Halloween 4K Collection, The: 1995-2002 (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Oct 31, 2022
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Halloween 4K Collection, The: 1995-2002 (4K UHD Review)

Director

Joe Chappelle, Steve Miner, Rick Rosenthal

Release Date(s)

1995/1998/2002 (October 4, 2022)

Studio(s)

Dimension Films (Shout!/Scream Factory)
  • Film/Program Grade: See Below
  • Video Grade: See Below
  • Audio Grade: See Below
  • Extras Grade: A-
  • Overall Grade: B+

The Halloween 4K Collection: 1995-2002 (Blu-ray)

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Review

The Halloween series has taken many twists and turns since it began 1981 with the release of the first sequel, Halloween II. Three more sequels would come down the pike, and by 1995, the original story of Michael Myers being simply evil morphed into him being the brother of Laurie Strode into him being a member of a secret cult. Each entry seemed to operate by its own rules, regardless of what came before, and Michael Myers became more a figure of fun than a classic boogeyman. And with the franchise moving to and from different production companies, it was inevitable that the series would tire itself out. Through Dimension Pictures, three further films were released: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, and Halloween: Resurrection. The last film put the nail in the original series’ coffin before being rebooted by Rob Zombie in 2007, and then again in 2018, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis for three more films that completely ignored the entire series outside of the original film.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was perhaps the most difficult film to get out the door due to extensive reshoots. As such, multiple cuts of the film were circulated for years, the most prominent labeled as the “Producer’s Cut.” In truth, neither the theatrical version or the producer’s cut of the film are really any better than the other, but the producer’s cut is perhaps more intriguing. It’s a more introspective story than a straight slasher, which is perhaps why many fans prefer it over the theatrical. Unfortunately, both cuts still feature the same “Curse of Thorn” storyline, which attempted to explain Michael’s origin away as the puppet of a cult, totally going against John Carpenter’s original notion that he’s simply evil with no explanation behind it. Regardless, Curse came and went in 1995, but the franchise wasn’t finished just yet.

Three years later, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later saw Jamie Lee Curtis return to the series that she purposefully jumped off of seventeen years prior. The initial idea was for her, John Carpenter, and producer Debra Hill to reunite for a sequel, but after a couple of meetings, neither Carpenter or Hill were interested. Curtis pressed on and working with Friday the 13th veteran Steve Miner, Kevin Williamson of the Scream series, the Akkads, and the Weinsteins, a sequel was crafted that was mostly well-received. It was also a part of the late 1990s/early 2000s wave of slasher films that were cropping up at the time featuring hot young stars with hip soundtracks and floating head posters. Nevertheless, the film was a success and seemed to put a cap on the series. But despite what seemed to be a very definitive ending for the series since Michael is apparently killed, they foolishly brought him back one more time.

Considered by most to be the absolute worst film in the entire franchise, Halloween: Resurrection is not only a slap in the face to the character of Laurie Strode (very much like Alien 3 was to Aliens for many fans), but it also went for broke in terms of technology and casting, using computers and video footage that looks absolutely ancient now, as well as popular personalities at the time like Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes. A cockamamie storyline about a live internet show on Halloween night at the Myers’ house, which prompts Michael to show up and slaughter everyone, was an absolute low for a franchise that had apparently run out of ideas. But rather than spit venom at the film, it’s important to point out that for fans who consider H20 a high note, the follow-up ultimately has no bearing and can be ignored for the sake of it. In any case, the franchise hit a dead stop at this point before being controversially rebooted in 2007.

Interestingly, the entire Halloween franchise has five distinct eras. The first three films make up the first era, the fourth and fifth film make up the second, the sixth, seventh, and eighth film make up the third, the two Rob Zombie films make up the fourth, and the three Blumhouse films make up the fifth. It’s almost like having a different volume devoted to a single subject sitting on your shelf. Some volumes are more entertaining than others, and it’s easy to ignore the rest. Die-hard fans will defend each and every film in the franchise to their dying breaths (even the recent films, which seemed to stir up far more controversy than any of the previous ones), but it’s clear that the Halloween franchise has outlived many of its peers at this point. After all, nobody is making any A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th sequels or reboots, though they’ve tried in the past. Even so, there seems to be a constant appetite for Michael Myers that never really gets quenched, regardless of the quality of the films being released.

That all said, I personally feel that the most interesting era of Halloween films in terms of mistakes or behind-the-scenes stories is definitely the Dimension Films era. Not because any of the films are particularly great, but because of how far the people behind them were willing to go, or not at all. Curse is probably the most distinctive visually, H20 is likely the most popular, and Resurrection is the bottom of the barrel in almost every way. Fans generally like the previous five films to certain degrees, but opinions on the Dimension era are varied. There’s more to those films than just Michael Myers showing up to murder babysitters, and whether you agree with the direction that the storyline took or not, it’s fascinating to see them try and make sense out of it. For me, the first three films are the essence of this franchise, and everything that came after that is questionable.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was shot by cinematographer Billy Dickson on 35 mm film using Panavision Panaflex cameras and spherical lenses, finished photochemically, and presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Scream Factory’s 4K Ultra HD presentation of the theatrical and producer’s cuts offer a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, graded for high dynamic range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision options are available). This is the best the film has ever looked on home video, in both versions. The producer’s cut may have resorted to an interpositive to fill in sections that are exclusive to that cut of the film, but if that’s case, they blend rather well. Grain is healthy but thoroughly refined and the HDR grades boost the finer nuances of the picture, especially in the backgrounds. Everything appears crisp outside of the opening credit sequence. The color palette has a wider gamut, allowing for richer shades red and blue, and a variety of autumnal hues. Flesh tones appear natural as well. Blacks are incredibly deep and the overall contrast is improved. The image is stable and clean with no major imperfections and a high bit rate. It may appear a little too dark on certain displays, but it’s definitely improved.

Audio is included in English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. The film was released in Ultra Stereo, and it’s unclear whether either of these tracks stem from that original soundtrack or not. Regardless, they boast good support for the various elements. The 5.1 track is not totally immersive, but score and sound effects definitely have potency to them. Dialogue exchanges are clear and discernible on both tracks.

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later was shot by cinematographer Daryn Okada on 35 mm film using Panavision Panaflex cameras, finished photochemically, and presented in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Scream Factory’s 4K Ultra HD presentation offers a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, graded for high dynamic range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision options are available). This presentation is a vast improvement over the previous Blu-ray release, particularly when it comes to its color palette. It’s much richer with more varied hues, and the HDR grade really drags the detail out of it and offers gorgeous blacks. Everything is crisp and natural with enhanced textures and perfect contrast. It’s stable and clean from beginning to end with a high encode, a steady sheen of refined grain, and no issues in sight. It really gives the film much more of a visual personality than it had previously, and is perhaps the best upgrade of the three films.

Audio is included in English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. The 5.1 track offers a much more immersive experience with good directionality and occasional atmospherics. Though the track primarily favors the front, score and music tend to swell in the surround speakers. Dialogue exchanges are clear and discernible on both tracks.

Halloween: Resurrection was shot by cinematographer David Geddes on 35 mm film using Panavision Panaflex cameras (as well as low grade video for the web cam footage), finished photochemically, and presented in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Scream Factory’s 4K Ultra HD presentation offers a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, graded for high dynamic range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision options are available). The majority of the presentation generally looks pleasant with healthy grain and excellent detail. Unfortunately, the low resolution video, which the film depends on entirely too much, looks even worse with the added clarity. Outside of that, the picture is sharp with decent texturing and good contrast. The HDR grades boost the color palette, although it’s not a generous palette to begin with, especially in the latter half when most of the film takes place in dark, shadowy environments. The grade may also be a little too aggressive since blacks appear slightly crushed. Even still, it’s the best the film has looked on home video. It’s never going to look all that great, but this presentation seems to do it justice.

Audio is included in English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. While the video may have deficiencies, the audio certainly does not. The 5.1 track is very active with frequent panning and atmospherics. Low frequency moments are common and there’s plenty of breathing room for the music and the score. Dialogue exchanges are always clear and discernible as well.

THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – THEATRICAL CUT (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C+/A-/B
THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – PRODUCER’S CUT (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C+/A-/B
H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/A/B+
RESURRECTION (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): F/B/A

The Halloween 4K Collection (1995-2002) is an 8-Disc set. The theatrical and producer’s cut versions of Curse are included on 2 separate UHD and Blu-ray discs, while H20 and Resurrection are included on single separate UHD and Blu-ray discs. The presentations on the Blu-rays are sourced from the same 4K scans. Each film is included in its own separate black amaray case with double-sided artwork, featuring new artwork by Joel Robinson on one side and the original theatrical artwork on the other. Each of these cases are housed in separate rigid slipcase packages, and all are tucked into a thin slipcase with more new artwork by Joel Robinson. The following extras are included on each disc:

DISC ONE – THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – THEATRICAL CUT (UHD)

  • Audio Commentary with Daniel Farrands, Marianne Hagan, and Michael Perez

DISC TWO – THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – PRODUCER’S CUT (UHD)

  • Audio Commentary with Daniel Farrands and Alan Howarth

DISC THREE – THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – THEATRICAL CUT (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Daniel Farrands, Marianne Hagan, and Michael Perez
  • 1995 Electronic Press Kit (Upscaled SD – 4:51)
  • Theatrical Trailers (Upscaled SD – 3 in all – 3:04)
  • TV Spots (Upscaled SD – 9 in all – 3:31)
  • Still Gallery (HD – 87 in all – 11:54)

The new commentary on the theatrical cut with screenwriter Daniel Farrands, actress Marianne Hagan, and moderator Michael Perez is quite good as it gets into the nitty gritty of the how and why of the film. Farrands primarily drives the commentary with Hagan joining in for emphasis. Perez occasionally interjects with questions and clarification. The animated still gallery contains 87 images of posters, promotional photos, behind-the-scenes photos, and memorabilia.

DISC FOUR – THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS – PRODUCER’S CUT (UHD)

  • Audio Commentary with Daniel Farrands and Alan Howarth
  • Jamie’s Story with Danielle Harris (HD – 7:25)
  • A Cursed “Curse” (HD – 9:50)
  • Acting Scared with Mariah O’Brien & J.C. Brandy (HD – 19:15)
  • The Shape of Things: The Murder & Mayhem of Halloween 6 (HD – 11:26)
  • Haddonfield’s Horrors: The Visual Design of Halloween 6 (HD – 11:06)
  • Full Circle with Composer Alan Howarth (HD – 7:17)
  • Cast and Crew Tribute to Donald Pleasence (HD – 2:58)
  • Archival 1995 Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage (HD and Upscaled SD – 8:00)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (SD – 24:04)
  • Alternate and Deleted Scenes (SD – 5 in all – 7:24)
  • Teaser Trailer (SD – 1:02)

On the previous commentary on the producer’s cut with Daniel Farrands and composer Alan Howarth, Farrands once again drives the conversation and has the most to say as the two men watch the film together, Howarth having never seen it. In Jamie’s Story, actress Danielle Harris details why she didn’t appear in the film. In A Cursed “Curse”, associate producer Malek Akkad and producer Paul Freeman detail the creation of the film, the final result, and their thoughts on the producer’s cut. In Acting Scared, actresses Mariah O’Brien and J.C. Brandy talk about their experiences making the film. In The Shape of Things, special make-up effects artists John Carl Buechler and Brad Hardin, and actor George P. Wilbur talk about their involvement shooting the effects for the film and how they feel about it in retrospect. In Haddonfield’s Horrors, director of photography Billy Dickson, production designer Brad Ryman, and additional scenes director of photography Thomas Callaway talk about what they wanted the film to be, some admitting to being embarrassed by the final version, and others being happy with it. In Full Circle, composer Alan Howarth talks about coming back to the series and creating a score for it. In the Cast and Crew Tribute to Donald Pleasence, they talk about their memories of the late actor. The Archival Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage features vintage interview footage with Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagen, and director Joe Chappelle, as well as a brief bit of B-roll footage. The Behind-the-Scenes Footage was shot by Daniel Farrands while on set and shows filming in progress. The five Alternate and Deleted Scenes are not included in either version of the film and are provided via low quality elements. Last is the teaser trailer for the film when it was to be called Halloween 666: The Original of Michael Myers. Not carried over from Scream Factory’s Halloween: The Complete Collection Blu-ray boxed set is a Horror’s Hallowed Grounds segment on the film.

DISC FIVE – H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER (UHD)

  • Audio Commentary with Steve Miner, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sean Clark

DISC SIX – H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Steve Miner, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sean Clark
  • Blood Is Thicker Than Water: The Making of Halloween H20 (HD – 58:45)
  • Scenes with John Ottman’s Original Score (HD – 5 in all – 24:05)
  • Vintage Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage (SD – 45:36)
  • Still Gallery (HD – 59 in all – 8:00)
  • TV Spot (SD – :32)
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD – 1:57)

In the audio commentary with director Steve Miner, Jamie Lee Curtis, and moderator Sean Clark, Jamie Lee Curtis is definitely in the driver’s seat and runs the conversation while they watch the film together, commenting on it as it goes along. It’s a fun and informative track. Blood Is Thicker Than Water is a 2-part making-of featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, writer Robert Zappia, producers Malek Akkad, Paul Freeman, cinematographer Daryn Okada, editor Patrick Lussier, actors Nancy Stephens, Tom Kane, Josh Hartnett, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Adam Hann-Byrd, Chris Durand, stunt coordinator Donna Keagan, special make-up effects artists John Carl Buechler, Brad Hardin, and composer John Ottman. Five scenes scored with John Ottman’s original, rejected score are also included. The Vintage Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage features vintage interview footage with Steve Miner, Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J, Adam Arkin, Janet Leigh, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, Adam Hann-Byrd, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Moustapha Akkad, as well as a brief bit of B-roll footage. The still gallery contains 59 stills of posters, promotional photos, and behind-the-scenes photos. Not carried over from the original Dimension Collector’s Edition DVD release is the Unmasking the Terror featurette and What’s This Life For music video by Creed.

DISC SEVEN – RESURRECTION (UHD)

  • Audio Commentary with Rick Rosenthal and Robert A. Ferretti

DISC EIGHT – RESURRECTION (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Rick Rosenthal and Robert A. Ferretti
  • Haddonfield North: Production Design Troy Hansen on Halloween: Resurrection (HD – 7:06)
  • Sister, Scream Queen Sister: Stunt Coordinator Donna Keegan on Halloween: Resurrection (HD – 9:28)
  • Hell Raiser: Special Makeup Effects Coordinator Gary J. Tunnicliffe on Halloween: Resurrection (HD – 11:28)
  • The Youngest Shape: Actor Gary Clayton on Halloween: Resurrection (HD – 4:26)
  • The Butcher and the Blade: Actor Sean Patrick Thomas on Halloween: Resurrection (HD – 8:27)
  • Tales from the Script: Author Stef Hutchinson on the World of Halloween Comics (HD – 16:01)
  • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Endings (Upscaled SD – 9 in all)
  • Web Cam Special (SD – 41:19)
  • Vintage Interviews and Behind-The-Scenes Footage (SD – 36:37)
  • Head Cam (SD – 4:12)
  • Storyboard Analysis (SD – 3:51)
  • Set Tour (SD – 6:53)
  • Set Interviews with Cast and Crew (SD – 4:05)
  • Still Gallery (HD – 51 in all – 6:56)
  • Home Video TV Spots (SD – 2 in all – :48)
  • Theatrical Trailer (Upscaled SD – 2:19)

The audio commentary with director Rick Rosenthal and editor Robert A. Ferretti is not a particularly good one. They sound bored, they tend to drop out of the track often, and don’t really bring very much interesting information to the table. A moderator was desperately needed for this commentary. Next is a series of new interviews conducted by Reverend Entertainment. Participants include production designer Troy Hansen, stunt coordinator and stunt double Donna Keegan, special makeup effects coordinator Gary J. Tunnicliffe, actors Gary Clayton, Sean Patrick Thomas, and comic book author Stef Hutchinson. The majority of the rest of the extras are carried over from the film’s original DVD release, including 9 deleted scenes and alternate endings, the entire Web Cam Special, additional featurettes on the technology and set, a side-by-side Storyboard Analysis, and additional interviews with the cast and crew on the set. The Vintage Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes Footage features vintage interview footage with Jamie Lee Curtis, Bianca Kajlich, Moustapha Akkad, Rick Rosenthal, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Luke Kirby, Sean Patrick Thomas, Katee Sackhoff, Daisy McCrackin, and Thomas Ian Nicholas, as well as B-roll footage. The still gallery contains 51 stills of posters, promotional photos, and behind-the-scenes photos. Not carried over from Scream Factory’s Halloween: The Complete Collection Blu-ray boxed set are additional commentaries by Rick Rosenthal and Robert A. Ferretti on the Deleted and Alternate Scenes and Web Cam Special.

Popping all of these films into one set was a very smart move on Scream Factory’s part. Few would prefer to buy them separately, but they also a paint a picture of a particularly chaotic era for the Halloween franchise. If you’re a fan of the series or these films, this a very nice 4K upgrade. It’s hard to recommend, but even casual fans will get something out of it.

- Tim Salmons

(You can follow Tim on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook. And be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel here.)

 

Tags

1995, 1998, 2002, 2160p, 4K, 4K scan of the original camera negative, 4K UHD, 4K Ultra HD, A Michael Lerner, Adam Arkin, Adam Hann-Byrd, Alan Echeverria, Alan Howarth, Beau Billingslea, Bianca Kajlich, Billy Dickson, Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc, box set, boxed set, boxset, Brad Hardin, Brad Loree, Brad Sihvon, Bradford English, Branden Williams, Brent Chapman, Bryan Morris, Busta Rhymes, Chris Durand, Daisy McCrackin, Dan Joffre, Daniel Farrands, Danielle Harris, Danny Lux, Daryn Okada, David Geddes, Debra Hill, Devin Gardner, Dimension Films, Dolby Vision, Donald Pleasence, DTS-HD Master Audio, Elyse Donalson, Emmalee Thompson, Fred Lerner, George P Wilbur, Gus Lynch, H20, H20 Twenty Years Later, Haig Sutherland, Halloween, Halloween 4K Collection, Halloween 4K Collection 1995-2002, Halloween 6, Halloween 7, Halloween 8, Halloween Collection, Halloween Collection 1995-2002, Halloween film series, Halloween franchise, Halloween H20, Halloween H20 Twenty Years Later, Halloween Resurrection, Halloween series, Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween VI Productions, HDR, HDR10, high dynamic range, Hildur Ruriks, horror, James Woodson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Janice Knickrehm, JC Brandy, Jimmy Chunga, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Joe Chappelle, John Carpenter, John Ottman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Hartnett, Katee Sackhoff, Keith Bogart, Kevin Williamson, Kim Darby, Kristine Summers, Larisa Miller, Larry Brand, Laurie Strode, Lee Ju Chew, Leo Geter, Lisa Gay Hamilton, LL Cool J, Lorena Gale, Luke Kirby, Marco Beltrami, Mariah O'Brien, Marianne Hagan, Marisa Rudiak, Matt Greenberg, Matt Winston, Michael Myers, Michelle Williams, Miramax, Miramax Films, Mitch Ryan, Nancy Stephens, Nightfall Productions, Patrick Lussier, Paul Freeman, Paul Rudd, Randolph K Bricker, Raquelle Anderson, Resurrection, review, Rick Rosenthal, Robert A Ferretti, Robert Zappia, Ryan Merriman, Scream Factory, Sean Hood, Sean Patrick Thomas, Sheri Hicks, shot on 35 mm film, Shout Factory, Shout! Factory, slasher, Steve Miner, Susan Swift, The Curse of Michael Myers, The Digital Bits, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tim Salmons, Tom Kane, Tom Proctor, Trancas International, Trancas International Films, Tyra Banks, Ultra HD

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