Blu-Ray Review: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition


In a Slasher Studios first, reviewer Joshua Dean reviews the brand new Blu-Ray of Halloween in its 35th Anniversary Edition. Thanks Joshua Dean for the review!

It’s 2013… a year ending in “3,” so, like years ending in “8,” it’s time for yet another edition of John Carpenter’s classic suspense thriller, “Halloween.” Ever since Anchor Bay came along, Halloween has been released no less than 13 times (more if you count alternate covers, seasonal slipcovers, etc) between VHS, DVD, UMD, and Blu-ray. Three of these releases have been anniversary editions. First, the widescreen 20th Anniversary Edition VHS. Second, the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD (which featured a host of great extras, but badly compromised presentation of the film itself)… and third… the pointless (though admittedly attractive) 30th Anniversary Commemorative Set, which was nothing more than a compilation of the three (at the time) best releases of the film, paired with a few already-available bonus discs. Bear in mind, this is not including the countless VHS/Beta releases by Media, a VHS release by Blockbuster, and a Criterion Laserdisc, before Anchor Bay existed. Now, the time has come again for an anniversary release. The difference here, though, is that this time, they got it right. For the most part, that is.

For this 35th Anniversary release (exclusive to Blu-ray), Anchor Bay has hit a home run. They’ve packaged the disc in an absolutely gorgeous digibook package with newly commissioned artwork (and yes, actual artwork, not photo-manipulation studio crap) and included a few new extras focusing primarily on the one person who has generally eluded the bonuses over the years: the film’s star, Jamie Lee Curtis. But we’ll get to that later… right now, let’s focus on what matters: The guts of the Blu-ray, so to speak.

THE PICTURE: Anchor Bay’s original 2007 Blu-ray release of “Halloween” was generally considered a good release, but was never considered to be without faults. Some of those faults were attributed to the low-budget nature of the film itself, such as somewhat soft, waxy shots scattered throughout the film. Also, the master used was never meant to be seen in HD, as it was created for the 2003 DVD of the film (which had stripped the strong, spooky blue hues from the final act of the film). The 2007 disc did feature a tweaked version of said master, with several notable improvements… however, the colors were oversaturated for most of the film… and ironically, scenes that were meant to be heavily saturated… looked nearly colorless. Anchor Bay has set out to rectify this issue with this new edition of the film. Bringing in original cinematographer Dean Cundey to personally supervise and approve the new transfer (from the original film materials), and getting Carpenter’s approval for the new master, they’ve created a presentation of the film truly worthy of its deluxe packaging and label. To put it bluntly, this release makes the 2007 edition look flat-out BAD. The film no longer looks waxy and oversaturated, but wonderfully filmic and beautiful. The image is crisp and clear, featuring a natural-but-unintrusive film grain, and the daylight scenes feature a more subdued, gloomy and overcast look that, while not quite *looking* like Fall in the midwest, manages to feel *exactly* like Fall in Illinois. And for all those who missed the creepy blue in the film’s final act, take pleasure in knowing it has been restored, and looks better than ever. In a word, the film looks perfect. I truly cannot imagine “Halloween” looking better than it does here.

THE SOUND: Now… here’s where things get a little messy. The disc features a new 7.1 Dolby TrueHD sound mix. Personally, I think the mix sounds amazing. Every note of music, every line of dialogue (including background lines that were previously crushed and rendered unintelligible by music and sound effects), and every sound is crisp, clear, and immersive. The thunder in the film’s second scene literally made me jump. This is a very well-constructed soundtrack that complements the gorgeous transfer nicely. Now… purists beware, the packaging lists an “original mono” track, and while the disc does include a mono track (but does not make any “original” claim on the menu itself), it is *not* the original theatrical track. Instead, it’s a downmix from either the 7.1 track or the previous 5.1 track from the 1999 and up DVDs and the 2007 Blu-ray (all of which included the original track, adding insult to injury). While this is definitely a good track, it is not what the packaging claims it to be. Why include a mono mix if it is not to preserve the original sound, and what’s more… why claim it is the original track when it is plainly not?

THE PACKAGING: Now, here’s the fun stuff. Anchor Bay has created an absolutely stunning package. A digibook with gorgeous artwork by Jay Shaw ( finished with orange foil text and embossing, several rare production photographs by Kim Gottlieb-Walker ( featuring stars Curtis, Donald Pleasence, and P.J. Soles as well as director Carpenter and producer Debra Hill, an intriguing essay on the film’s history and power by Stef Hutchinson, and as a nice little treat, a title page that appears to be practically made for autographs. The packaging alone is enough of an extra for me.

THE EXTRAS: Concerning he supplements on the disc however, it should be noted that over the years (and countless releases of the film), everything that is to be said about Halloween… has been said. Several documentaries and a Criterion commentary by Carpenter, Hill, and Curtis have accompanied the various DVDs and previous Blu-ray… this edition of the film is more a “celebratory” edition rather than an “informative” edition. If you are looking at this disc for information on the making of the film, forget it. The extras that are offered, however, are great fun, and are meant to entertain rather than inform.

– Audio Commentary by John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis
This new commentary track reunites the two most prominent and famous figures behind the legendary film. While there are a few interesting bits of information about the production, this track is purely for the fun entertainment value. Hearing Carpenter and Curtis reminesce, compliment each other, and more often than not, bicker over Curtis’ strong reverence for the film and her and Carpenter’s memories not quite agreeing with each other, is fascinating. Curtis is apparently still frightened by several scenes of the film, and Carpenter cannot help but laugh at her (as well as call her out on being a minor control freak, which she fully owns up to on another included supplement). The sibling-like love between them is strong, and makes the listening experience an enjoyable one.

– The Night She Came Home!!
This hour-long documentary by Kelly Curtis and her husband John Marsh, follows Jamie Lee Curtis and Sean Clark for the 2012 Jamie Lee Curtis HorrorHound Weekend charity event in Indianapolis, IN. Narrated by a very candid, but loving Curtis, the film features various staff and volunteers from the event, as well as attendees who went to meet Curtis, as well as Halloween legends Tom Atkins, Tommy Lee Wallace, Nick Castle, Nancy Stephens, and more. It’s a fun look at Ms. Curtis first (and only) appearance at a fan convention and her dedication to making as many fans happy as she can.

As for *new* extras, that is all. However, also included is a short “On Location” featurette featuring co-star P.J. Soles and writer/producer Debra Hill, the film’s original theatrical trailer, several TV and radio ads, and the NBC network scenes shot for the film’s TV debut in 1980. Now, while these additional scenes are encoded in HD, they are simply a rip from the 1999 DVD and are in standard definition quality.

Overall, this is an absolutely stellar release of the classic film, and fans of the film will love the stunning, reference quality presentation of the film. Despite not including the more informative extras from prior releases, I am proud to say Anchor Bay has finally delivered a true deluxe collector’s edition of the night HE came home!

Video – 4/4
Audio – 3.5/4 (would be 5 had they included the original mono track)
Extras – 3/4
Overall – 4/4

To order your Blu-Ray: Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]


Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” (1989)

Here is the second half of our Michael Myers double feature from our resident Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling. “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” was rushed into production for release less than a year after the very successful “Halloween 4” to negative critical reception and poor box office. Is the film really a diamond in the rough or did it deserve the horrible reception it received?

Thoughts before the film:
Halloween 4 is probably my favorite sequel of the whole series. But, I haven’t seen this one in forever. Maybe that’ll change?

Thoughts while watching:
0:04 Legit, I don’t know why they just don’t chop Michael’s head off. That’ll be the end of him.
0:11 The dog better not die in this one.
0:18 Did something happen Jamie so you can’t talk or did they write that in with no reasoning?
0:21 Wah I liked you Rachel. Your death was pointless, and not even good.
0:28 Half of Halloween Resurrection was basically ripped off of this one.
0:40 I wonder how Michael learned how to drive?
0:45 That did not sound like cookie woman at all.
0:46 Oh okay you can talk again. Why? No reason.
1:01 These cops are so useless.
1:04 Boo editing. Release a movie the way it was meant to be seen.
1:12 I like how Rachel hasn’t even been mentioned since she died. She wasn’t a main character or anything.
1:24 Only this series could make a scene in a laundry vent thing last 5 minutes. At least it’s memorable.
1:24 Memorable as in this scared the crap outta me when younger.
1:25 Screw you. No reason to kill the dog. Completely pointless.
1:26 Danielle Harris is actually really good in this for being so young. She’s a scream queen at heart!
1:30 Dr. Loomis check yourself into an insane asylum.

Final Verdict:
I like how Halloween 4 and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers were connected. Similar tone, similar sets, but a different story that was a great continuation of the 4th installment, not mentioning some huge and completely random plot holes.

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” (1988)

We are back with another slasher double feature from our resident Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling. Today he is looking at “Halloween 4” and “Halloween 5”, one of the best loved Halloween sequels and another sequel that most fans would love to forget. Twenty+ years later, how well do these sequels hold up? Let’s dig in and find out if Michael’s knife is as sharp as ever with “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.”

Thoughts before the film:
Halloween is probably my least favorite slasher series… Why do I keep coming back to it? #Halloween4

Thoughts while watching:
0:10 I won’t even ask why Michael already has his mask back on, he was only in lockdown for like ten years.
0:17 I wonder how bodies get chewed up from a car crash so much that you can’t tell how many people there were.
0:21 The scene where dr. Loomis is in the gas station. Scared the crap outta me when I was young. I realize I was a big baby.
0:27 Oh no they hit a cow and flipped over! Is 50 First Dates a spin off?
0:29 I feel really bad for Jamie for some reason. She’s too little.
0:35 Dr. Loomis is the one that needs to be locked up I think sometimes.
0:38 El oh el Brady you stupid.
0:40 If the phone just keeps ringing when you call the police… bring out the rednecks.
0:59 Trolololol too bad Michael is already in the house.
1:12 The part where they’re on the roof is pretty intense.
1:24 Jamie you freaking psychopath.

Final Verdict:
Besides the lame beginning, Halloween: The Return of Michael Myers was actually decent. I loved the settings in the movie and the general idea of the story. It also had some very creepy shots of Michael which reminded me when I watched as a kid that scared the crap outta me.

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” (2007)

I’ve often felt that Rob Zombie’s remake of “Halloween” is the cream of the crop when it comes to horror remakes. He was both faithful to the original while giving the material his own innovative twist. Today we have our Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling with his take on the misunderstood remake. Will he be a fan of this remake or feel as though this is one film that should have been left alone?

Thoughts before the film:
Giving this movie a second chance. The first time I saw it I hardly payed attention. #Halloween

Thoughts while watching:

0:02 Wait that’s a lie. I saw this again recently. The beginning makes me so sad.
0:05 This is the last movie I would think the kid from Spy Kids would be in.
0:07 One thing I LOVE about Zombie’s version is that he shows Michael as a kid, and why he turns into a killer.
0:12 For only making like 4 movies, Zombie sure is pretty stylish.
0:19 Good, kinda glad you’re dead Robbie.
0:27 Hi, I’m Michael Myers!
0:29 I totally forgot the uncle from Spy Kids was in this movie!
0:30 Black is a color. Shut up dr. Loomis.
0:42 Dr. Loomis is a drama queen.
0:49 Not sure how I feel about Michael killing the Spy Kids guy, if he didn’t it would show he still had a nice side.
0:49 But since he did it shows he’s a crazy lunatic who kills people who even helped him.
0:53 Obligatory black guy death.
1:07 Sid Haig runs a graveyard in this too? What if this is in the same world as NOTLD 3D? HAH.
1:08 I wanna party in a haunted house.
1:17 Zombie’s Halloween mask > Carpenter’s Halloween mask.
1:27 Danielle Harris is pretty damn hot.
1:46 Gah I hate the eye gouge thing. It’s painful to even watch.

Final Verdict:
Complain all you want about remakes, but Zombie makes a great looking movie no matter what. Besides the movie looking awesome, you can’t really compare it to the original. The movies are completely different and each does their own thing that makes BOTH of the #Halloween movies good. I think Zombie’s will be remembered as much as the original eventually.

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Halloween: Resurrection” (2002)

About a month ago, we posted a scathing review of Halloween: Resurrection from one of our horror reviewers, Joshua Dean. He gave the film zero Teddys and declared it to be one of the worst horror movies he has ever seen and an insult to the entire franchise. Today our resident twitter reviewer Tim Schilling is going to share his take on film with a brand new tweet by tweet review. Let’s see if he has a similar reaction…

Thoughts before the film:
Last Halloween movie I own and then I get to move on to something else, hurry up! #HalloweenResurrection

Thoughts while watching:

0:04 That was the lamest way to have Michael survive the last movie. Such a cop out.
0:15 Such a terrible way to have Laurie finally get killed off.
0:29 Don’t act ever again Tyra.
0:40 I like how they abandoned the characters they created in the last movie.
0:41 What kind of set doesn’t have someone at the doors to keep people from walking in?
1:01 Did these people seriously think they were in a house that wasn’t rigged or anything?
1:05 I don’t understand, how hard is it to jump out a window?
1:19 Trick or treat mother fucker!
1:25 I am in complete shock that he was alive at the end! No way.

Final Verdict:
#HalloweenResurrection was a boring story that was probably written in a day. Kind of glad that they did a remake instead of another sequel.

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Halloween: H20” (1998)

Our resident Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling is back attacking the “Halloween” franchise with a brand new review of “Halloween: H20.” The most successful of the “Halloween” sequels making $75 million worldwide on a budget of just $18 million, the film was the marked return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the series. The film received solid reviews in its original release but many have felt it hasn’t withstood the test of time. Let’s dig in and see if Michael is as sharp as ever or if his blade has become dull.

Thoughts before the film:
Halloween H20 is probably the movie I remember the least from the series. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing!

Thoughts while watching:

0:02 I had no idea Joseph Gordon levitt was in this movie! Awesome.
0:11 Michelle Williams too? How come I never knew all these people were in this movie?
0:20 Why do girls ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom?
0:32 That’s pretty messed up of Michael Myers to ruin the best day holiday for Laurie.
0:33 What’s Michael waiting for? 20 years to pass so they have a name for this movie.
0:38 Having your mom as one of your teachers must be pretty weird.
0:52 This movie is so freaking cliche, every single line.
0:54 I thought everyone knew Laurie was from the murders and stuff… Why is this guy acting so shocked?
0:56 No, no you will not be right back. Haven’t you ever seen Scream?
0:59 Told you you weren’t gonna be back!
1:04 This score is definitely taken from another movie, but I can’t for the life of me think of what one.
1:05 I kinda liked the way Michael and Laurie saw each other for the first time in 20 years. Simple but it worked.
1:11 Honestly, if you were to cut off Michael’s arm with an axe, what would happen?
1:20 So she cut off his head… I wonder how they’ll explain that one.

Final Verdict:
Halloween H20 was one of the most cliched movie I’ve ever seen. That being said, I thought that the story was actually decent, besides the fact that Michael comes back after 20 years out of no where with no explanation whatsoever

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995)

Our resident Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling is starting the weekend with a return to Haddonfield and a look at one of the black sheeps of the Halloween series, “The Curse of Michael Myers.” Released in 1995 to some of the worst reviews in years, the film was a disappointment for both fans as well as Dimension which had recently picked up the rights to the series. Starring a young Paul Rudd, how does the film hold up 17 years later? Get out your knives kiddies and get ready to dig in.

Thoughts before the film:
I’ve seen all the movies in this series at some point, but I’ve never sat down and actually watched any of the later sequels. Over time these movies just blended together cause I saw them when I was younger, half hiding my face under the blanket! #Halloween6

Thoughts while watching:

0:05 They like remixed the theme song for this one. I’m not feelin it.
0:09 I probably should have watched Halloween 4 & 5 before this so it would have made more sense.
0:10 Lol @ Paul Rudd! He’s so young in this.
0:23 I can’t wait until this fat guy dies. Michael better kill him.
0:28 He finds a kid in the bathroom… A true prom night dumpster baby?
0:31 Only in America you get security called on you when you ask for a doctor to see your baby.
0:38 OH MAN. The scene when Michael is in his house again, this scare the shit outta me as a kid. I remember this perfectly.
0:45 |> I made the thorn.
0:49 I don’t know if it’s my DVD or the actual movie, but the audio sounds TERRIBLE at some parts.
1:04 You watched her die from across the street! Why even bother checking if she’s still alive?
1:07 You aren’t Michael Myers, you can’t just jump outta the window and survive like that.
1:08 Those people in the black with the masks and stuff, I’m not even gonna question why they came up.
1:17 Holy flashing lights. You’re gonna give me a seizure.
1:23 Michael bleeds green… Alright.
1:23 Rip Donald Pleasence! I didn’t know they dedicated the movie to him.

Final Verdict:
I liked Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers mainly for the nostalgia feeling it gave me of being so scared so much of a movie as a kid……but for the movie itself, kind of all over the place. I didn’t care for the characters or story much at all. But! Still entertaining.

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