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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 Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:46:25.921

Disc Size: 23,844,845,146 bytes / 24,714,786,445 bytes

Feature Size: 23,328,006,144 bytes / 24,064,505,856 byte

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps / 25.07 Mbps

Chapters: 11 / 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)

Release date: December, 2011 / September 18th, 2014

 

Video (both):

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

 

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

 

Extras:

• Isolated Score Track

• 2 Trailers (1:21, 1:27)

Julie Kirgo liner notes

 

None

 

Bitrate:

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - TOP

2) Sony - 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.

 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE- Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Momitsu 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.

 

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.

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE- - LEFT

2) Sony - Region FREE- Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

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.

Gary Tooze

December 12th, 2011

September 30th, 2014

 

 


 

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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