Halloween (1978) | Scream Factory Collector’s Edition | 4K Blu-ray Review


Scream Factory is taking their own stab at the first five Halloween films on 4K. While they had some delays in production and distribution, they are finally hitting shelves and people’s front porches. If you have not picked it up yet, let’s see if it’s worth the collector’s edition price, especially if you already own a different release.


If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Scream Factory’s Halloween, 4K Blu-ray cover art

Tech Specs:

Format(s):UltraHD/4K Blu-ray (BD-100)
Blu-ray (2x BD-50)
Released By:Scream Factory
Release Date:October 5th, 2021
Video Format / Codec:4K: H.265 (HEVC)
BR: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Resolution:4K: 
Native 4K, 2160/24p 
(3280 x 2160 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)

BR: 
Full HD, 1080/24p 
(1920 x 1080 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)
Digital Intermediate (DI):4K (from 35mm negatives)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect Ratio:2.39:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K/BR):
Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 (48khz, 24-bit)
DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (48khz, 24-bit)
Subtitles:English SDH
Packaging:3-disc snap case w/ rigid slipcover*

*Slipcover may only be available on initial pressing
Region Coding:4K: Region-free
BR(s): Region A (locked)

Video Review:

Getting right to the point, this release of the film looks great. It has a high level of detail from their new 4K scan of the original film negatives, looking as good, or slightly better than the 2018 Lionsgate release. Details in costumes, scenery, skin all are revealed and likely as sharp as they can be given the source material. 

As this was captured on film, in the late 70s, and is a very dark film, one would absolutely expect there to be film grain present, their expectations would be met. This release manages that film grain well, preserving its detail, shape and natural presence, without letting it become distracting (unless you hate all film grain).

Along with the new scan, comes a new color grade. It’s clear Scream Factory looked to try to take this back towards a more natural look and feel than many of the other releases in the last 15 years, although it likely still is not accurate. Colors that need to be are punchy, but natural (greens, oranges, reds all stand out) without being comically bright. The overall color grade tends towards cooler, bluer tint rather than the overly warmed up grade of other releases. Overall I think it was a well handled, middle-ground approach to the color.

Black levels are still dark and inky, with shadow details being preserved, without sacrificing the dark, moody atmosphere of the shots. Whites in well lit scenes are white, and capture that natural cool blue tint in the darker scenes, but both look natural and appropriate with the overall esthetic. Highlight details are better managed, however there are still some very intermittent signs of blown highlights in select scenes, but nothing overly egregious.

The included 1080p version in this release is also very well presented, although due to the technology it definitely cannot handle the darks and lights with the same aplomb as the 4K, but overall it also looks very good.

Video Score (4K): 4.7 / 5

Video Score (BR): 4.5 / 5

Audio Review:

Scream Factory typically gives us some options on how to listen to their collector’s edition releases, and this is no exception. We get the default 2.0 (stereographic) mono track which is meant to reflect the original audio. Then we also get a 5.1 surround mix and a brand new Atmos mix. The 2.0 mono track sounds appropriate for the vintage of the movie. While it’s a bit thin, it’s certainly not hollow sounding. On the other end of the spectrum is the Atmos mix, which sounds not too dissimilar from the previous 7.1 mixes, but just with some added ambiance and a wider stage for effects to come into your listening space. The subs definitely get to work a little harder but it’s not going to be massively bass-heavy, and the heights and surrounds get some activity creating more environmental and score presence. Overall it’s a good solid track, but not one I would demo. Lastly, the 5.1 mix is probably the weakest of the three, not really adding much over the mono, and coming in a bit anemic when compared to the Atmos mix.

Audio Score (4K/BR): 4.0 / 5

Special Features and Packaging:

Scream Factory did a great job of collecting past edition special releases and giving the fan of the film a lot to experience. Between audio commentaries, numerous featurettes, interviews, behind the scenes and tv spots, there’s a whole lot to choose from. And in addition to the remastered cuts of the film, we also get the “Original color timing” version (although to me this looks a lot like the 2007 release, being overly warm and white), the extended edition of the film as well as the TV cut. It should be noted that the extended edition includes certain scenes in standard definition as that was what was available to the team.

From a packaging standpoint, I really appreciated the custom artwork on the release as well as the reversible cover art on the case. The rigid slipcase has a great feel and looks great when on display. And the case itself does a decent job keeping everything secure and safe, although it is not uncommon for that style of case to see a disc come loose in transit.

Features Score: 4.8 / 5

Buy/Upgrade-worthiness:

Here’s the thing. If you are a huge fan of this film, this 4K release offers just that much more than the 2018 release to make you want to have it, from equal detail, to a very good color grade, huge selection of features and a premium packaging, it’s definitely the one to get. However, if you already own the 2018 4K release, it may be hard to justify picking this up in addition. Given it’s premium price, you would likely want to consider selling your 2018 version to offset this cost. And if you are not into the collector’s features and just really like the film itself, I’m not sure the difference in image and audio is enough to sway you to spend the extra money.

If you just own a past Blu-ray, this, as well as the 2018 4K, are both superior in picture and audio quality to any standalone Blu-ray release, so you can’t go wrong with either one.


Buy/Upgrade Recommendation: Yes, but…

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Summary and Overall Scores:

I was overjoyed to see Scream Factory take their own stab at a 4K release for this iconic horror flick. They put together a really nice and compelling offering for collector’s. If you are a fan, this is definitely a great one to have up on the shelf.

Experience Score**: 4.5 / 5  (Excellent)

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

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