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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Satire > The Scream Trilogy (1996/1997/2000/Lionsgate Blu-rays)

The Scream Trilogy (1996/1997/2000/Lionsgate Blu-rays)

Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Films: B-/C/C-

It's been over a decade since the Scream franchise last made its way into theaters, but with a new entry out, Lionsgate has dusted off the original trilogy for its first release on a high-def format.  While business has been slow for the latest sequel, demand is up for new transfers and a fresh selection of bonus content for the now classic entries in the series.  These releases fulfill expectations for better picture and sound quality, but fall short on providing anything new as far as special features go.

The sad fact is that almost everything to do with these releases has been carried over from the aging DVD editions, including the unattractive cover art, still bearing the original blurbs.  However, the most unfortunate decision made in releasing these titles has been to exclude the unrated director’s cut of the first Scream - which, to date, has only been made available on VHS and laserdisc.

Regarding the special features, highlights include an audio commentary for each film provided by Wes Craven and guests, as well as trailers and TV spots.  Deleted scenes are included on Scream 2 & 3, and include optional commentary.  None of these are anything new to these editions, and some of the less-essential features have actually been excised from this release.

On a positive note, these new transfers go well beyond those of the old Dimension Collector’s Series DVDs - especially in the case of the original, which until now wasn’t even presented in anamorphic widescreen.  Despite the strong improvements, none of the films come close to looking as good as they did on film, and some fans might wish to hold until further improvements are made later down the line.

All three films are full 1080p, and presented in 16x9 anamorphic widescreen, with aspect ratios of 2.35:1.  The soundtracks have been given the most significant upgrade in quality, with excellent 5.1 DTS-HD mixes for each of the three films that capture the essence of the theatrical experience beautifully.

The films certainly have aged - unkindly in certain respects - but the first two still pack enough punch to warrant picking up.  Only the most dedicated Ghostface fanatics need to stick around past that.  There are still some minor problems left to tackle, and seeing as this definitely won’t be the last time we see the trilogy on Blu-ray, it may be best to hang loose until a future release makes the necessary tweaks to get these up to spec.

  David Milchick


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