"Halloween" takes place 40 years after the events of the 1978 "Halloween." Laurie Strode (Curtis) now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she's spent decades preparing for Michael's potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family––but this time, she's ready for him. (Gary Reber)
Special features include seven deleted and extended scenes (HD 12:42); five featurettes: "Back In Haddonfield: Making Halloween" (HD 06:05), "The Original Scream Queen" (HD 02:32), "The Sound Of Fear" (HD 03:19), "Journey Of The Mask" (HD 02:33) and "The Legacy Of Halloween" (HD 04:25); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in Hawk Scope using the Arri Alexa Mini and XST camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. Past editions in the franchise were photographed on film, so this is the first to be photographed digitally, the now de facto capture norm in making movies. The imagery is sharp and nicely revealing in fine detail. Facial features, skin pores, hair, clothing fabrics and object textures exhibit excellent resolution. Michael Meyers has aged and his weathered, densely lined facial features and what facial hair there is are nicely resolved, as is his trademark mask, which is worn and torn. Michael's carnage is imaged with saturated red blood. In essence, the wide color gamut delivers perfectly natural hues throughout. Fleshtones are also rendered naturally and revealing of differing skin variations. Atmospheric settings exhibit rich and warm colors, such as the natural fall setting, Halloween attire, and orange pumpkins. The color palette never fails to impress. HDR contrast is wide and extended with brilliant and natural whites and deep, solid blacks, with revealing shadow delineation. WOW! segments are from 27:45 to 30:56, 01:03:22 to 01:05:36, and 01:39:00 to 01:40:40.
The DTS:X/DTS HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack features John Carpenter's haunting music associated with the franchise. The musical engagement extends wide across the soundstage and subtly into the surrounds. As for surround engagement, the overall soundtrack is weak, instead focusing on a dynamic frontal presence. Fidelity and clarity are excellent throughout, with nuanced Foley sound effects well executed. Deep bass is limited to fundamentally support the music and is used sparingly to reinforce sound effects, such as shotgun sounds. Thus, gunshots lack thunderous power and depth. Dialogue is mostly the focus and is natural sounding with decent spatial integration.
The Immersive Sound elements consist of the extension of the orchestral score, a ticking clock, ambience sounds in the security asylum, wind, creaky woods, birds and cricket sounds, a helicopter, police sirens, a countertop closure, a shotgun blast, the wood floor shattering, thrashing sounds in the kitchen, and minor other ambience sounds. The sound designers have failed to optimize the height layer to create spatially dimensional soundscapes, leaving large gaps of silence.
Overall, the soundtrack does not take full advantage or make effective use of the height layer but generally provides a satisfying presentation. (Gary Reber)