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The House That Screamed aka "La residencia" [Blu-ray]
(Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1970)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Anabel Films S.A.
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: Theatrical 1:34:26.994 / Extended 1:43:45.677
Disc Size: 48,918,878,137 bytes
Theatrical Feature Size: 21,595,207,680 bytes
Extended Feature Size: 22,872,244,224 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps / 25.96 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 27th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1869 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1869 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Interview with actor John Moulder-Brown (6:12)
Description: This stylishly and very eerie thriller stars Lili Palmer as Senora Fourneau, the severe headmistress of a French boarding school for wayward young women. The rigid constraints of 19th-century social conditioning have turned the school into a hotbed of uncontrolled sexual urges. Soon it is discovered that one by one, the young girls are vanishing. It is assumed they are sneaking away at night, so the school is securely locked down at night. But the young women continue to go missing, as it appears a mysterious assassin is stalking the dark hallways of the ghostly manor. Quite intense for its time, this film represented a new boldness in gothic style among European thrillers which would reach its zenith during the 1970s.
In the Spanish-made, largely English-dubbed "House That Screamed," Lilli
Palmer, as the militantly strict widowed operator of a
turn-of-the-century French school for teen-aged girls is faced with a
variety of strange problems. Her pupils obviously care more for a
visiting woodsman, other girls and her son, John Moulder Brown, a
strange, Peeping Tom type, than they do for Molière, sewing or the
niceties of cuisine. And, they can't be blamed for wanting to break out
of this gloomy manse, since several of their classmates already have
Outstanding on every level, this Spanish slasher is a must see.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The House That Screamed comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory offering both the theatrical version and the 9-minute longer extended version with Standard Definition inserts. There is also this warning about the audio in the inserted sequences:
We have both added three SD bumped samples (see below) from the extended version and three comparisons between the theatrical and extended transfers as these are separate renderings - not seamlessly branched. While the theatrical has a marginally higher bitrate, there isn't much to choose between the same scenes in the extended version - a few pixels shifts but the theatrical carries the grain slightly more cohesively. The 9+-minutes of SD bumps are noticeable holding some artifacts. This is dual-layered and the visual presentation is not stellar with some color shifts, looking fairly flat, modest detail but pleasing texture.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio for both version is transferred, essentially, the same: a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel, reasonably robust in 24-bit. Aside from the above noted sync issues, the audio is about the same level as the video - imperfect but reasonably consistent. the score is by Waldo de los Ríos (Bad Man's River, A Town Called Hell, Who Can Kill a Child?) and adds some suspense and mystery sounding decent in the lossless. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Extras include a poor video quality, 6-minute, interview with actor John Moulder-Brown from the Munich Film Festival in 2011 plus there is a Film Festival Q & A with actress Mary Maude (wayward Irene in the film) for 12-minutes from 2012 discussing her first feature film. We also get a theatrical trailer, TV and radio spots plus a extensive stills gallery.
January 5th, 2017
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 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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