An American Werewolf In London 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 260, March/April 2022

WSR Score4
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Arrow Video
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John Landis
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"An American Werewolf In London" combines macabre horror with dark humor in the lycanthropic classic. American tourists David (David Haughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are savaged by an unidentified vicious animal whilst hiking on the Yorkshire Moors. David awakes in a London hospital to find his friend dead and his life in disarray. Retiring in the home of a beautiful nurse (Jenny Agutter) to recuperate, he soon experiences disturbing changes to his mind and body, undergoing a full-moon transformation that will unleash terror on the street of the capital. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by "Beware The Moon" filmmaker Paul Davis, commentary by Actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, "Mark Of The Beast: The Legacy Of The Universal Werewolf" documentary (HD 77:18) "An American Filmmaker In London" interview with Director John Landis (HD 11:41), interview with Landis (SD 18:21), 11 featurettes: "I Walked With A Werewolf" (SD 07:31), "Casting Of The Hand" (SD 10:59), "Makeup Artist Rick Baker" (SD 11:15), "Making An American Werewolf In London" (SD 04:54), "An American Werewolf's In Bob's Basement" (HD 04:19), "Beware The Moon" (SD 97:40), "The Werewolf's Call" (HD 11:26), "Wares Of The Wolf" (HD 07:58), "Causing A Disturbance: Piccadilly Revisited" (HD 06:35), "I Think He's A Jew: The Werewolf's Secret" (HD 1:26) and Storyboards (SD 02:27); outtakes (SD 03:07); image gallery; theatrical trailer; teaser trailer; TV and radio spots; reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys; six double-sided postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; double-sided foldout poster and limited edition 60-page perfect bound book.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film using the Arriflex 35 BL camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate. The original 35mm camera negative was scanned in 4K 16-bit resolution at NBC Universal Post. The key grading reference was a prior HD master approved by director John Landis.

Film grain, except for the opening credit scenes on the Yorkshire Moors, which exhibit softness, is fine and not objectionable. The picture exhibits natural fidelity qualities with nicely saturated hues. Flesh tones are generally rendered naturally with a few exceptions. Contrast is well balanced with deep black levels, darkened shadows and natural white levels. Resolution exhibits fine detail in facial features, clothing and object textures, especially during closeups. Especially impressive is the horrifyingly realistic transformation scene. The gruesome facial makeup on the living-dead Jack is noticeably detailed. This new 4K transfer is the best this spellbinding horror classic has ever looked. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is repurposed from the original mono mix and remastered at Deluxe Audio. The 5.1 mix was originally created by NBC Universal at Twickenham Film Studios, however the original 5.1 master print image reels were newly remastered by Arrow Films at Deluxe Audio to correct for a pitch error introduced in the original mix. The sound is generally slightly compressed but the repurposing is nicely dimensional with at times directional surrounds. Atmospherics are realistic and sound effects are effective and exciting, especially in the mayhem in Piccadilly Circus, Foley sound effects are precise. The music is orchestral plus other varied genres with generally acceptable fidelity, Dialogue is intelligible and well integrated spatially. This is an engaging soundtrack that delivers plenty of comedic elements. (Gary Reber)