A few words about…™ Halloween — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Absolutely gorgeous, with beautifully rendered color, great shadow detail, and luscious moving grain. 4 Stars

This should be the Halloween that fans have been waiting for since CED and VHS days, and it’s higher in quality than either.

John Carpenter’s original 1978, low-budget horror masterpiece, has arrived on 4k, courtesy of Lionsgate’s program of newly harvesting images of their catalog titles.

We’ll skip to the bottom line.

Absolutely gorgeous, with beautifully rendered color, great shadow detail, and luscious moving grain.

Superb audio.

And a genuine rarity.

A genre classic that set standards for decades to come.

Image – 5 (HDR10 / Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (7.1 Dolby TrueHD)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Don’t even think about not grabbing this one in 4k.

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

38 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    This should be the Halloween that fans have been waiting for since CED and VHS days, and it's higher in quality than either.

    John Carpenter's original 1978, low-budget horror masterpiece, has arrived on 4k, courtesy of Lionsgate's program of newly harvesting images of their catalog titles.

    We'll skip to the bottom line.

    Absolutely gorgeous, with beautifully rendered color, great shadow detail, and luscious moving grain.

    Superb audio.

    And a genuine rarity.

    A genre classic that set standards for decades to come.

    Image – 5 (HDR10 / Dolby Vision)

    Audio – 5 (7.1 Dolby TrueHD)

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Upgrade from Blu-ray – Don't even think about not grabbing this one in 4k.

    Very Highly Recommended

    RAH

    How does this compare to this 1080p Blu-ray in terms of color grading, which seems has always been an item of contest?

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co…halloween-35th-anniversary-in-blu-ray.326593/

  2. Robert Harris

    Monaural is included. Have no idea if it's the original mix.

    It has been confirmed by others it is the 5.1 Mix Down Mono track. Instead of the Dolby True HD ORIGINAL mono found on the Box Set edtions of Disc 1.

    It seems Lionsgate either accidently chose the wrong Mono mix or just didnt care. The fact no one at Lionsgate questioned it Id say they didnt care.

  3. I may have been more concerned about the original mono audio when I was younger, but only from an archival perspective in my own collection. The surround mix is good. Every time I watch this title, I pick the surround track, not the mono. I've got a very large center channel with dual 10" bass drivers, 2 5.5" mids, and a tweeter. Full range. I still prefer the surround over the mono even though the mono track has a really good shot at being good through a full range centre channel. A small center channel…hmmmm. While original mono may be original, the sound is a big part of the movie and the surround option is a good choice. Individual choices may vary…

    Lack of original mono is not preventing me to buy it. Otherwise we should watch this movie with all of the scratches and pieces of tape holding strips of film together like on some of the earliest releases. No digital colour changes. No clean up. No 4K. Let's make it look like a cheap theater presentation as seen in 1978.

    Moving forward, studios should just cross the Ts and dot their i with their releases just to make sure they've covered their bases. No assumptions to make completists happy. And completists make a good portion of 4K purchases. We're film lovers 😀

  4. Michael Osadciw

    Lack of original mono is not preventing me to buy it. Otherwise we should watch this movie with all of the scratches and pieces of tape holding strips of film together like on some of the earliest releases. No digital colour changes. No clean up. No 4K. Let's make it look like a cheap theater presentation as seen in 1978.

    Same here. Our major bummer is that the lossless mono track is already there and ready on the box set. It wasn't a case of them not going back to the original tapes or film to make a new one. They could have easily ripped the track from the box blu off of the shelf itself and muxed it in. There are tons online freeware apps where anyone can do it themselves. The 7.1 track quite serviceable though, so it is not a deal-breaker.

    I have a solution though. Karl Pilkington mentioned that he had an uncle that had 2 TVs. One with a bad tube, the other with no sound, and he could watch TV by just tuning both to the same channel. Just set up 2 bluray players…..

  5. Mine should arrive today and I'm planning on (trying) to watch this week since I won't be in the States for Halloween this year. I almost cancelled the order, but for the amount I paid for it, it's a no brainer.

  6. Robert Crawford

    Which Halloween release has the proper Mono track?

    Just the first disc in the Complete Collection box set. It is an updated version of the 35th anniversary disc with a lossless Dolby TrueHD mono track. A link from DVD compare to shows that it is also available in this set.
    The 4K has a lossy incorrect mono track with the 4K 35th ann transfer and the SDR Blu in that set is the old 2007 disc with the same incorrect mono.

  7. Robert Crawford

    Oh boy, watch out for incoming from some Halloween fans that aren't happy about the lack of mono audio or whatever other issue they may have with it. My copy arrives tomorrow and I'll be watching it as soon as my mail arrives to me.

    I watched my 4K/UHD this afternoon and I'm very happy with it, both, video and audio-wise.

  8. brap

    Same here. Our major bummer is that the lossless mono track is already there and ready on the box set. It wasn't a case of them not going back to the original tapes or film to make a new one. They could have easily ripped the track from the box blu off of the shelf itself and muxed it in. There are tons online freeware apps where anyone can do it themselves. The 7.1 track quite serviceable though, so it is not a deal-breaker.

    I have a solution though. Karl Pilkington mentioned that he had an uncle that had 2 TVs. One with a bad tube, the other with no sound, and he could watch TV by just tuning both to the same channel. Just set up 2 bluray players…..

    Guy, they got double dips to plan. It just wouldn’t be Halloween if it’s perfect the first time on a new format. Next one will have the proper mono track but the color timing will be FUBAR. Can’t wait to buy it AGAIN!

  9. I got this yesterday and watched it in both Dolby Vision and then in HDR10 (by disabling Dolby Vision in my Panasonic UB820 player). I also compared it then with the 35th anniversary Blu-ray. All this on a 65" LG OLED display.

    While the 4K shows more detail, the problem is the the black levels are inconsistent between Dolby Vision and HDR10, too lifted on the former and better on the latter, but the 35th anniversary Blu-ray still looks best.

    In terms of color, it looks very close to the 35th anniversary Blu-ray, which is the Dean Cundey approved transfer. But for me, I found the Blu-ray to look best overall.

    Which leads me to this: The problem with any 4K disc with HDR10 or Dolby Vision, is that due to the lack of any standards for calibration (or even the ability to calibrate those modes properly and accurately on any consumer display device), is that it's impossible to tell what's correct color or black levels. Every display device will vary, because of that – everyone will see it a bit differently, sometimes a lot differently. With the 1080p SDR/REC.709 35th anniversary Blu-ray, because SDR *is* properly "calibrate-able" per standards, it's easy to say with confidence how something looks – proper or not. But at least you know how it was intended to look. And everyone that has SDR calibrated to standards will see the same colors, etc.

    I do think this is an important point to make.

    Having said that, I will keep both discs, for the different commentary track and extras on the included 2007 Blu-ray that the 4K UHD disc comes with. The 35th anniversary Blu-ray has the same commentary track as the 4K disc.

  10. Tino

    I found the 4K superior to the 35th anniversary in Blu every aspect.

    I too viewed it in HDR on an LG 65 OLED.

    Yeah, the HDR is closer to the Blu-ray than the Dolby Vision, but it's a very subjective thing when talking about HDR (HDR10 or Dolby Vision) was my point, as no consumer market display can reproduce what the HDR master looks like, unlike SDR, where even a $500 display can reproduce REC.709 100% with 100 nits. SDR/Blu-ray is objective and you know you are looking at what the content creators intended. HDR is all over the place, especially on projectors.

    So some may like it more, it may look better subjectively, but it will never look the same to different people on different displays. And you will never know what it was intended to look like unfortunately.

  11. brap

    Just the first disc in the Complete Collection box set. It is an updated version of the 35th anniversary disc with a lossless Dolby TrueHD mono track. A link from DVD compare to shows that it is also available in this set.
    The 4K has a lossy incorrect mono track with the 4K 35th ann transfer and the SDR Blu in that set is the old 2007 disc with the same incorrect mono.

    The 2007 BD does have the correct mono, though it is Dolby Digital, not lossless.

    The added sound effects in the remix are too distracting for me, and folding it down to one channel also makes it sound more cramped than a properly engineered mono track would be. As with the 35th Anniversary disc, it seems the intention was to include the actual original mono track and something got mislabeled.

    Still, why does such a thing as a mono mixdown of a 5.1 or 7.1 remix even exist? I'm sure they prepare a 2.0 stereo version for broadcast purposes, but why mono?

  12. Robert Crawford

    Oh boy, watch out for incoming from some Halloween fans that aren't happy about the lack of mono audio or whatever other issue they may have with it. My copy arrives tomorrow and I'll be watching it as soon as my mail arrives to me.

    Nothing wrong with wanting the original audio of a film, especially when the new audio is revisionist (new foley effects, new or different placement of music etc.)!
    I watch Jaws, E.T. , Psycho, Vertigo only with the original audio and I'm very glad I have that option.

  13. Robert Crawford

    I'm with Tino, I sampled the 35th Anniversary after your morning post and to me the 4K/UHD is superior to that Blu-ray release. That's my opinion with my LG OLED.

    Could be in your case, and not in my case unfortunately. As I said, the additional resolution and detail is obvious, but the black levels and colors are not as accurate on my calibrated device. I've tried different solutions to calibrating HDR and Dolby Vision, but it's very, very limited (and actually broken if using CalMan Autocal, as I found out!), except of course for SDR, where mine is almost perfect using external 3D LUT box for calibration. So that's why perhaps the Blu-ray looks so good on mine. It's a 2018 C8 BTW.

  14. Konstantinos

    Nothing wrong with wanting the original audio of a film, especially when the new audio is revisionist (new foley effects, new or different placement of music etc.)!
    I watch Jaws, E.T. , Psycho, Vertigo only with the original audio and I'm very glad I have that option.

    I never said it was wrong.

  15. Will Krupp

    At $14.99 I couldn't resist, damnit. I need another copy of this like I need a hole in the head but oh well…..! <_<

    I can commiserate as I bought it, too, though I only had a previous DVD release.

  16. Matt Hough

    …If I can squeeze it in among last night's TV and Butterfield 8 that I recorded yesterday, I'll watch it today. If not, tomorrow.

    I feel ya. I managed to grab NIGHT WATCH (which I've never seen) and can't wait to watch it!

  17. The picture looks good. Nice grain levels and sharpness. Looks a bit washed out in daytime scenes to me but that could be the Dolby Vision. It's really a shame they messed up the mono track. There are only 2 tracks on the disc, it shouldn't have happened. I've lost count of how many times I've bought this film on LD, DVD and Blu-ray. but this was worth the $15 to upgrade.

  18. This was the first 4K disc I played on my new LG C8 55 and I found inconsistent black levels from the credits to the opening scene. I know I need more break-in time but that was surprising. GHOSTBUSTERS 4K has fantastic blacks by comparison.

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