, with effective aggressive surround envelopment. The sonic quality is effectively engaging. The soundtrack is immersed with effective atmospherics and sound effects, such as rain and thunder, and intense slashing sonics. The opening thunderstorm scene sounds so real that it will have you crawling in your seat. Amazingly, the on/off dynamics are extremely effective and create an emotional intensity that is suspenseful and frightening. Perfectly implemented, the sound effects and music are well defined and at times punctuated with deep .1 LFE bass. Low-level nuanced atmospherics permeate the exterior scenes. The atmospheric sound effects extend subtly to the surrounds, with the music expressed more aggressively. The added two channels are subtle in character as well. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially. The sound is incredibly effective with notable clarity, dynamics, and spatial dimension. Any original soundtrack noise has virtually been eliminated. When all channels are active, this is an engaging holosonic® soundfield, especially with respect to the music, which is the film's driving emotional force. (Gary Reber)