Blu-ray Review: When a Stranger Calls

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Blu-ray Downlow

When A Stranger Calls - Blu-ray Cover

Distributor: Mill Creek Entertainment

Release Date: February 11, 2020

Region: Region A

Length: 01:37:22

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio: 2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes:Mill Creek Entertainment previously released this film on Blu-ray with Happy Birthday to Me occupying the same disc. However, this is the first time that it has received its own release on this format in North America.

WASC - TITLE

“Instead of building toward a climax, Stranger strings together three awkward, vaguely related segments.” –Robert Hughes (Time, November 12, 1979)

It is telling that When a Stranger Calls was expanded from an earlier short that was co-written and directed by Fred Walton and released in 1977. The film was entitled The Sitter and was based on a famous urban legend about a babysitter who is menaced by creepy phone calls that eventually become threatening. It turns out that the calls are…

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Blu-ray Review: The Thing (2011)

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Blu-ray Downlow

TT2011 - Blu-ray Cover.jpg

Distributor: Mill Creek Entertainment

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Region: Region A

Length: 01:42:56

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio: 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Ratio: 2.40:1

Notes:Universal previously released this title on Blu-ray using the VC1 codec. Mill Creek offers a marginally superior transfer than those earlier discs.

TT2011 - Title

“I saw John Carpenter’s version when I was about 16, and it just blew me away. It was one of those movies that sparked the filmmaker in me, when I was young. It was always a special movie. And when they approached me, the fact that they wanted to do a take on this Norwegian story as being European, was sort of interesting to me. To make a sort of American movie with strong European influences, that was tempting.” –Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (Io9, October 13, 2011)

I refused to watch this film for the longest…

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Blu-ray Review: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Blu-ray Downlow

SSTTITD - Blu-ray Review

Distributor: Lionsgate Films

Release Date: November 05, 2019

Region: Region A

Length: 01:47:57

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio: 5.1 English Dolby TrueHD

Alternate Audio:

English Descriptive Audio
5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish

Ratio: 2.39:1

Notes:4K UHD and DVD editions of this title are also available. This package comes with a DVD disc and a code to redeem a digital copy of the film.

SSTTITD - One Sheet

WARNING:THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS. THOSE WHO WISH TO VIEW THIS MOVIE WITH FRESH EYES ARE ENCOURAGED NOT TO READ THIS UNTIL THEY HAVE SEEN THE FILM.

“When we started talking about this about five years ago, I had to think about it… Anthology films are always as bad as the worst story in them—they’re never as good as the best story… Then I remembered in Pan’s Labyrinth, I created a book called the ‘Book of Crossroads.’ I…

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Blu-ray Review: Ringu (Ring)

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Blu-ray Downlow

Ringu Blu-ray Cover

Distributor: Arrow Video

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Region: Region A & B

Length: 01:35:16

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio:

2.0 Japanese Linear PCM Audio

5.1 Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes:Arrow was forced by trademark restrictions to release this Blu-ray using the transliteration “Ringu” (an erroneous title that J-Horror fanatics tend to despise) on the packaging in the US. They are also releasing a boxed set that includes Rasen, Ringu 2, and Ringu… entitled “The Ringu Collection.”

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“The remake thing did not happen just for Asian horror remakes, Hitchcock remade [one of] his own British thrillers. Kurosawa’s Seven Samuraiand Yojimbo were well re-made—or cleverly adapted. In that sense, I am honored that three of my films, Jyoyu-rei, Ringu, and Dark Water were re-made. At the same time, I did have mixed feelings like, ‘Why can’t my Japanese…

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Blu-ray Review: An American Werewolf in London [Limited Edition]

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Blu-ray Downlow

AAWIL Blu-ray Cover.jpg

Distributor: Arrow Video

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Region: Region A & B

Length: 01:37:16

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio:

5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

English Mono Linear PCM Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes: This is a limited edition release. Those interested in adding it to their collections should do so as soon as possible.

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“John Landis must have entertained greater aspirations for his new movie, An American Werewolf in London, than the dismaying results he’s stuck with—a wasted clever title and a minor fiasco destined for an obscure niche in the scrapheap of horror movies.” –Gary Arnold (In The Ghoul Of The Evening, The Washington Post, August 21, 1981)

Time makes liars of us all. Mr. Arnold may have been a fair film critic, but it is safe to say that he wasn’t much of a psychic. An American Werewolf in London is now…

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4K UHD Blu-ray Review: The Shining

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Blu-ray Downlow

The Shining - UHD Cover

Distributor: Warner Brothers

Release Date: October 01, 2019

Region: Region Free

Length: 02:23:47

Video: 2160P (HEVC, H.265)

Main Audio: 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Alternate Audio:

5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital
5.1 French Dolby Digital (640 kbps)
2.0 Italian Dolby Digital
5.1 German Dolby Digital
5.1 Polish Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Italian SDH, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, German SDH, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin (Traditional), Korean, Thai, Arabic, and Romanian

Ratio: 1.78:1

Notes:This package contains a Blu-ray disc that contains a 1080P transfer of the 4K remaster. This disc is not available in its own Blu-ray edition, so this is the only way that one can upgrade to this superior transfer on the Blu-ray format. A digital copy of the film is also included with this release.

Shining - Title.jpg

“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and a large fries from McDonald’s.” –Stephen King

It…

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4K UHD Blu-ray Review: Pan’s Labyrinth

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Blu-ray Downlow

PL - UHD Cover.jpg

Distributor: Warner Brothers

Release Date: October 17, 2019

Region:

4K UHD — Region Free

Blu-ray — Region A

Length: 01:59:09

Video:

4K UHD — Up-scaled 2160P (HEVC, H.265)

Blu-ray — 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Audio:

4K UHD — 5.1 Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio

Blu-ray

7.1 Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio

5.1 Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes:This package also contains a Blu-ray disc and a digital copy of the film. However, the included Blu-ray is exactly the same disc that Warner Brothers released in 2007 and is not a remaster. The Criterion Collection gave the film a newly remastered Blu-ray release in 2016 that was supervised by Guillermo del Toro.

PL - Title.jpg

“Any studio would have been horrified by the violence inflicted towards or by children… In American movies, they are incredibly safe and un-complex characters, but the worst years of my life were my childhood. If you’re a…

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