20th Oct2013

‘Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, P.J Soles, Kyle Richards, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Kyes, Brian Andrews | Written by John Carpenter, Debra Hill | Directed by John Carpenter


Halloween must qualify as one of the most re-released horror films in history – especially in the digital era. It often felt like Anchor Bay (especially the US branch) released the film on DVD in various forms at least once a month: the TV cut; the producers cut; the directors cut; the cut that we released last week but we’ve added a lenticular cover. In a tin; in a jewel case; in a 2-disc, every version conceivable, special edition. I jest of course but in reality John Carpenter’s Halloween must rival the “public domain” Night of the Living Dead in terms of DVD versions out there…

So why re-release it yet again? Well this particular edition is a brand-new version that has been remastered by Anchor Bay (yes, them again) who have returned to the original source material alongside creator John Carpenter and Director of Photography Dean Cundey to supervise an all new high definition transfer containing the original audio and an all new 7.1 audio mix. This new release also includes an all new audio commentary with writer/director John Carpenter and actor Jamie Lee Curtis, “The Night She Came Home” – a new 59 minute featurette starring Jamie Lee Curtis, “On Location: 25 Years Later” featurette, the trailer, three TV spots and three radio spots.

For those of you living under a rock, or those of you who aren’t old enough to have seen the film previously (if not, why not?) the plot of Halloween reads thus:

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. 

But wait. Which version of the film was I sent to review? Why the standard DVD release of the 35th Anniversary Edition of Halloween, not the Blu-ray version (which comes to retail in a Limited Edition Steelbook) – which is packed with extras NOT found on the DVD, and is the real reason Halloween fans will be clamouring over this particular re-release! A bit of a strange decision on a part of the PR company but hey-ho. Continue on we will.

So Halloween. Is it any good? In a word. Yes. In fact, in my humble opinion, it is one of THE best horror films ever made. Period. And that’s all you need to know really. If you haven’t seen the film just know this: it still holds up as a scary, suspenseful slasher movie – especially if you want it alone in the dark (believe me that is the best way to watch the film). For those that have seen it, just know that reports from my fellow collectors who’ve already received the steelbook early (good on ya Zavvi!) are all unanimously in praise of this new iteration and I for one am eagerly awaiting my steelbook copy to arrive!

Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition is released as a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook on October 21st.


Comments are closed.