Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DVD Review: Hellraiser 20th Anniversery Edition

As you can tell by my previous article on Clive Barker, I'm a bit of a fan.

Out of all of his film work, three really stand out. Candyman, Lord of Illusions and Hellraiser.

Hellraiser stands out as a great horror film by a first time director. It is visually stunning and pretty original. So when I got a copy of the "20th Anniversary Edition" of the film two things went through my head.

1) I am getting old...twenty years already?


2) This better be a decent presentation.

But how does this dvd hold up?

In a word, fantastic.

Now to clarify, the version I am reviewing is Hellraiser The 20th Anniversary Edition that appeared in 2007 and then re-released as part of The Hellraiser boxed set that was released last year (along with a blu-ray version of the film and Hellraiser 2's special edition).

Picture quality is actually a lot better then I expected. Very little grain, blacks are black, light is light. The only thing that is worth noting is like all films made in England during that era you can tell it was made in England due to the film stock. It's a little sad however that how well this little low budget English film looks compared to some more expensive modern Hollywood horror films.

Sound is also excellent and I must admit, I watched it at home by myself and there were a few back speaker noises that caught me off guard. Chris Young's score still sounds magnificent after all of these years.

As for extras, there are plenty. One that is particularly good is Hellraiser: Resurrection which is a making of documentary that covers most of the bases. There are also a whack of solo interviews with the various stars and a commentary track features Barker and star Ashley Laurence which contains information and a good sense of humor.

If you are a fan of horror, this dvd should be in your collection.

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