John Carpenter‘s Halloween has arrived on Blu-ray to celebrate it’s 35th anniversary. Horror films have impacted my life in so many ways over the years. My first experience with the genre was when my babysitter watched Nightmare on Elm Street and I was scared out of my mind so much that I had nightmares for days. The 35th anniversary edition is a must-own for fans of the films because of some fantastic special features and an amazing picture and sound quality.
My first experience with Halloween as an adult was for my film class in college. It was the first time that I actually saw the movie with as clinical eye. The film has a voyeuristic element to it because of all of the POV shots of Michael Myers watching his victims. Carpenter did such a fantastic job at taking camera angles, sounds, and lighting and turning it all into a terrifying experience.
Slasher films are not my favorite subset of the horror genre, but there are some that stick out as being the best. Halloween is one such film. It invented the slasher film, and there has not been anything like it since then. The fact that so much was done with the film on such a minuscule budget (about $320,000) continues to blow my mind.
So many of the scenes were done in one take. From watching the film with audio commentary with Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter I learned of how the filming was a community experience. Carpenter’s car was used in one shot, the catering was done by a friend of the crew. Some of the actors were actually grips during the shooting of the film. Big-budget films don’t have these hurdles to overcome, which makes Halloween such a special film.
Halloween helped catapult the careers of both Curtis and Carpenter. Carpenter had a bit of a cult following from directing Assault on Precinct 13, but this film cemented him into the pop culture stratosphere. Donald Pleasence was already a huge star. My favorite role of his was in The Great Escape. Even some of the actors in small roles have cult followings at the horror conventions as can be seen on the special features for the film.
The 35th anniversary edition is one of the best looking versions of the film that I have ever seen. The picture is amazing because of the newly remastered HD transfer. The sound mix features a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD surround track. One of the best special features is the audio commentary with Curtis and Carpenter which I mentioned above. I also particularly loved the mini documentary of Curtis’ one and only visit to a horror fan convention. The rest of the special features make this Blu-ray a must-own film for fans.
- Audio Commentary
- The Night She Came Home!!
- On Location: 25 Years Later
- TV Version Footage
- TV Spots
- Radio Spots