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Review:  Halloween: 35th Anniversary Blu Ray

By Andreas Charalambous

I must admit, that the title above is slightly misleading. This is not a review in the sense that we offer an opinion of a film to the reader, like you would find in others listed in this section. This piece should serve more as consumer advice.


For a start, you are probably thinking that this article is not of great enough length to be able to discuss John Carpenter's Halloween at any appropriate length. The simple reason here dear reader, is that there is not much anyone can write about the synopsis, the performances, the direction, and so on, of this film that has not been written before. Any self-respecting fan of the genre knows all about this horror classic. What I wish to discuss here is "Is this new Special Edition worth buying if you have previous editions?"


Sometimes I curse myself for loving a film so much that I have to own every release that I can get my hands on. As I glance at my film collection lined up on the shelves, I notice that one shelf is practically ready to collapse. The irony is that if you look more carefully at that shelf, there are only two different films populating it. My two favourite horror films of all time have been purchased over and over again, across various formats/cuts and different "Special Edition" releases from pretty much every horror film-watching country on the planet.


One of these two films, is John Carpenter's Halloween.


Anchor Bay have gone back to this horror classic (again) like never before (again), and are releasing a glorious high definition transfer of the film. This transfer was personally supervised by the film’s original cinematographer - Dean Cundey - so if anyone cares about the look of the final product, it should be him.


Along with the new HD transfer, you get a new 7.1 audio mix (for the purists, the original mono track is also included), but the most exciting feature for me is the brand-new feature length audio commentary by John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis. In addition to these, there is The Night She Came Home - a 59-minute bonus featurette starring Jamie Lee Curtis - as well as selected legacy bonus feature material from previous Anchor Bay releases (already sitting on that shelf I previously mentioned), all presented in a smart, collectible, limited edition steel box package.


So, going back to the original question – Is it worth spending your money on buying this one too? Firstly, if you have never seen the film or do not own a copy, then the obvious answer is "Yes! What is the matter with you!? You should have had this film in your collection years ago!"


For those who do already own the film, it is a little more difficult to answer. All joking aside, if you do own previous Anchor Bay releases, then chances are that you do already own most of the features and bonus material. However, as a big fan of the film - above everything else - I am excited to watch it in its new HD transfer. This, along with the new feature length commentary is a massive selling point. Other than that, it is purely a question of how much you love this film and how much of a completist you are. I’m sure there is a steel box-sized space on that shelf where I can squeeze a copy of this into (next to the "Kitchen Sink Edition", which was a cut of a tv version someone once saw on VHS tape in a boat whilst sailing past Papua New Guinea!). I hope that shelf can take the extra strain.


Released in the UK on October 21st

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