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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Fear in the Night [Blu-ray]

 

(Jimmy Sangster, 1972)

 

 

NOTE: After comparing the Studio Canal UK and DE Blu-rays of Fear in the Night HERE. They are determined to be, essentially, the exact same discs. Same running time to the 1/1000th a second, same bitrate, same image, same audio (with the of a inclusion of a German DUB and optional German subtitles) and same extras - minus the second disc DVD but the 7-Blu-ray Hammer Film Edition has all the other films (The Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Straight on Till Morning, Fear in the Night, and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde).

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Hammer Studios

Video: Studio Canal (UK) / Studio Canal (DE)

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:34:11.020 / 1:34:11.020

Disc Size: 28,135,253,744 bytes / 29,910,970,937 bytes

Feature Size: 24,753,147,456 bytes / 26,123,241,024 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.96 Mbps / 31.93 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 30th, 2017 / November 23rd, 2017

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1375 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1375 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1689 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1689 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1375 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1375 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

English, German, none

 

Extras:

End of Term: Inside Fear in the Night (16:37)
Original Trailer (3:00)
DVD

 

End of Term: Inside Fear in the Night (16:37)

Original Trailer (3:00)

 

Bitrates:

1) Studio Canal (UK)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray TOP

2) Studio Canal (DE)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Description: Peggy (Judy Geeson) is recovering from a nervous breakdown when she is attacked by an unseen assailant. As she struggles to break free, her attacker’s artificial arm comes loose and Peggy blacks out in sheer terror. Peggy and her new husband Robert (Ralph Bates) spend their honeymoon at the country school where Robert is a teacher. The school is eerily deserted, except for the headmaster Michael (Peter Cushing) and his wife Molly (Joan Collins). Returning to her cottage, Peggy is once more attacked by a man with one arm. Robert goes to London on behalf of the headmaster but leaves his shotgun behind to reassure Peggy. Michael visits Peggy at the cottage late at night, and she notices for the first time that he has only one arm. Terrified, she reaches for the gun… Fear in the Night was the last, and one of the best, of the suspense thrillers that Hammer produced alongside the better-known Gothic horrors. The film was also the Hammer swansong of director and co-writer Jimmy Sangster, who had joined the company in 1949 and helped create its groundbreaking style.

 

 

The Film:

Peggy (Judy Geeson) is recovering from a nervous breakdown when she is attacked by an unseen assailant. As she struggles to break free, her attacker’s artificial arm comes loose and Ally Sheldon called them the women men don't see: women like Peggy (Judy Geeson), quiet, demure, respectably dressed, getting on with their lives in the background, working as assistants to men whose wives find them too bland to be threatening. Peggy has still lower social status than most such women, having recently spent time in a psychiatric hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. But now, most unexpectedly, things are looking up. She has enjoyed a whirlwind courtship with charming young teacher Robert (Ralph Bates), resulting in marriage and the promise of a new life out in the country. Her smile, like everything else about her, is slight and modest, but there's real joy behind it.

No relation to the 1947 Maxwell Shane film of the same name, this thriller nevertheless has themes in common with it, notably in terms of uncertainty around what is real and what is imaginary. With a woman in the leading role instead of a man, this uncertainty is still more sinister.

Excerpt from EyeForFilm located HERE

One of those neatly constructed but slightly mechanical psycho-thrillers which make you feel as if someone is pushing buttons connected to electrodes in your brain. Geeson plays a young woman recovering from a nervous breakdown who is terrorised into wanting to kill the aged, deranged headmaster of the prep school where her husband (Bates) teaches. What she doesn't know is that Bates is in league with the headmaster's wife (Collins). There is a sporadically effective use of prowling camera movements and atmospheric sounds, but Hammer fans will soon recognise the plot as a thinly disguised reworking of A Taste of Fear, which Sangster scripted for Seth Holt back in 1961.

Excerpt from TimeOut  located HERE

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

Fear in the Night gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Studio Canal.  It's in dual-layered territory and has a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It is quite thick with heavy textures. The 1080P supports solid contrast and tight colors in the original 1.66:1 frame.  It's very clean showcasing some pleasing detail and smatterings of depth - there are really no flaws with the image. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film Fear in the Night.

 

It's, as expected, the same disc with only the addition of a German DUB and subtitles. Same running time to the 1/1000th a second, same bitrate, same image, same audio (with the of a inclusion of a German DUB and optional German subtitles) and same extras - minus the DVD but it has all the other films (The Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Straight on Till Morning, Fear in the Night, and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde).

 

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

 

1) Studio Canal (UK)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray TOP

2) Studio Canal (DE)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Studio Canal (UK)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray TOP

2) Studio Canal (DE)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Studio Canal (UK)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray TOP

2) Studio Canal (DE)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Blu-ray of Fear in the Night offers a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1375 kbps (24-bit). It has effects that are mostly subtl with only a couple of more aggressive instances. The score is by John McCabe and runs beside the film adding suspense. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Studio Canal add a 17-minute featurette; End of Term: Inside Fear in the Night that has individual like Kevin Lyons (Documentation Editor at the BFI), Alan Barnes (author of The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films) talking about the film's history and production details. There is also an original trailer and the package has a second disc DVD.

 

Studio Canal (UK)  Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Fear in the Night maintains the studio's appealing charisma with Jimmy Sangster's screenplay and direction. Good premise but perhaps not running deep enough. Some covers of the film have Joan Collins face only but Miss Edith Keller is only in it for a cup of coffee. It relies on awkwardly cute Geeson, who does a decent job but her character's frailty and malady was wearing thin near the end. The Studio Canal Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with a good featurette supplement. Hammer fans are the target niche and they will undoubtedly enjoy the suspense and thrills. Not the height of the studio's output but quite passable in a Friday night double feature - looking and sounding top shelf. 

Gary Tooze

November 20th, 2017

 

 

 

NOTE: After comparing the Studio Canal UK and DE Blu-rays of Fear in the Night HERE. They are determined to be, essentially, the exact same discs. Same running time to the 1/1000th a second, same bitrate, same image, same audio (with the of a inclusion of a German DUB and optional German subtitles) and same extras - minus the second disc DVD but the 7-Blu-ray Hammer Film Edition has all the other films (The Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Straight on Till Morning, Fear in the Night, and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde).

 

 

 


 




 

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Gary Tooze

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