‘Halloween’ 2018 Stuns on 4K Ultra HD [Review]
Michael Myers has come home, as Halloween 2018 is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital streaming services, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
The new Halloween (read our review here) first arrived on digital platforms on Dec. 28, followed by various Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD combo options that were released last week, on Jan. 15.
On the Monday (#MichaelMyersMonday) before its physical media release, we were pleasantly surprised to find a mysterious box from Universal Home Entertainment on our doorstep, inside of which was a slightly smaller black box featuring Halloween‘s already iconic poster image of the 2018 Michael Myers mask.
Upon opening the box, inside we found not only the 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital combo, but also the new (as yet unreleased) “Bloody Edition” of the mask by Trick or Treat Studios, nestled in death black confetti. When I reached in, John Carpenter’s Halloween theme started playing automatically from a motion sensor installed inside the box.
The film itself looks stunningly good in 4K Ultra HD resolution, highlighting cinematographer Michael Simmonds’ beautiful work, as Sean White’s art direction and Missy Berent Ricker’s set decoration capture the small town neighborhood Halloween atmosphere perfectly. The DTS:X surround sound completes the immersive experience of going trick or treating in Haddonfield.
The bonus features include seven deleted or extended scenes, most of which were wisely left on the cutting room floor but still give some interesting insight into certain aspects of the story that were unclear or only slightly alluded to in the final edit.
Allyson’s (Andi Matichak) early morning jog that ends in her discovery of a dead dog hanging in a neighbor’s yard is a callback to the many dogs Michael Myers has killed over the last four decades, but would have hinted too early to Allyson that Laurie’s maybe not too paranoid about Michael after all, and thus lessen her shock when finally seeing The Shape for the first time herself.
A deleted shower scene reveals that the investigative journalists, Aaron (Jefferson Hall) and Dana (Rhian Rees; read our interview here), are in fact romantically involved, while paying a tiny homage to Psycho.
The best of the deleted scenes are an extended version of Laurie Strode, played once again (for the fifth time) by Jamie Lee Curtis, at her shooting range, revealing that she is still quite suicidal and giving her arm scar from the ’78 encounter its proper closeup. As I said in my review of Halloween 2018, Curtis has never been better, delivering a career-defining performance that more than anything honors the legacy of one of the greatest survivors in movie history, and this scene only deepens that performance.
Another scene features Allyson and Cameron’s (Dylan Arnold) brief run-in with two Haddonfield cops, who make it (even more) clear that Lonnie Elam’s kid is every bit the troublemaker that his dad was, setting up why Allyson is next seen walking home with Oscar (Drew Scheid).
Special effects/makeup designer Chris Nelson (read our interview here) is hilarious in an extended version of his scene with Charlie Benton, as two different cops discussing a banh mi sandwich, the funniest of the bunch. The most ridiculous involves Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) and Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) needlessly talking about nose picking.
There are also five short featurettes, each with a runtime of less than five minutes, with rapid soundbites from all of the film’s most important figures, including executive producer/composer John Carpenter, Curtis, director David Gordon Green, co-writer Danny McBride, producer Jason Blum, Andi Matichak, and James Jude Courtney, in tightly produced, bite-size promotional segments.
“The Sound of Fear” in particular dives into the recording of the score, with footage of Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies in the studio creating the electric guitar wails using a violin bow.
In “Journey of the Mask”, Chris Nelson gives props to Tommy Lee Wallace (read our interview here) for his now legendary work on transforming a Star Trek Captain Kirk mask into the face of Michael Myers, and provides some insight into the creation of the new mask, which Nelson designed along with Vincent Van Dyke and Justin Mabry.
All of the bonus features are also presented in Ultra HD on the 4K disc, as well as being included in standard HD on the Blu-ray disc.
As is the growing trend of studio Blu-ray releases in recent years, there is unfortunately no feature length commentary track. I would have loved to hear a commentary by Green and McBride, and maybe Curtis and Carpenter (Or how cool would it have been to hear James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle discussing how they shared the role of The Shape?), but it looks like we will have to wait for an inevitable Special Edition release at some point in the future.
It’s the film though, an unlikely 11th entry in a 40-year-old franchise, that is the real treat here, with no shortage of fun Easter eggs increasing its rewatchability value for many Octobers to come, and it’s a definite must-own for fans and collectors alike. In a totally entertaining tribute that honors four decades of Halloween, Michael Myers is back, and Haddonfield has never looked better.
Halloween 2018 is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.
Watch Halloween on Amazon here.
Order Halloween 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital combo from Amazon here.
Order Halloween Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital combo from Amazon here.
Order Halloween DVD from Amazon here.
[Read our interview with Rhian Rees on the fear and female power of Halloween 2018 here.]
[Read our interview with James Jude Courtney on playing Michael Myers in Halloween 2018 here.]
[Read our interview with Nick Castle on reprising Michael Myers in Halloween 2018 here.]
[Read our interview with Christopher Nelson on making Michael Myers’ mask for Halloween 2018 here.]
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Here's the unboxing! (The music played automatically once I reached in.) Thank you to @universalentertainment and @halloweenmovie!!! Best #MichaelMyersMonday ever. 🎃 #Halloween #HalloweenDaily #HalloweenSociety #EveryDayIsHalloween #HalloweenMovies #HalloweenMovie #MichaelMyers #TheShape
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