Corporate Line: Perhaps the most influential and successful independent film ever made, HALLOWEEN is the movie that put director John Carpenter on the map as a viable filmmaker. An exercise in simple, pure horror, HALLOWEEN takes us into the world of a mad killer, Michael Myers, who at a very young age stabbed his older sister to death. Locked away for many years in a mental hospital Michael escapes one night and returns to his home to continue his killing spree. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role, plays the resourceful babysitter who is chased by the killer on Halloween night. Produced for very little money and a tight shooting schedule, HALLOWEEN was a stunning success when it was released. Written by John Carpenter and his longtime producer Debra Hill, the film set both their careers on fire, with both of them working together many times over the next 25 years. The film also made a star out of Jamie Lee Curtis and turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. HALLOWEEN has been copied, parodied and even turned into a franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best of the bunch. HALLOWEEN was John Carpenter’s first foray into horror, and remains the standard to which all other modern horror films are measured.
The Good: The commentary is fantastic. Director John Carpenter, Producer Debra Hill, and Jamie-Lee Curtis give us a look into this film that only appeared on the Criterion laser disc up until now. There is fantastic insight into the film and worth of the purchase alone. It’s fantastic to hear about the making of the film considering it was such a low-budget affair. You hear about the mistakes and missteps. My favorite is how they were able to do some effects on such a small budget.
Somewhere In The Middle: The documentary is worth a watch but I wouldn’t watch it again. It’s okay, just not as well down as the commentary. What is really annoying is how much of the film is presented in the documentary. We already watch the movie do we really need to see so much of it again in the documentary?
Presented in Dolby 5.1 you’d expect the sound to jump out at you. It’s not terrible or lost yet it doesn’t hit you so hard that you jump out of your seat.
The Bad: Owning the previous extended version by Anchor Bay from 1999 it seems like this version is occasionally washed out. I’m not sure how this happened considering it is the same company releasing this version as the one that looked so great in ’99.
Frankly: Honestly Anchor Bay did a much better transfer the first time. I’m not exactly sure why that same version wasn’t used here considering it is of lesser quality. However the beefed up additional commentary, etc. is a value to this DVD. Anchor Bay will make money either way if you buy the ’99 extended version or this 25th anniversary edition. Better transfer goes to the ’99 extended version, better extras goes to the new 15th anniversary release.
+ Charlie Craine