Damn you Anchor Bay! How many times are you bastards going to make me buy this movie?!
This is Anchor Bay’s second Blu-ray treatment of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher masterpiece, Halloween. Their first release back in October of 2007 was met with mixed reviews. While most welcomed the new high-def transfer and 5.1 upgrade to the audio mix, there were huge issues with the color timing. Sorely missed were the moody and spooky tones that director Carpenter and cinematographer Dean Cundey employed to make the shot in springtime California film feel like the midwest in the middle of the fall. Instead, the 2007 transfer was overly bright with warm tones that made the colors seem to pop off the screen.
For this 35th Anniversary release, Anchor Bay used a Cundey approved remastered transfer. Restored is the colder, more neutral feel of the film and long gone are the bright hues that gave Halloween that warmer tone. For most, including myself this is the first time seeing the film on a home release as it was intended to be viewed by the filmmakers.
Attached to the remastered transfer is an all-new Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track.
In addition to the usual Halloween supplements that get ported over to every incarnation of the film (trailers, shot for TV version scenes and TV and radio spots) there are two new features exclusive to this release. The first is an all new audio commentary with writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis. The second, a featurette entitled “The Night She Came Home”, a 60 minute documentary on star Jamie Lee Curtis attending a fan convention.
The Blu-ray comes housed in a digi-book style case featuring new artwork. Forgoing the classic Halloween jack o’lantern, Anchor Bay used an embossed water color style profile painting of Michael Myers. In a nice touch, the title “Halloween” is also embossed. The digi-book features a really well written essay by Stef Hutchinson on the films production, themes, symbolism and impact on the genre as well as on cinema in general. The essay is accompanied by a collection of production and behind the scenes photos, a few I have never seen before.
All in all this (as of now) is THE definitive version of John Carpenter’s Halloween. If you waited to buy Halloween on Blu-ray because of the 2007 releases color timing issues, now is the time to pull the trigger. Or you can wait ’til 2018 and pick up the 40th Anniversary Edition that Anchor Bay will be sure to be releasing.
I’ll be there buying it too.