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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Black Christmas – Special Edition (1974/Blu-ray/Somerville House/Critical Mass)

Black Christmas – Special Edition (1974/Blu-ray/Somerville House/Critical Mass)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: B+



Since the last time we looked at Bob Clark’s classic Black Christmas (1974), many of you know that Clark died in a terrible automobile accident that took the life of both he and his son.  After an older DVD edition, we covered the Somerville House/Critical Mass DVD edition and the link to that review is as follows:





We were hoping for an improvement in picture that would bring back the better qualities from the first DVD with that of the improvements of the second.  This new Blu-ray version of their DVD has the same problematic audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and Dolby 5.1 with their good and bad points) and extras, the latter of which was surprising since you would think Clark’s passing would have inspired a new HD-produced extra of some kind.  However, they declined.  So that leaves the image.


Well, the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is a disappointment, confirming that the master used on their DVD version is too grainy and has problems it should not have for an HD transfer.  Fans of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) who disliked the Anchor Bay Blu-ray will have some of the same complaints here, though this is not as pale or color-incorrect.  Reg Morris’ cinematography is great here, but this is barely better than the DVD (in a rare case of the back catalog Blu-rays we have seen so far) and I was even hoping the company would consider doing both 1.85 and 1.33 X 1 versions of the film, as it was shot soft matte.


Unfortunately, we cannot recommend the Blu-ray unless you do not have the DVD.  Otherwise, we’ll hold onto this until this film gets a newer restoration and upgrade.  Considering it is one of the most important films Canada ever produced and one of the most influential, it deserves it.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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