Halloween: The Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

In time for the trick or treating season, Michael Myers is back for his favorite holiday with the Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory release of Halloween: The Complete Collection – which features John Carpenter’s Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of The Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2.

Halloween: The Complete Collection is the perfect treat for a scary night.
Halloween: The Complete Collection is the perfect treat for a scary night.

The set was also released in a deluxe edition that included a bonus disc of features for 1978’s John Carpenter’s Halloween, the TV Cut of 1981’s Halloween II, the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, and a bonus disc of features for 2007’s Rob Zombie’s Halloween.

Along with great presentation and sound of all the Halloween films, fans of the franchise will love the incredible bonus features accompanying each of the films. While some of the bonus material has appeared in other releases, there is a wealth of new features to help make the set worth the purchase price – including new audio commentaries, “making of” looks, and interviews. Simply put, this is the set to own if you are a fan of the Halloween series or the genre of horror it helped shape. Not all the films are as good as the original, but they all manage to keep you on the edge of your seat as Michael stalks his prey.
1978’s John Carpenter’s Halloween helped reimagine the horror genre and gave audiences a reason to fear a guy walking around in a William Shatner mask. Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, in the role that would cement her Scream Queen status forever, the film is loaded with atmosphere and terror as Carpenter and company slowly plays out the story of Michael Myers – who butchered his sister with a kitchen knife and was committed to a mental institution. Treated for 15 years by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), Michael escapes from the institute and heads back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night to terrorize babysitter Laurie Strode (Curtis).

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Bonus features included with Halloween:
HD transfer supervised and approved by cinematographer Dean Cundey
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey, Editor Tommy Lee Wallace And The Shape, Nick Castle
Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
“The Night She Came Home” Featurette
“On Location: 25 Years Later” Featurette
TV Version Footage
Television Spots
Theatrical Trailer
TV and Radio Spots

The Deluxe Edition of the Halloween set features added bonus material including:
Audio Commentary With Co-Writer/Director John Carpenter, Actress Jamie Lee Curtis and Co-Writer/Producer Debra Hill
Halloween: A Cut Above The Rest
Theatrical Trailer
TV and Radio Spots
1981’s Halloween II manages to keep the franchise thrills intact by starting minutes after the first film finished and matching much of the atmosphere provided in Carpenter’s original film. The sequel sees Myers didn’t quite die in the first film and is still on the hunt – this time roaming the halls of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Dr. Loomis again faces off against the evil that is behind the mask. While not as good as the original, the sequel is the best of the films that followed Carpenter’s first tale.

Bonus features included with Halloween II:
Audio commentary with director Rick Rosenthal and actor Leo Rossi
Audio commentary with stunt co-ordinator/actor Dick Warlock
“The Nightmare Isn’t Over: The Making Of Halloween II” – Featuring Rick Rosenthal, Lance Guest, Dick Warlock, Alan Howarth, Dean Cundey, Leo Rossi and Moore…
“Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: The Locations of Halloween II” – Host Sean Clark revisits the original shooting locations of the film
Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary from director Rick Rosenthal
Alternate Ending with Optional Audio Commentary from director Rick Rosenthal
Theatrical Trailer
TV and Radio Spots
Still Gallery
The Deluxe Edition of the Halloween set features added the TV Cut of Halloween II – which features added footage not seen in the theatrical cut.
1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch sees the franchise move in a totally different direction for a tale that manages to work even if it isn’t what fans of the franchise were wanting. Moving away from Myers, the third film’s plot follows toy maker Silver Shamrock Novelties and its founder Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy) unleashing a plan to brainwash children everywhere. It is up to Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie (Stacey Nelkin) to save the day.

The idea for the third film was to see the franchise branch out and start finding new terrors each Halloween to bring to the screen. The film isn’t as bad as its legacy, and manages to keep you interested in the plot. Had it been a success, it would have been interesting to see where the franchise would have headed next.

Bonus features included with Halloween III: Season of the Witch:
Audio Commentary with director Tommy Lee Wallace
“Stand Alone: The Making Of Halloween III: Season Of The Witch” featuring Tommy Lee Wallace, Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dick Warlock, Dean Cundey and more
“Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” – Revisiting the original shooting locations
Still Gallery
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers has the franchise correct the mistakes of Season of the Witch by bringing Myers back a decade after his butchering of 16 people. This time Michael is after his niece Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) and her babysitter Rachel (Ellie Cornell). Luckily, Dr. Loomis returns to stop Michael again.

The Return of Michael Myers righted the franchise and gave fans what they wanted as Michael hacks and slashes his way through Haddonfield. It also featured some solid twists that lived up to the thrills of the first film.

Bonus features included with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers:
Audio Commentary with Actors Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris
Audio Commentary with Director Dwight H. Little and Author Justin Beahm
Theatrical Trailer
1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers finds Michael once again showing how hard he is to kill as he returns a year after the events of the last film and now has a telepathic bond with his niece Jamie (Danielle Harris). With Michael on his way back to Haddonfield, Dr. Loomis designs a plan to put an end to Michael by using Jamie as bait to lure the silent killer to his childhood home.

Bonus features included with Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers:
Audio Commentary with Actor Don Shanks and Jeffrey Landman
Audio Commentary with Director Dominique Othenin-Girard and Actors Danielle Harris And Jeffrey Landman
Halloween 5: On The Set
Halloween 5: Original Promo
Theatrical Trailer
1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers sees the franchise boogey man return again six years after Dr. Loomis thought he was finally dead. This time there is no escape and Michael is happy to hack and slash anyone who gets in his way. The film also reveals new secrets about the famous killer.

The franchise is starting to show some signs of staleness, but is still worth watching. The movie has some wild twist – some work and some do not. It is also the last time we get to see the legendary Donald Pleasence in the role he defined.

Bonus features included with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers:
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Still Gallery
The Deluxe Edition of the Halloween set features:
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Producer’s Cut
NEW High Definition Master from the original inter-negative
NEW Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Daniel Farrands and Composer Alan Howarth (Producer’s Cut)
NEW “Jamie’s Story” – An Interview With The Original “Jamie” Actress Danielle Harris
NEW “The Cursed ‘Curse’” – An Interview With Producers Malek Akkad And Paul Freeman
NEW “Acting Scared “– A Look At The Film’s Cast With Actresses Mariah O’Brien And J.C. Brandy
NEW “The Shape Of Things” – A Look At Michael Myers’ Murders And Mayhem With Special Make-Up Effects Artists John Carl Buechler And Brad Hardin And Actor George P. Wilbur (Michael Myers)
NEW “Haddonfield’s Horrors” – The Sights of Halloween The Curse of Michael Myers With Director of Photography Billy Dickson And Production Designer Brad Ryman And Director of Photography (Additional Scenes) Thomas Callaway
NEW “Full Circle” – An Interview With Composer Alan Howarth
NEW Cast And Crew Tribute to Donald Pleasance
Archival Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Behind-The-Scenes Footage (approx. 30 Minutes)
Alternate And Deleted Scenes (Not Present In Either Cut Of The Film)
Teaser Trailer: Halloween 666: The Origin Of Michael Myers
1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later benefits from Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis return to the franchise and a fresh start to its storyline. Now the heavily medicated headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode (Curtis) lives a quiet life and is extremely over-protective of her son (Josh Hartnett). Hiding away with his girlfriend (Michelle Williams) and their friends, a fun weekend becomes a night of terror as Michael shows up to stalk the teenagers and face-off against Laurie once and for all.

While it has some faults, Halloween H20 corrected a lot of the problems of the franchise and manages to be entertaining from start to finish. The lack of Loomis is noticeable, but the talented cast keeps you hooked on the characters. It is also great to see Curtis back in the genre she helped create, but packing a different attitude from the scared girl we met back in 1978.

Bonus features included with Halloween H20:
NEW Commentary with Director Steve Miner And Jamie Lee Curtis, Moderated By Sean Clark
NEW “The Making of Halloween H20” Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Nancy Stephens, Adam Hann-Byrd, Tom Kane, Editor Patrick Lussier, Producer Malek Akkad, Producer Paul Freeman, Composer John Ottman, Chris Durand (Michael Myers), Writer Robert Zappia, Stunt Co-Ordinator Donna Keegan, Make-Up Brad Hardin And Cinematographer Daryn Okada
Vintage Interviews and Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Theatrical Trailer
halloween ressurection
2002’s Halloween: Resurrection lets Michael enter the age of reality programing as he takes on a group of teenagers who are filming themselves spending the night in Michael’s childhood home. The film has a few good moments, but is a far cry from the greatness of other franchise entries. Even with Curtis returning, it seems to lack some of the magic.

Bonus features included with Halloween: Resurrection:
Audio Commentary With Director Rick Rosenthal And Editor Robert A. Ferretti
Alternate Endings
Deleted Scenes
Featurette: “Head Cam”
Storyboard Analysis
Set Tour With Production Designer Troy Hansen
Set Interview With Jamie Lee Curtis
Vintage Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Theatrical Trailer
Home Video TV Spots
2007’s Rob Zombie’s Halloween sees the franchise get rebooted in a brutal origin tale that sheds more light on Michael’s early days before moving into the classic story of Michael’s escape and rampage through Haddonfield. The film manages to capture some of the shocks and scares of Carpenter’s original while maintaining the visual style of Zombie (which some like and others hate).

It may not live up to the original film, but Zombie doesn’t shy away from the violence and evil that made Michael Myers the ultimate boogie man.

Bonus features included in Rob Zombie’s Halloween:
Unrated Director’s Cut With Audio Commentary By Writer/Director Rob Zombie
Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary
Alternate Ending With Optional Commentary
Featurette: “The Many Faces Of Michael Myers”
Re-Imagining Halloween
Meet The Cast
Casting Sessions
Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test
Theatrical Trailer

The Deluxe Edition of the Halloween set features:
“Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween (4 ½ hours)
2009’s Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 finds the director continuing to put his own spin on the Halloween franchise for a sequel to his origin tale that is far from great and at times laughable. Like the first sequel to Carpenter’s original film, Zombie’s Halloween 2 picks up moments after the end of his first film as Myers (looking like a homeless man in a hoodie) returns to kill yet again.

Everything that worked in Zombie’s first film seems to fail in its follow-up, and leaves you wishing it would just end. Zombie again manages to get the violence and evil of Michael right, but the film seems disconnected from the rest of the franchise and even Zombie’s first outing.

Bonus features included with Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2:
Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Rob Zombie
Deleted And Alternate Scenes
Audition Footage
Make-Up Test Footage
Blooper Reel
Captain Clegg And The Night Creatures Music Videos
Uncle Seymour Coffins’ Stand-Up Routines

Fans of the Halloween franchise will find plenty to love with the Halloween: The Complete Collection and diehard Myers fans will want to pick up the Deluxe Edition of the set. While the sequels never quite live up to the greatness of the Carpenter’s first film, Michael Myers is a horror icon and the franchise is a perfect way to kill a few hours on that spooky night of the year.

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