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Halloween: Restored Limited Edition

In 1978 John Carpenter's Halloween launched a new sub-genre of horror — the slasher film. While the template has stayed mostly the same (a mute, faceless maniac stalking sexy teenage girls and their suitors), very few have managed to match Carpenter's thoughtful, cinematic approach. Like his killer, Michael Myers, Carpenter is patient and methodical. Unlike his peers within the cheap horror school, he also adds an arresting point of view and dashes of lyricism where one least expects to find it. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, as heroine Laurie, and the great, creepy Donald Pleasence as a psychiatrist familiar with pure evil, this limited two-disc edition (only 30,000 numbered copies are in print) is terrific, starting with the incredible 2.35:1 widescreen transfer (pan-and-scan is also available). For a movie that was murky and dull on cable and video, this bright, crisp, beautiful transfer is a revelation. Audio is available in a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix or the original 1.0 mono, but the most consistent mix is the 2.0 Dolby Surround. One disc features the original theatrical release and several extras, including publicity stills, theatrical, TV, and radio spots, and a half-hour retrospective about the Halloween phenomenon. The other disc contains a second version of the film, including 12 minutes of additional footage shot for television.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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