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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Enfant du Diable" )

 

directed by Peter Medak
Canada 1980

 

George C. Scott stars in this chilling ghost story, one of the most acclaimed and terrifying horror films of all time.

Following the tragic death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, composer John Russell leaves the city and retires to an old mansion in the hope of rebuilding his life. The peace and quiet he craves is soon disturbed however. Unexplained noises are just the beginning. Convinced there is a supernatural presence in the house he enlists the help a local historian. What they uncover is more shocking than he could ever have imagined.
 

***

After his wife and daughter are killed in a snowplow accident, composer John Russell (George C. Scott) returns to Seattle to teach music at his alma mater. The local historical society rents him a long abandoned mansion where he will have plenty of room to work. However, he is not alone in the house. A barrage of clanging sounds wake him up at the same time every night. In a hidden attic room, he discovers a music box whose tune is the one he has been composing. With the help of historical society representative Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere), John digs into the past of the house and discovers the accidental death of a little girl; however, a seánce reveals that the spirit to be that of a crippled little boy whose spirit will not rest until John uncovers the truth behind his murder.

A subtle and genuinely scary ghost story, THE CHANGELING hits most of the right notes for both subtle chills and jump out of your skin shocks. Johnny Coquillon's (STRAW DOGS) alternates effectively between Steadicam and handheld cinematography just as Rick Wilkins' score alternates between low strings and jump scare bombast.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 March 1980

Reviews                                                                     More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL vs. Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Review!

1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

2) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

 

  

    

 

Distribution

Momentum Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:42:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:46:49.111 1:46:49.111
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.66 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 46,022,412,505 bytes

Feature: 34,378,718,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 48,869,689,991 bytes

Feature: 33,273,219,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Second Sight Blu-ray

Bitrate Severin Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo); German (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono); Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono); Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3350 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3350 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1579 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1579 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1750 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1750 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, non English (SDH), none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Momentum Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Peter Medak
• Animated Photo Gallery (3:57)
• English, German, Spanish, and Italian Menu Options

DVD Release Date: 21 Oct 2002
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Second Sight

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 46,022,412,505 bytes

Feature: 34,378,718,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with director Peter Medak and producer Joel B. Michaels
• 'The House on Cheesman Park' - The Haunting True Story of The Changeling (17:31)
• 'The Music of The Changeling' – Interview with Music Arranger Kenneth Wannberg (8:59)
• 'Building The House of Horror' – Interview with Art Director Reuben Freed (10:56)
• 'The Psychotronic Tourist' – The Changeling (16:02)
• 'Master of Horror Mick Garris on The Changeling' (5:31)
• Trailer (2:18), TV Spot (0:29)
• Reversible sleeve with new artwork by Christopher Shy and original poster artwork
s

 

Original Soundtrack CD
40 page perfect-bound booklet with new essay by Kevin Lyons, original production notes and archive on-set interview
Double-sided poster featuring new artwork by Christopher Shy and original poster artwork

Blu-ray Release Date: August 13th, 2018

Rigid slipcase  Blu-ray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Severin

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 48,869,689,991 bytes

Feature: 33,273,219,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with director Peter Medak and producer Joel B. Michaels
• 'The House on Cheesman Park' - The Haunting True Story of The Changeling (17:32)
• 'The Music of The Changeling' – Interview with Music Arranger Kenneth Wannberg (8:58)
• 'Building The House of Horror' – Interview with Art Director Reuben Freed (10:54)
• 'The Psychotronic Tourist' – The Changeling (16:02)
• 'Master of Horror Mick Garris on The Changeling' (5:30)
• Trailer (2:17), TV Spot (0:27)

Stills Gallery (8:52)
 

Original Soundtrack CD

Blu-ray Release Date: August 7th, 2018

Custom Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Severin (August 2018):

NOTE:  this is the Severin Limited Edition, but there is also a 'standard' Blu-ray edition HERE., that appears not to include the CD soundtrack (LE cited as "Only 5,000 units with a bonus Embossed Slip Cover and CD Soundtrack!").

This appears to be almost the exact same technical transfer (also 4K-restored) and extras as the Second Sight. It has the same running time to the 1/1000th of a second. But colors have a shift and the Severin's are cooler with the Second Sight's being warmer and richer (see Scott's red sweater). It's a minor difference in the large scheme of things but we do like, even slight, differences. There is no difference in the frame but the pixels have moved around a bit (see chimney in the second large capture). So, to list the disparity:

1) Slightly different color representation (see matched captures below) but also a max'ed out bitrate on a dual-layered Blu-ray disc. We've included 4 matched captures below.

2) Severin audio also offers lossy DUB options (Spanish, Italian, German) but like the Second Sight also has lossless 2.0 and 5.1 channel (but only 16-bit)

3) Severin extras include a stills gallery

4) Different positioning of English (SDH) subtitles - see sample below

5) Different cover art / packaging

Also a great set - some may prefer the addition of the stills gallery while some may prefer the 24-bit audio over the 16-bit. It's great to have choices - the film gets better every time you see it! Also strongly recommended!

***

(July 2018) - Second Sight's Blu-ray is cited as a "Brand new 4K scan and restoration". It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and the 1080P image is a significant advancement over the 2002 DVD. I suspect that it will be, pretty much, the same package (same extras, transfer etc.) as the Severin Limited Edition, but there is also a 'standard' Blu-ray edition HERE. We will eventually verify this. In the new 4K-restoration skin tones warm, detail rises, there is more information in the frame and colors become richer (see Scott's red sweater.) The captures tell you as much as I can about the superiority excepting that it is also lovely in-motion. It's a dynamite image in, and around, the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

Audio gives the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel track or a robust 5.1 surround bump via a DTS-HD Master - both at 24-bit. There are some very spooky effects - creaking doors, distant music and child-like noises that come through very effectively via the uncompressed adding depth and separation (in the case of the surround). There is also a good score by Rick Wilkins, who did a few TV series after The Changeling. It can be quite subtle but works wonderfully well. There are optional English subtitles (SDH) - see sample -  on the Region FREE Blu-ray.

There are plenty of extras included starting with the audio commentary with director Peter Medak and producer Joel B. Michaels discussing many of the production facets, the performers (Medak's fear of Scott's reputation and an interesting story regarding chess), the storyline and generally revealing details about directing The Changeling. There are five featurettes; 'The House on Cheesman Park' is fascinating 17-minutes about the true story of The Changeling and the haunted house it is based upon. We get a 9-minute piece on 'The Music of The Changeling' which amount to an interview with arranger Kenneth Wannberg. 'Building The House of Horror' is an 11-minute interview with Art Director Reuben Freed discussing the film's precise look and feel. 'The Psychotronic Tourist' – The Changeling runs over 1/4 hour and is produced by Severin and has a fun edge to it. 'Master of Horror Mick Garris talks about The Changeling' for about 5.5 minutes. There is also a trailer and TV Spot accessible on the dual-layered Blu-ray. The package has a reversible sleeve with new artwork by Christopher Shy plus some original, double-sided, poster artwork a swell as a second disc original soundtrack CD, and a 40 page perfect-bound booklet with new essay by Kevin Lyons, original production notes and archive on-set interview.

One of the best of the Canadian-made, haunted-house, horror films and it has many unforgettable, frighteningly creepy, scenes. The 4K-restored Blu-ray package is outstanding - a max'ed out transfer, two audio options, commentary, many featurettes, a book - beautiful package - fans should buy with extreme confidence. Very strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

ON THE UK PAL DVD: Also available in an anamorphic but barebones US DVD, Momentum Pictures' excellent anamorphic dual-layered R2 PAL transfer is a port of the German Kinowelt release with multiple menu language options, four audio languages, and six subtitle options. This release bests the US release with a director's commentary by Peter Medak.

Only the English track is in stereo (and very effective it is with placement of offscreen sounds and ghostly voices) while the other three language tracks are in mono. Neither release features a trailer or any of the spooky US TV spots for the film.

 - Eric Cotenas

 

NOTE:

 

 

 


DVD Menus
 

 

Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

NOTE: The Severin has the exact same extras as the Second Sight (above) as well as an extensive Stills Gallery (below)

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION


Subtitle sample

 

1) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

2) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

2) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

2) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Momentum - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

 

  

    

 

Distribution

Momentum Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

Second Sight - Region FREE - Blu-ray Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 





 

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Gary Tooze

Thank You!