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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Nightmare [Blu-ray]


(Freddie Francis, 1964)




Also available on Blu-ray from Final Cut in the UK:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Hammer Films 

Video: Elephant Films



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

Runtime: 1:22:21.895

Disc Size: 19,543,506,597 bytes

Feature Size: 14,930,995,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.98 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: November 7th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1406 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1406 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1344 kbps / 16-bit)


DTS-HD Master Audio French 1420 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1420 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1344 kbps / 16-bit)



French, none



• La Hammer Films La Petite Boutiques Des Horruers (10:19)
La Film Par Nicolas Stanzick (9:00)
11 Films Trailers
Gallery (2:25)
• Second disc DVD included!





Description: Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled because of her persistent nightmares, Janet is sent home where the nightmares continue.



The Film:

The fourth of Hammer's psychological thrillers, made to capitalise on the success of films like Psycho and Les Diaboliques. It is one of Freddie Francis' most imaginative films, making the most of a patchy Jimmy Sangster script. Knight (a faceless Hammer lead) is the suspect hero, and Linden the tormented young heroine haunted by the fear of hereditary insanity who, as the film begins, is plagued by a recurring nightmare in which her mother lures her into a mental asylum. Normally the Hammer psychological strain has a disconcertingly contemporary tone, but here the apparatus (who is trying to drive the girl out of her mind?) is truly Gothic: old country house, absent guardian, white phantom, etc..

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Nightmare, despite the absence of any member of the Hammer Trifecta, is a Hammer masterpiece. From the chilling beginning to the surprising conclusion, this film sets the bar for British suspense. Sharp, haunting, and absolutely timeless, Nightmare should already be on your video shelf.

Janet is a young girl at boarding school who has a very bleak history. When she was a little girl, she saw her mother stab her father to death. She is haunted by the visions of this day until she can barely function. When the school decides to put her under observation of a doctor at her own house, the visions get worse until Janet does not know if there are supernatural forces at work or she is trapped within her own madness.

Excerpt from Classic-Horror.com  located HERE

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

Nightmare appears modest on Blu-ray from Elephant Films in France.  The image looks marginally vertically squished and I'd like to compare it to the Final Cut. The film was show in 2.55:1 (Hammerscope) according to IMDb but this Blu-ray is in 2.35:1. It can look a shade waxy and soft. It's 1080P but in the lower tier of HD visual quality.
















Audio :

Elephant Films offer uncompressed DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel tracks (16-bit) in both original English or a French DUB option. The film is loaded with load screams that carry depth.  The score is by Don Banks (The Brigand of Kandahar, Torture Garden, The Evil of Frankenstein, Rasputin The Mad Monk, The Mummy's Shroud, The Reptile) and it supports the film well. There are optional French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.



Extras :

There are two French-language extras about Hammer films running about 10-minute each, 11 trailers - mostly similar genre films, a Gallery and the package has a second disc DVD.



Nightmare is firmly within Hammer's psycho-thrillers sub-genre - with creepy dreams inside an insane asylum. Jimmy Sangster's script is adeptly directed by Freddie Francis with prototypical Hammer charm. The Blu-ray is not premium stuff and I'd love to compare it to the UK's Final Cut BD. I did enjoy the film but am hoping for a superior edition. 

Gary Tooze

January 8th, 2018




Also available on Blu-ray from Final Cut in the UK:



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