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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Halloween (2018) revamps Meyers and Strode's saga with solid 4K but scant extras.

    Halloween 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Halloween's 4K UHD release offers an honest, albeit modest upgrade, with richer HDR colors and sharper details, but maintains a restrained, natural aesthetic consistent with its digital cinematography origins.

  • Audio
  • Halloween's DTS:X soundtrack shines with its score and immersive atmosphere, though it underuses overhead channels and lacks low-end punch, making for a solid but not groundbreaking audio experience.

  • Extra
  • Both UHD and Blu-ray of Halloween include brief extras like making-ofs, insights on Jamie Lee Curtis's evolution, the iconic mask, and the film's score; striking a balance between homage and update.

  • Movie
  • 40 years post the iconic '78 Halloween, Laurie's ready for Michael's return, igniting a brutal showdown and reviving the slasher essence with homage to the original.

    Video: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Halloween" offers a mixed yet overall positive upgrade from its 1080p counterpart, leveraging its source's technical strengths while facing the inherent limitations of its digital-to-digital transfer. Shot using Arri Alexa Mini and SXT cameras at a native resolution of 2.8K and subsequently finished as a 2K Digital Intermediate, the film is presented here in an up-scaled 3840 x 2160p resolution on a BD-66 disc, coupling the added sharpness of 4K with the expanded color palette and dynamic range promised by HDR10 encoding. Despite this being an upscale rather than a native 4K presentation, viewers can expect modest improvements in detail, notably in close-ups where skin textures, fabric weaves, and environmental minutiae—such as the eerie detailing on Michael Myers’ mask—benefit from increased clarity and definition. This uptick in detail is complemented by the Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), which together enrich the film's color fidelity—rendering deeper and more lifelike skin tones, intensified primary colors, and enhanced night scenes with more nuanced shadow details and robust black levels.

    The improvements offered by the UHD version notably extend to color reproduction and contrast. Colors are both more natural in their appearance and more vibrant when necessary, a testament to the enhanced capabilities of HDR. The natural greens of suburban foliage, the vivid oranges of Halloween pumpkins, and the stark reds and blues of emergency vehicle lights are rendered with a richness that far surpasses the Blu-ray edition. The black levels are particularly noteworthy, deep and absorbing without sacrificing detail in darker scenes, though there are minor instances where blacks could verge on grey, slightly detracting from the otherwise consistent depth of field. In tandem with these advancements in color and contrast, the HDR enhances ambient lighting and specular highlights, offering a visually compelling experience despite occasional softness and mild aliasing along sharp edges—a negligible compromise given the marked improvements in overall image quality.

    The video transfer remains remarkably clean across its runtime, free from noise or other common artifacts, which speaks to the meticulous care taken in preparing this release. The deliberate stylistic choices in cinematography, paying homage to the film's analog origins while embracing modern digital filmmaking techniques, are well-served by this 4K presentation. The color grading slightly leans towards earthy tones, especially notable during pivotal moments at Laurie's fortress-like home, adding an emotional depth to the visuals that enhances the narrative tension. In conclusion, while not an earth-shattering leap over its Blu-ray counterpart in every aspect, the 4K UHD rendition of "Halloween" stands out for its refined detail, richer colors, and more dynamic contrast—qualities that fans of the franchise and newcomers alike will appreciate for an immersive viewing experience.

    Audio: 86

    The DTS:X audio mix for the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Halloween" provides an intricately balanced and immersive sonic experience, albeit with limitations in fully utilizing its overhead channels and low-frequency effects. Dialogue is pristinely clear, anchored strongly in the frontal soundscape, with nuanced directional efforts adding a layer of realism—various sound effects, from Michael Myers' unnerving footsteps to the revving of engines, distribute well across the left to right spectrum, though the vertical and rear auditory envelopment feels less pronounced. Despite these constraints, ambient sounds and music tracks, particularly John Carpenter's iconic score, benefit from a spaciousness that enhances the film's tension and atmosphere. The score's updated rendition reverberates through the soundstage, utilizing the surround channels effectively to deliver its chilling notes, though its presence is predominantly stronger at the ear level than in the overhead domain.

    The low-frequency channel operates satisfactorily, supporting key moments like the powerful roar of an engine or the ominous thud of footsteps, yet lacks the robust impact during gunshots or more explosive scenes that could have further elevated the intensity. Musical elements and sound design are the stars of this audio presentation, weaving Carpenter's foreboding themes with strategic silence and ambient noise to ratchet up suspense or provide relief. This careful balance creates a sound field that is both engaging and reflective of the film’s darker tone. Surround channels are energetically employed during sequences of heightened activity—trick-or-treating children, tense confrontations, and the climactic finale—drawing the listener into a more enveloping experience. However, opportunities to leverage this immersion through atmospheric uses of the overhead channels are sparingly executed, with notable occasions like shadows passing or environmental noises adding some depth but leaving one wanting more.

    Though it doesn’t push the boundaries of object-based sonic landscapes as aggressively as other titles in the genre, "Halloween's" audio mix offers a rich detail and clarity that respectably complements the visual terror unfolding on screen. The design meticulously prioritizes vocal clarity without sacrificing the surrounding acoustic environment, creating a wide and expansive image that excels in translating the movie’s suspenseful and eerie atmosphere. The score's integration is particularly commendable, lightly extending into the overhead space for an almost tangible experience of Carpenter's haunting melodies. Nevertheless, while delivering an adequately forceful impact during action-heavy scenes, the bass presence could benefit from greater potency to match the onscreen horror more closely. The overall soundfield effectively immerses viewers in Michael Myers’ haunting return, relying heavily on well-executed surround sound performance rather than fully exploiting the vertical dimension or achieving a thunderous low-end response.

    Extra: 70

    The 4K UHD release of "Halloween" enriches the home cinema experience not only with its main feature presentation but also through a comprehensive suite of extras, ensuring no fan feels shortchanged. Harnessing both the UHD and the Blu-ray discs, the collection brings forward a satisfying blend of behind-the-scenes insights and extended content, albeit with a shared sentiment about the brevity of the special features. The inclusion of deleted and extended scenes totaling over twelve minutes adds depth to the narrative, offering glimpses into what could have been. Among the more notable inclusions are the succinct yet impactful insights into the making of the film, John Carpenter's musical genius, the evolution of Jamie Lee Curtis's iconic character, and the visual and thematic significance of the mask's design. However, despite these rich inclusions, the overall conciseness of the featurettes leaves a lingering hunger for more expansive coverage on the movie's craft and legacy. The collection does manage to weave a narrative thread that connects new interpretations with cherished original elements, cementing "Halloween's" legacy for both new audiences and diehard fans, while also providing a digital copy to accommodate modern viewing habits.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Deleted/Extended Scenes: Diverse scenes adding depth to the plot.
    • Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween: Insight into the film's creation and respect for the original.
    • The Original Scream Queen: Spotlight on Jamie Lee Curtis's evolution.
    • The Sound of Fear: A dive into the film's score guided by Carpenter and company.
    • Journey of the Mask: Exploring the iconic mask's design and impact.
    • The Legacy of Halloween: Roundtable discussion with key figures on the film's significance.

    Movie: 80

    David Gordon Green's 2018 rendition of "Halloween" revisits the terror that gripped Haddonfield forty years ago, with a clarity and intensity befitting the advancements in cinematic technology since John Carpenter's original. By directly linking to the 1978 classic while discarding the narrative convolutions of subsequent entries, Green's film achieves a purity of suspense and horror. Its 4K UHD presentation on Blu-ray not only elevates the visual and auditory experience but emphasizes the thematic depth of Laurie Strode’s decades-long ordeal.

    The movie reinstates Michael Myers as an emblem of pure evil, unburdened by the tangled lore that later sequels attempted to construct around him. This approach, backed by Jamie Lee Curtis's powerful reprisal as Laurie, allows for a study in contrast: a killer devoid of motive against a survivor braced for vengeance. Their dynamic, enriched by generational trauma affecting Laurie's family, injects a profound layer to this bloody chess match. Laurie's transformation from victim to vigilante is depicted with grit and realism, highlighting her psychological resilience and preparedness for the inevitable confrontation with her tormentor. The movie's deliberate pacing and tension-building are remarkable, guiding us through a Haddonfield that is at once familiar and freshly menacing.

    Technically, the film dazzles in 4K, with its autumnal hues and shadow-draped shots of suburban dread rendered with sterling clarity. Carpenter's updated score resonates more deeply in this format, intertwining nostalgia with a renewed sense of foreboding. Despite some narrative missteps—like the underdeveloped subplot involving Dr. Sartain—the cinematography and carefully orchestrated scares pay homage to the original while carving out its own identity. In essence, Green’s "Halloween" serves both as a potent sequel and a technological showcase, reminding viewers why this franchise remains a pillar of the horror genre.

    Total: 79

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Halloween" (2018) stands as a commemorative addition for fans, presenting a significant upgrade over its Blu-ray counterpart, mainly through its enhanced visual and auditory experiences. The film, ambitiously directed by David Gordon Green, marks a revered return to the roots of the franchise by effectively ignoring the convoluted storylines that followed the original 1978 classic. In this direct sequel, Green revives not only the terrifying presence of Michael Myers but also amplifies Laurie Strode’s character, portrayed once again by Jamie Lee Curtis, into a survivalist figure still haunted by the events of the past. The narrative, while innovative in its attempt to redefine the iconic feud and pay tribute to John Carpenter's creation, treads cautiously around altering the franchise's foundational elements – a decision that lends safety but at the expense of groundbreaking evolution.

    The technical presentation of this Ultra HD release has been noted for its excellent 4K HDR10 visuals, providing a noticeable improvement over standard Blu-ray through enriched color dynamics and heightened detail, courtesy of WGC and HDR enhancements. The audio experience is complemented by an invigorating DTS:X track that excels in immersing viewers into the eerie ambiance of Haddonfield, albeit with slight limitations in bass and the underuse of overhead channels. However, one consistent critique among enthusiasts pertains to the relatively meager array of bonus content, which lacks depth and fails to substantially contribute to the disc's overall value.

    In conclusion, while the "Halloween" 4K UHD Blu-ray succeeds in rejuvenating an esteemed horror saga with commendable audiovisual upgrades, it falls short in delivering a comprehensive package that extends beyond the main feature. The film itself is celebrated for its homage to Carpenter's original and for providing a solid, though somewhat reserved, advancement of Laurie Strode’s and Michael Myers' legacy. Despite these achievements and the tangible improvements in video and audio quality, the sparse and uninspiring selection of extras leaves a coveted opportunity for deeper engagement with the franchise’s revival unfulfilled. Enthusiasts eager to experience the sheer visual and auditory enhancements will find this release worthwhile, yet may yearn for a more robust commemoration of Michael Myer's latest return.