Halloween appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie featured a positive transfer.
For the most part, sharpness looked solid. Only a smidgen of softness appeared, so the image usually seemed crisp and detailed. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I noticed no edge haloes or print flaws.
In terms of colors, Halloween usually went with an autumnal palette. This meant the hues were subdued but warm within their constraints. I thought the tones appeared well-reproduced. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked fine. They could’ve been a bit clearer, but they caused no issues. Overall, this was a more than acceptable presentation.
Similar thoughts greeted the pretty good Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Halloween. Most of the time, the soundfield emphasized ambience. The movie didn’t boast a lot of scenes that made great use of the various channels, but it managed to create a good sense of place and atmosphere.
A few scenes broadened matters to a satisfying degree, and music always worked well. The score actually spread to the various speakers in a satisfying manner that made the music the most compelling aspect of the mix.
Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. A little edginess occasionally crept into some speech, but the lines normally seemed natural and distinctive. Music was lively and bright, while effects sounded clear and accurate. Bass response was pretty solid as well. Nothing here really excelled, but the soundtrack was a positive one.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2008 “Collector’s Edition” DVD? Audio appeared warmer and fuller, while visuals looked cleaner and more precise. The Blu-ray offered a nice step up in quality.
The Blu-ray duplicates the CE’s extras, and we launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Rob Zombie. He provides a running, screen-specific chat that looks at cast, characters and performances, story and adaptation issues, editing and changes made for the director’s cut, sets and locations, stunts, effects, music and a few other production topics.
I may not like his movie, but I like Zombie’s commentary quite a lot. He presents a consistently engaging and honest personality as he digs in his work. Zombie tends to be very screen-specific, meaning that he rarely deviates from subjects related directly to the action we see, but this never becomes a problem. He offers lots of great stories from the shoot and never simply narrates the movie. Zombie gives us a very good commentary.
Next we find 17 Deleted Scenes plus an Alternate Ending. The Deleted Scenes fill a total of 22 minutes, 19 seconds, while the “Alternate Ending” goes for three minutes, 45 seconds.
None of these are particularly interesting, though some do flesh out plot holes. “Parole Hearing” proves particularly useful in that regard. “Adoption Agency” isn’t very memorable for its content, but at least it gives us a cameo from Adrienne Barbeau.
As for the “Alternate Ending”, it seems decidedly less satisfying than the one in the released flick. It puts Michael’s death in the hands of the cops, which doesn’t make a ton of sense; he essentially surrenders but they unload scads of gunshots on him anyway. It also doesn’t work to leave the other leads as so passive. It’s not a good scene.
We can watch all of these with or without commentary from Zombie. He throws out some decent details, but after his interesting chat for the main movie, these remarks disappoint. Zombie gives us the basics and lets us know why he axed the shots, but he doesn’t tell us much else. The comments are decent but not particularly involving.
A collection of Bloopers fills 10 minutes, 18 seconds. Although these offer the usual goofs and giggles, they entertain more than most gag reels. That’s primarily due to Malcolm McDowell, as he offers lots of fun improv lines and other amusing bits. His moments with Brad Dourif prove especially entertaining.
Next comes a featurette called The Many Masks of Michael Myers. This six-minute, 26-second piece presents movie clips, shots from the set and interviews with Zombie, FX makeup artist Wayne Toth, editor Glenn Garland, costume designer Mary McLeod, production designer Anthony Tremblay, and actors Tyler Mane and Daeg Faerch.
We learn a little about the performances as Michael and more about the different masks he wears in the film. Though somewhat insubstantial, the show includes a few good details such as the origin of young Michael’s clown mask. It’s a short but decent piece.
For the 19-minute, 11-second Re-Imagining Halloween, we hear from Zombie, Garland, Tremblay, Toth, McLeod, director of photography Phil Parmet, producer Andy Gould, and prop master John Brunot. The program examines the adaptation of the original film and Zombie’s take on the material, cinematographic styles and visual elements, set design, props, costumes and makeup effects.
“Re-Imagining” doesn’t provide much of a general “making of” program, but it helps flesh out some areas. The discussion of production design proves particularly intriguing. Along with some good glimpses of the shoot, this show becomes satisfying.
Meet the Cast lasts 18 minutes, 16 seconds and includes Zombie, Gould, Faerch, Mane, and actors Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie, Scout Taylor-Compton, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, Kristina Klebe, Dee Wallace, Lew Temple, Sid Haig, and Danny Trejo.
We learn why Zombie chose the various actors and also get some insights into their performances. Along with this, we inevitably hear a moderate amount of happy talk, but enough substance comes along for the ride to make the program worthwhile.
Next we go to Casting Sessions. The 29-minute, 52-second collection offers test readings from Faerch, Taylor-Compton, Harris, Klebe, Hanna Hall, Adam Weisman, Skyler Gisondo, Jenny Stewart, Daryl Sabara, Pat Skipper, Clint Howard, Nick Mennell, Max Van Ville, Mel Fair and Courtney Gains.
The most interesting segments come from a few that include scenes not found in the final flick. We also see some actors try out for roles they didn’t get, and it’s fun to view they’re takes on the parts. We find a lot of good material here.
In a separate area, we find a Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test for the role of “Laurie Strode”. The seven-minute, 47-second clip may sound like it’ll be redundant since we already see Taylor-Compton’s audition in the prior section, but this one appears to come from a callback session. It shows Taylor-Compton in a more elaborate setting as she works through a few scenes with ger teen friends. It’s another good addition to the package.
Disc One finishes with the film’s theatrical trailer, and then we head to Disc Two’s Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween. In this four-hour, 19-minute and 44-second documentary, we follow the flick from pre-production through all 42 days of its shoot.
That means an examination of all aspects of the movie, with an emphasis on “fly on the wall” footage from the set. We hear from Zombie, Faerch, Wallace, Moon Zombie, McLeod, Mane, McDowell, Toth, Hall, Dourif, Parmet, Mennell, Klebe, Taylor-Compton, Gould, Fair, Harris, Gisondo, Van Ville, Skipper, Sabara, Howard, Haig, art director TK Kirkpatrick, set decorator Lori Mazuer, second 2nd AD Korey Scott Pollard, key rigging grip Scott Parent, stunt coordinator Rawn Hutchinson, stuntman Chris Nielsen, composer Tyler Bates, and actors Adrienne Barbeau, Richard Lynch, Daniel Roebuck, Courtney Gains and William Forsythe.
When it comes to extended documentaries, it’s hard to top the length of “Lives”. That doesn’t necessarily make the piece good, however, as it could’ve been a long, dull program.
Happily, “Lives” works pretty well. It offers scads of footage from the set, and it throws in enough interview material to add perspective. I suppose the show’s length might be a negative for some folks, as you gotta really like Halloween to want to sit through nearly four and a half hours of info about it, but if you want to know more about the flick, this is a great program.
Because I’ve enjoyed other remakes of horror classics, I thought the 2007 Halloween could’ve been good. However, the movie totally discards everything that made the original so enjoyable and just becomes a tedious mess. The Blu-ray provides solid picture and audio along with a terrific set of supplements. While this becomes a good release, the movie itself seems flawed and pointless.
To rate this film, visit the Unrated Director's Cut review of HALLOWEEN (2007)