The spooky season is upon us. And to mark the occasion, a delightful array of seasonal classics have been beautifully restored in 4K Ultra High Definition ready to be experienced from the comfort of your own home.
Universal delivers a multi-film set containing a slate of horror classics from the studio's most esteemed line of monster icons, while one of the UK's most highly regarded cult horror films celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
The Criterion Collection also joins the fun with a disturbing thriller starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland from director Nicolas Roeg, while Nicole Kidman delivers one of her most celebrated performances in a tragic haunted house tale from writer/director/composer Alejandro Amenábar.
But for those needing something outside of Halloween season, Sony Pictures is delivering an Oscar-winning romance from director Sydney Pollack starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.
Universal Classic Monsters: Limited Edition Collection
Bela Lugosi as the dashing Count Dracula, Boris Karloff as the mummified ancient Egyptian prince Imhotep, and Lon Chaney as a living wolf man – to name a few, Universal Pictures is re-releasing its complete set of 4K restorations of their iconic "Classic Monsters" pictures, Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), Phantom of the Opera (1943), and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
Produced during Hollywood's Golden Age, this series of films is considered to be a staple of the Universal studio legacy with each film being remembered not only for their now world-renowned villainous monsters, but also for their productions which feature revolutionary prosthetic makeup designs, imaginative set pieces, and career-defining performances. For cinephiles and horror fans, the Universal Classic Monsters Collection represents an important piece of Hollywood history.
This Limited-Edition Collection of the Universal Classic Monsters presents all nine feature films meticulously restored in 4K with added HDR10, with Dracula and Bride of Frankenstein being particular standouts. Extensive supplements are included for each film such as retrospective documentaries featuring interviews with historians and contemporary filmmakers, the multi-part series 100 Years of Universal, audio commentaries, original photo galleries, and much more. Lastly, the set also comes with a collector's booklet featuring original poster art and production photos.
Get it: Available now on 4K UHD Blu-Ray (Limited Edition).
Don't Look Now
Celebrating its 50th anniversary is Don't Look Now (1973), an ominous thriller from Walkabout director Nicolas Roeg. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland star as Laura and John Baxter, a married couple who travel to a wintery Venice hoping for relief following the tragic drowning of their daughter. However, their lives and relationship begin to unravel when they meet a pair of sisters, one of whom claims to be a psychic who is in communion with their deceased daughter.
With the film's unsettling tone and disjointed editing techniques, Don't Look Now has been regarded as a masterpiece within the horror genre. Propelled by two powerhouse lead performances, beneath the film's suggestions of the occult and a self-fulfilling prophecy lies a complex story of a married couple struggling to cope with the loss of their child. Roeg was quoted as saying, "Grief can separate people... Even the closest, healthiest relationship can come undone through grief."
This new release of Don't Look Now comes courtesy of The Criterion Collection featuring a striking new 4K restoration supervised by the film's director of photography, Anthony Richmond. The film's audio is presented via an uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras include a 2002 documentary featuring Roeg and key crew, a conversation between the film's editor Graeme Clifford and historian Bobbie O'Steen, interviews with the cast, co-screenwriter Allan Scott and composer Pino Donaggio, and a featurette discussing Roeg's unique cinematic style with input from filmmakers Danny Boyle and Steven Soderbergh, plus much more.
Get it: Available now on 4K UHD Blu-Ray.
The Wicker Man
Director Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man shocked audiences upon its release in 1973 and is widely believed to be the definitive folk horror film. Edward Woodward stars as Sergeant Neil Howie, who arrives by seaplane to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. However, the island community led by Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) are less than helpful, even claiming the missing girl never existed, and Howie soon learns the community is steeped in practicing a strange form of ritualistic Celtic paganism.
A film brimming with bizarre happenings, committed performances, and escalating tension, The Wicker Man closes with an unforgettably disturbing finale which manages to be both horrifying and deeply tragic. A testament to Hardy's direction and screenwriter Anthony Shaffer, once seen, The Wicker Man is a film that leaves its mark.
Presented in a limited edition SteelBook, this new 50th Anniversary release of The Wicker Man from Lionsgate Home Entertainment presents the film in its "final cut" version with a new 4K restoration enhanced with Dolby Vision and a new HDR color grade. Extensive supplements include Revisiting the Locations, The Wicker Man at 50, Robin Hardy's Script: The Lost Ending, Burnt Offering: The Cult of The Wicker Man, The Music of The Wicker Man, interviews with the cast and filmmakers, a restoration comparison, and more.
Get it: Get it Oct. 17 on 4K UHD Blu-Ray (Limited Edition)
The Way We Were
Director Sydney Pollack's romantic melodrama The Way We Were was one of the biggest hits of 1973. With a screenplay by Arthur Laurents adapted from his novel of the same name, the film stars Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford as college sweethearts Katie and Hubbell, both with very opposing political and social ideals. When the two meet again years later in the wake of World War II, they marry and move to California. There, Hubbell begins a career as a screenwriter. However, as the Hollywood Blacklist comes into play during the early years of the Cold War, Katie's activism threatens her husband's career and reputation.
The Way We Were was a significant commercial and critical success, and received six Oscar nominations: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Streisand, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Original Song for the song "The Way We Were." The film then went on to win two Oscars: Best Dramatic Score and Best Original Song. The film's soundtrack became a major success, hitting the top twenty on the Billboard 200 chart. In 1998, the film's Oscar-winning song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, The Way We Were comes to the 4K format with both its Theatrical Cut and its Extended Cut via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Sony's new restoration, with the addition of HDR and Dolby Vision, delivers a very filmic presentation. The film is also complemented with a 5.1 DTS-HD audio track. Supplements include the making-of documentary Looking Back, deleted scenes, a previously recorded audio commentary with the late Pollack, and the original theatrical trailer.
Get it: Oct. 17 on 4K UHD Blu-Ray – also available on digital.
"Sooner or later, they'll find you…"
Chilean-Spanish writer/director/composer Alejandro Amenábar's debut English language film, The Others, is an unnerving haunted house thriller that stunned audiences upon its release in 2001. Nicole Kidman plays Grace, an isolated Word War II era mother, retaining her composure as she keeps her two light-sensitive children in the darkened rooms on her Channel Islands estate. But the world of the dead somehow penetrates the walls of the manor after the arrival of three servants, pushing Grace to the level of manic paranoia.
Made on a minimal budget of $17 million, The Others was a box office juggernaut upon its release, grossing over $200 million worldwide. With its isolated and claustrophobic setting, Amenábar received high praise for his taut direction. The film's powerful screenplay and score are also standouts. Kidman's unflinchingly staunch performance is regarded as a career highlight. Unrelenting in its tension, the film manages to both terrify and offer a surprisingly moving story of guilt, shame, and the afterlife, while also providing one of modern cinema's most shocking twist endings.
The Others makes its way to the 4K format via The Criterion Collection. Featuring a stunning UHD SDR transfer approved by Amenábar, the film's spine-tingling sound design is taken to another level thanks to a new Dolby Atmos feature audio track. The release is also loaded with supplemental pieces, including a new making-of program featuring Amenábar, Kidman and key cast members, archival programs on the film's production, costume design, soundtrack and visual effects, deleted scenes, audition footage, a feature film audio commentary with Amenábar, and more.
Get it: Oct. 24 on 4K UHD Blu-Ray
By Adam J. Yeend