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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Fright Night [Blu-ray]

 

(Tom Holland, 1985)

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time / Sony Pictures (Germany) / Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) / Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) / Eureka (UK)

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (all 5) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:46:25.921 1:46:27.841 / 1:46:27.422 / 1:46:28.382 / 1:46:31.426

Disc Size: 23,844,845,146 bytes / 24,714,786,445 bytes / 44,298,147,722 bytes  / 24,714,786,463 bytes / 48,464,214,974 bytes

Feature Size: 23,328,006,144 bytes / 24,064,505,856 byte / 35,771,492,352 bytes  / 24,064,505,856 bytes  / 33,824,702,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps / 25.07 Mbps / 30.00 Mbps  / 25.07 Mbps  / 34.10 Mbps

Chapters: 11 / 16 / 24  / 24  / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both) / White Transparent BD case  / Transparent case

Release date: December, 2011 / September 18th, 2014 / January 2015  / November 5th, 2014  / April 10th, 2017

 

Video (all five):

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3794 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3794 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1658 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1658 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3794 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3794 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2100 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2100 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2060 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2060 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2052 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2052 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1658 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1658 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3793 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3793 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

English, English (SDH). Arabic , Bulgarian , Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Czech, Japanese, Portuguese, none

 

English (SDH), none

 

English, English (SDH). Arabic , Bulgarian , Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Czech, Japanese, Portuguese, none

 

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Isolated Score Track

• 2 Trailers (1:21, 1:27)

Julie Kirgo liner notes

 

None

 

Twilight Time Limited Edition of 5,000. 106 minutes, 1985 release.
Commentary with Writer/Director Tom Holland, Actors Chris Sarandon & Jonathan Stark, and Moderated by Filmmaker Tim Sullivan
Second Commentary with Writer/Director Tom Holland, Actors William Ragsdale & Stephen Geoffreys, FX Artist Randall Cook, and Moderated by Journalist Jeremy Smith and Filmmaker Tim Sullivan

Isolated score track
First Ever Fright Night Reunion Panel - Fear Fest 2 (2008) with Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark, and Moderated by Rob Galluzzo (54:32)
Shock Till You Drop Presents Choice Cuts with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek
(10:42 + 6:52 + 10:44)

Vintage Electronic Press Kit with Behind-the-Scenes Raw Footage (1:34:52 / MPEG2 480i)

Stills and Memorabilia Gallery from the Tom Holland Archives
Original Theatrical Trailer (G-Rated - 1:23 / R-Rated - 1:26)

Julie Kirgo Liner Notes

 

None

 

You're So Cool, Brewster! A new two-hour version of the definitive 2016 documentary on the making of Fright Night, focusing on the first film, created exclusively for this release (2:26:42)
What is Fright Night featurette, a 2016 video piece featuring cast and crew interviews (BLU-RAY ONLY) (10:42)
Tom Holland: Writing Horror, a 2016 video piece featuring interviews with Holland and his collaborators (BLU-RAY ONLY) (8:55)
Rowdy McDowall: From Apes to Bats, a 2016 video piece featuring archival footage of McDowall and cast and crew interviews (BLU-RAY ONLY) (20:53)
Fear Fest 2 2008 reunion panel featuring Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark and moderated by Rob Galluzzo (BLU-RAY ONLY) (54:32)
Shock Till You Drop Present Choice Cuts with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek, a three-part video interview on the film (BLU-RAY ONLY) (28:19)
The full electronic press kit, featuring extensive on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage (BLU-RAY ONLY) (1:33:59 - MPEG4 - 480i)
Stills and memorabilia from Tom Hollands personal collection (BLU-RAY ONLY) (1:03)

G-rated and R-rated theatrical trailers (BLU-RAY ONLY) (2:50)
PLUS: a booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann (only available in a LE steelbook - now OOP)

Second disc DVD

 

Bitrate:

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE- Blu-ray SECOND

3) Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Sony (Japan) - Region FREE- Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: Classic Vampire film about a teenager who learns that his next door neighbor is a vampire, and no one will believe him....

 

 

The Film:

''FRIGHT NIGHT'' has a lot more personality than the usual horror film, which is a distinctly mixed blessing. It tells of a nice teen-ager, played by William Ragsdale, who becomes alarmed at the possibility that a dapper vampire may have moved next door. To investigate the secret life of this soigne neighbor (played by Chris Sarandon, who's made a specialty out of playing smug, slightly dissipated heavies), he enlists the help of an over-the-hill screen star.

The actor, played by Roddy McDowall, speaks with a great many rolling r's and assorted other flourishes as he says things like ''Where is the lair of the suspected creature of the night?'' Mr. McDowall appears to be enjoying this a great deal, and indeed, if it were better developed it might make for an amiable satire. But Tom Holland, who wrote and directed this debut feature, is forced to change gears midway through, in what seems more an accommodation to audience tastes than a legitimate plot development. In any case, the film's last 25 minutes are devoted to the grisliest special effects Mr. Holland can muster.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

Charley (Ragsdale) has seen a coffin being carried into the house next door and a corpse being dragged out, but no one will take him seriously. In desperation he enlists a TV vampire killer, who's initially charmed by neighbour-from-hell Jerry (Sarandon), before noticing the absence of his reflection in a mirror. A farrago of cartoonish exaggeration (mouthfuls of fangs, razor-sharp talons and eyes like burning coals), knowing humour and '80s camp, it shouldn't even begin to work, and yet, strangely, it does, sort of, thanks to the assured handling of writer/director Holland, and two performances in particular - Geoffreys as Charley's pal Evil, and McDowall as the timid vampire killer. The music helps, covering an ambitious range from piano-murdering suspense-raisers, through disco fodder, to a Sparks tune, 'Armies of the Night', by Ron and Russell Mael.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

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

Fright Night is advertised as being limited to 3,000 copies on Blu-ray from Twilight Time - the company who have brought us titles like The Egyptian and The Mysterious Island on Blu-ray as well as DVDs like Fate is the Hunter, The Kremlin Letter and Violent Saturday. It looks okay for a single-layered transfer. Colors appear true without bolstering manipulations, detail is decent and there is even some depth seen in the 2.35:1 frame. There is a small amount of noise in a couple of the darker scenes but overall I'd say this looks significantly superior than how SD could relate the visuals due to the superior contrast. The effects are a bit dated but the Blu-ray's 1080P resolution doesn't expose anything as too 'cheesy'. This transfer provides solid image quality producing a surprising home-theater presentation.

 

Well this will throw a monkey-wrench into the eBay auctions. The Sony (out of Germany), is Region FREE, and the Blu-ray transfer is as good (slightly more robust) than the very Out-of-Print Twilight Time. Image quality seems at total parity.

 

The new, 30th Anniversary, Twilight Time Blu-ray is dual-layered and the most technically robust of the three compared. This produces a brighter image with cooler skin tones (suspected missing Gamma correction flaw! - thanks Niki). It has a much higher bitrate and the image looks as smooth and pristine in-motion. Depth is more apparent but will be more noticeable the larger the visual presentation is viewed.

 

Just a short addition note: The Sony Japan is the exact same disc as the German. It has the exact 1080P video transfer, same menus etc. - just a slightly different logo opening.

 

The Eureka is from a 4K restoration and the most technically robust (highest bitrate) of the five Blu-ray transfers compared. It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and appears, in-motion, to show the best, and most consistent, image quality. You can't see much in the static captures compared below - the Eureka can have warmer skin tones (see subtitle sample directly below) and it looks about as perfect as I imagine this film, in HD, can be presented for your home theater consumption.  

 

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

 

English Subtitle Sample

 

1) Sony (Germany and Japan) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Eureka - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Sony (Germany and Japan) - Region FREE- Blu-ray SECOND

3) Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Eureka - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Sony (Germany and Japan) - Region FREE- Blu-ray SECOND

3) Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Eureka - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Sony (Germany and Japan) - Region FREE- Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures (original Twilight Time)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3794 kbps seems to extract every drop it can from the film's score some effect sounds that sweep to the rear speakers. I wouldn't say anything was crisp but there are some more gentle surprises with ghoulish sounds, screams and Brad Fiedel's supportive score. All good - if not great. There is also the ability to hone in on the isolated score in a less robust lossless stereo transfer. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

This is where the Twilight Time takes the lead - the Sony doesn't take advantage of the ability to go lossless, but the Dolby surround sounds okay - although not as dynamic at the US edition. It does offer multiple foreign-language DUBs and subtitles and is also Region FREE.

 

The new, 30th Anniversary, Twilight Time Blu-ray has the exact same DTS-HD Master (3794 kbps) as the original, but also offers a lossless stereo option for the feature presentation. There are actually 5 uncompressed tracks, including the two commentaries and the exact same Isolated score as found on the original Twilight Time Blu-ray. Once again, there are optional English (SDH) subtitles (under the character speaking - 'Universal'-style - see samples above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide. This edition is limited to 5,000 copies.

 

The Sony (Japan) audio is exactly the same as the German Sony (still no lossless). It also offers multiple foreign-language DUBs and subtitles and is also Region FREE Blu-ray. It has the exact same English-language menus.

 

Like the Twilight Time 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Eureka give the option of both 2.0 stereo and 5.1 bump - but their encode is linear PCM which tends to export the higher end a bit tighter, IMO. It's not a significant upgrade but some may notice the difference in the enjoyable and atmospheric score by Brad Fiedel. Effects still carry some weight. It sounds excellent and nice to have the uncompressed options. Eureka offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their region FREE Blu-ray.

 

 

Extras :

Aside from the aforementioned isolated score there are only 2 Trailers and some liner notes in the box by Julie Kirgo.

 

No extras at all on the Sony... which is only marginally worse than the Twilight Time.

 

Twilight Time significantly advance on the previous editions with a new commentary with writer/director Tom Holland, Actors Chris Sarandon & Jonathan Stark, and moderated by filmmaker Tim Sullivan and a second commentary with writer/director Tom Holland, Actors William Ragsdale & Stephen Geoffreys, FX Artist Randall Cook, and moderated by Journalist Jeremy Smith and filmmaker Tim Sullivan. Group affairs - at times casual and scattered but imparting some good information for the fanbase in a laid-back fashion. There is also the aforementioned, optional, isolated score track and an hour long 'First Ever Fright Night Reunion Panel' - 'Fear Fest 2' from 2008 with Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark, and moderated by Rob Galluzzo. Shock Till You Drop presents Choice Cuts, a three-part video piece lasting almost 1/2 an hour, with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek. For hardcore devotees of Fright Night Twilight Time have included the vintage EPK (Electronic Press Kit) with over an hour and a half's worth of behind-the-scenes raw footage - transferred in MPEG2 at 480i. There is a stills and memorabilia gallery from the Tom Holland Archives and two original theatrical trailers (G-Rated - 1:23 / R-Rated - 1:26). Like all Twilight Time BD packages this contains a leaflet of Julie Kirgo liner notes.

 

Like the German (Sony) - no extras on Japanese Blu-ray.

 

No commentaries but Eureka add a lot of extras and plenty are new (2016). Repeated from the Twilight Time 30th Anniversary package are the 50-minute Fear Fest 2 2008 reunion panel featuring Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Stephen Geoffreys, Amanda Bearse, Jonathan Stark and moderated by Rob Galluzzo, the 28-minute Shock Till You Drop Present Choice Cuts with Tom Holland and Ryan Turek - a three-part video interview on the film, the stills and memorabilia from Tom Holland's personal collection, both the G-rated and R-rated theatrical trailers and the full, 1 1/2 hour, electronic press kit, featuring extensive on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Eureka also include You're So Cool, Brewster! - a new 2.5-hour version of the definitive 2016 documentary on the making of Fright Night, focusing on the first film, created exclusively for this release. What is Fright Night? featurette, is a 10-minute 2016 video piece featuring cast and crew interviews. Tom Holland: Writing Horror, is also from 2016, runs almost 9-minutes and features interviews with Holland and his collaborators. Rowdy McDowall: From Apes to Bats, is a 21-minute 2016 video piece featuring archival footage of McDowall and cast and crew interviews. There is a second disc DVD (dual-format.) The steelbook package (now out-of-print) contains a booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann.

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - LEFT

2) Sony (Germany and Japan) - Region FREE- Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

Twilight Time (30th Anniversary) - Region FREE- Blu-ray

 

 

Eureka - Region FREE- Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a pretty cool film that shapes like an Afterschool Special before slowly advancing to a full-fledged horror with wholesome teen overtones. Fright Night has captured its innocent niche appeal very succinctly and the Blu-ray is strong enough to spark some a fun, and occasionally chilling, ride. An excellent choice for a late Friday night. Recommended!

 

If you've been waiting to nab this - the German Sony may have saved you a bundle. Not only does it match the video, weaker in the audio, no extras but has very similar menus! This also, isn't, limited to 3.000 editions. Buy at will from Germany with the same check-out process as your English-friendly Amazon.

 

So, I assume this is already out-of-print as I can't find it on Screen Archive's website or TCM and already an exorbitant price on Amazon (3rd party sellers). Keen, addictive, horror with enough nostalgia to encourage heavy demand. My advice is to get the German Sony to watch the film in 1080P but for those that didn't place a Pre-order for the Twilight Time, and want all the bells and whistles, you may have to pay through the nose.

 

Exact same in every respect as the German Blu-ray. Presently it is about $12.50 US at the writing of this review.

 

Fans still flock to this film - it's reputation and devout niche only seem to grow. If you've missed all the previous Blu-rays - this, Eureka, is the one to nab if you are keen on their extensive - and new - supplements. It's a perfect a/v transfer and plenty of value with the extras. No commentaries (the 30th Anniversary Twilight Time is already getting $90 in auctions) but it's still a keeper. Very strongly recommended!  

Gary Tooze

December 12th, 2011

September 30th, 2014

January 24th, 2015

February 10th, 2015

December 13th, 2016

 

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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