[UK] Halloween: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

In the small town of Haddonfield, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) finds her night of babysitting turns into a night of sheer terror as she comes face to face with the “Bogeyman”. As her friends are cut down one by one Laurie becomes the focus of attack turning one night into what seems like a lifetime… a lifetime about to be cut devastatingly short.

I really don’t need to tell you how good this film is. You should already know. Shot on a small budget back in 1978 and opening to worldwide acclaim, John Carpenter’s Halloween is a masterpiece of the slasher genre. Laying the foundation for many other screen icons and managing to create a wave of sequels and remakes and harnessing a legion of loyal fans across the globe, Halloween is ultimate slasher film and still stands the test of time today.

Halloween is presented on a BD50 disc with 1080/24p MPEG4-AVC codec that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Anchor Bay have gone the extra mile with this 35th anniversary release and have got director of photography Dean Cundy to oversee the restoration from an original 35mm print and give the seal of approval for this Blu-ray release. The final results are fantastic. The image on offer is so razor sharp and clear that the smallest of detail can be observed. The colour palette, which does seem a tad muted from the original DoP approved 1999 THX DVD edition, gives the film a natural filmic look and the layer of grain that has been retained supports that. There are a few shots that seems to be a bit softer than I recall from previous editions. Despite the small observations that I noted above, this edition of Halloween leaps and bounds over the previous Divimax DVD and original BD release.

Halloween slashes its way to Blu-ray with two audio tracks. An all new remixed English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 dual mono track that is supposed to replicate the film’s original audio mix but in fact, turns out to be nothing more but a fold down mix of the 7.1 track. The 7.1 audio mix certainly breaths new life into this classic. Full of clarity and precision, whoever engineered this certainly deserves credit where it’s due. Dialogue is loud and clear and sits neicely in the front sound stage and the additional channels at the back certainly do open up the audio and creates some nice atmospheric effects. The new audio mix also gives the classic score a lot more presence as well. The disc also carries English SDH & Spanish subtitles

Audio Commentary John Carpenter & Jamie Lee Curtis – a brand new commentary that has been recorded for this release. John Carpenter & Jaime Lee Curtis go behind the mask and gives the viewer a lot of new insight and stories behind the making of this classic.

The Night She Came Home (59 minutes 43 seconds) – a rather insightful and candid documentary that follows Jamie Lee Curtis as she embarks on her first fan convention. Presented in 1080/24p with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio

On location 25 years later (10 minutes 25 seconds) – Ported over from the previous DVD release, This short piece looks at the filming locations that were used during the filming of Halloween. Presented in 480/60i with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio

TV Version Footage (10 minutes 46 seconds) – a selection of scenes that were shot during Halloween II to increase the running time for the network television premier of Halloween. Presented in 480/60i with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Trailer (2 minutes 42 seconds) – the film’s original theatrical trailer. Presented in 480/60i with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio

TV Spots – a selection of television spots that we used during the promotion of Halloween. All around 30 seconds in length. Presented in 480/60i with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio

Radio Spots – a selection of radio spots that vary from 10 to 30 seconds that were used to promote Halloween’s cinema release.

Still not quite the definitive release we were all hoping for in terms on bonus content since there are still a few items that have not been ported over, it’s a step in the right direction. A fresh DoP approved HD transfer and surprisingly effective 7.1 remix. Halloween now looks and sounds like it should do on the Blu-ray format but I can’t quite help thinking if Anchor Bay have got something else lined up for its 40th Anniversary. In the meantime though, this is worth picking up and spinning over Halloween. Be warned though, the Boogeyman is coming…..

Halloween – 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is available as a UK exclusive steelbook release


About the author

UK Reviewer - Rob is a nostalgic film fan and always adores sci-fi, horror and action. He loves the technical side of film making and collecting his favourite films across all type of home media formats. He inspires to be saviour of the universe