The Dunwich Horror appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not without flaws, this was a more than watchable image.
For the most part, sharpness appeared fine. While the movie lacked terrific delineation, it usually seemed pretty accurate, and only a few moderately soft shots materialized.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no intrusive edge haloes. Grain felt natural, but sporadic examples of small specks cropped up at times.
Colors tended toward a bit of a brown bias, but more vivid tones emerged as well. These gave the hues a fair amount of pep and range.
Blacks were fairly deep and dense, while low-light shots boasted reasonable clarity. Nothing here dazzled, but the result appeared fine for the movie’s vintage and budget.
The flick’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack also showed the restrictions related to the movie’s age, but it still worked fairly well. Speech usually seemed fairly natural, though the lines occasionally became a bit reedy.
Effects failed to present much life, but they lacked problematic distortion. While the music didn’t boast great vivacity, the score and songs still showed decent pep. This was an acceptable soundtrack for an old genre flick.
As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from Guy Adams and AK Benedict, creators of the “audio drama” Arkham County. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the life and work of HP Lovecraft, the movie’s source and adaptation, cast and crew, and their thoughts about the film.
Sporadically, Benedict and Adams offer some decent notes, especially when they look at the Lovecraft side of things. However, they often just discuss their feelings about the movie and don’t tell us much of substance, so this becomes a lackluster track at best.
Some video programs follow, and The Door Into Dunwich offers a chat between film historian Stephen R. Bissette and horror author Stephen Laws. In this two-hour, 10-minute, 13-second piece, they discuss their early interest in Lovecraft and the genre, the slow path Dunwich took to the screen, cast and crew, production elements, and general thoughts.
Bissette does most of the heavy lifting here, especially in terms of concrete film information. Abetted by research from historian Tom Weaver, Bissette gives us the majority of the commentary and most of the useful information.
“Door” takes a while to get off the ground, as the two men spend too much time at the start with reflections of their youthful movie experiences. However, once Bissette launches into production history and genre domains, this becomes a pretty solid discussion.
After Summer, After Winter goes for 16 minutes, 21 seconds and delivers material from sci-fi/fantasy writer Ruthanna Emrys.
She gets into Dunwich as well as Lovecraft and some mythological elements. “Summer” provides a good take on these topics.
Next comes The Sound of Cosmic Terror, a 32-minute, six-second discussion with film/music historian David Huckvale. He gets into the movie’s composer and score to make this a fairly informative piece.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we conclude with an image gallery. It presents 33 stills that mix ads, production photos and publicity shots. Expect a decent compilation.
Even with some talent involved, The Dunwich Horror fails to turn into a memorable thriller. The movie feels derivative and devoid of any scares or drama. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus features. Though not a terrible movie, Dunwich just can’t get off the ground.