PIC of the Week – The Old Dark House
Article series by Ray Schillaci
Sure, there is a glut of Halloween home entertainment staples available to you via Amazon, Netflix, SyFy, and Redbox, not to mention a dozen or more other venues. There are sales for favorites The Exorcist, Halloween (’78), Friday the 13th (’80), Carrie (’76), and so many lesser-known independent creature features, i.e. Killer Party (’14), The House on Pine Street and Honeymoon. But, what eclipses so many of them is Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blu of the wonderful, nostalgic creep factor of The Old Dark House (1932).
Here are the same creative minds that gave us Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man. Director James Whale delivers that similar nightmare feeling that was in all his classic horror movies and a brilliant cast that is cherished by many a horror aficionado: Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy), Melvyn Douglas (The Changeling), Charles Laughton (The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)) and Lillian Bond (The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)).
This film is great fun for the whole family, and it has all the requirements for a good Halloween thrill. Five travelers happen to make shelter during a stormy night in a Welsh estate where strange goings-on occur. Turn the lights out. Crank up the sound. And be prepared for the best presentation of this old film exclusively on Blu-ray.
The Cohen Film Collection has seen to it that we get a beautiful 4K restoration of this classic.
– feature length commentary by Gloria Stuart (Titanic (’97))
– feature length commentary by James Whale biographer James Curtis
– interview with director Curtis Harrington (Night Tide, Games) on the once-thought-lost film
– new interview with Sara Karloff (Boris Karloff’s daughter)
– a re-release trailer
A “Serious” Runner-up: 20th Century Fox’s Blu of War For The Planet Of The Apes. Director Matt Reeves hits it out of the ballpark for a third time with the brutal and poignant end to an amazing trilogy. The mo-cap may be breathtaking, but nowhere near as captivating as these performances. If they will not nominate Andy Serkis as Best Actor, then at least give the man an honorary Oscar. And once again, Woody Harrelson delivers chills.
Amazon – $!9.96