OMFG is October 5th going to be one of the best days this year. My Blu-ray playing will take a beating as there are several titles getting high-def releases for Halloween. While Vivendi is releasing the Aussie slasher Wolf Creek, Lionsgate is unloading The Blair Witch Project, Alex Aja’s bloody High Tension, the Hitchcockian indie Open Water (and its sequel), the Ellen Page starrer Hard Candy and even Tim Sullivan’s 2001 Maniacs remake! Details inside.
Just in time for Halloween, the viscerally frightening hit film, The Blair Witch Project, makes its Blu-ray Disc debut October 5 from Lionsgate. Set in 1994, three film students travel to the woods of Maryland to investigate an urban legend, and find themselves terrified to the core. The friends – Heather, Josh and Mike – never return from the Black Hills Forest, and one year later their missing footage is found and edited together to tell the story of the amateur filmmakers’ terrifying two-day hike. Featuring four never-before-seen alternate endings, the film that caused a stir worldwide is featured for the first time in 1080P High Definition Widescreen, along with additional bonus materials that include an audio commentary, a featurette and extra footage. The Blair Witch Project garnered the 2000 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.
Also arriving on October 5, horror fans can kick-start their Blu-ray Disc collections as Lionsgate releases fan favorites in 1080P High Definition Widescreen for the first time. Open Water and Open Water 2: Adrift hits shelves as a Blu-ray Disc double feature, along with 2001 Maniacs, directed by Tim Sullivan (upcoming VH1’s “Scream Queens” reality series and 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams); and High Tension, co-written and directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes and upcoming Piranha 3D).
Open Water Synopsis:
Based on true events, the film follows an American couple who embark on an island getaway to escape their workaholic lifestyles and marital problems. Daniel and Susan, both certified scuba divers, board a local dive boat full of other vacationers for an underwater tour of the reef. Due to a series of innocent miscommunications and a distracted crew, the couple is accidentally left behind. As isolation sets in, they turn to one another for support but quickly fall apart. Soon they are prompted to question their own fate as they fight to stay alive in the chilling open waters of the shark-infested ocean.
One of the best reviewed films of 2004, Open Water was hailed as “Diabolically clever” (Rolling Stone) and “An expertly made suspense thriller!” (Los Angeles Times) and was an Official Selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. The Blu-ray Disc bonus features include a director and producer commentary, actor commentary, deleted scenes and a couple of featurettes.
Open Water 2: Adrift Synopsis:
Based on a harrowing true story about a weekend cruise aboard a luxury yacht that goes horribly awry for a group of old high school friends who forget to lower the ladder before they jump into the ocean for a swim. The boat proves impossible to climb, leaving them adrift, miles from shore. As the reality of the situation sinks in, the friends begin to turn on each other. Soon the exhaustion of keeping afloat and the struggle to get back on board begin to take a terrible toll. What started as a joyful reunion becomes a fight for survival! The Blu-ray Disc contains a “making-of” featurette.
2001 Maniacs Synopsis:
Based on the campy cult classic by the Godfather of gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and starring horror legend Robert Englund, 2001 Maniacs is a bloody comedy/spoof that audiences will love. 2001 Maniacs tells the story of a group of college students on their way to spring break. They decide to take a detour through an old southern town – and are soon in for a big surprise. The residents of Pleasant Valley insist the kids stay for their annual barbecue celebration…but instead of getting a taste of the old south, the old south gets a taste of them! Special features include two separate audio commentaries, the “Inside the Asylum” making-of featurette, deleted/extended scenes, outtakes and an alternate opening with John Landis.
High Tension Synopsis:
High Tension is an intense game of murder and survival, which will rattle viewers to their core. Marie and Alexia are classmates and best friends who go to Alexia’s family home in the French countryside hoping to prepare for their college exams in peace and quiet. In the dead of night, a psychotic killer breaks into the house, and with the first swing of his knife, the girl’s idyllic weekend turns into an endless nightmare. When Alexia is captured and thrown into a van, Marie attempts to rescue her friend from the evil murderer. High Tension truly brings slasher films back to their roots with this gore-addled film, packed with blood and guts. Special features include the original unrated French Language Director’s Cut, an English dubbed version of the film, audio commentary with the director and screenwriter, plus select scene commentary with the director and star of the film. The disc also contains three featurettes – “Haute Horror – The Making of High Tension,” “Building Tension,” and “Gianetto De Rossi: The Truth, the Madness and the Magic.”
In addition, also arriving on October 5th, starring Academy Award nominee Ellen Page (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Juno, 2007) in her breakout role, Hard Candy hits shelves on Blu-ray Disc.
Hard Candy Synopsis:
This edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller is directed by David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and features Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. Precocious 14-year-old Hayley probably shouldn’t be going to a local coffee shop to meet Jeff, a 30-something fashion photographer she met on the Internet. But before she knows it, she’s mixing drinks at Jeff’s place and stripping for an impromptu photo shoot. It seems to be Jeff’s lucky night. But Hayley isn’t as innocent as she looks, and the night takes a turn when she begins to impose a hard-hitting investigation on Jeff in an attempt to reveal his possibly scandalous past. Special features include two separate audio commentaries with the filmmakers and the actors, deleted and extended scenes, a making-of documentary and the “Controversial Confection” mini-featurette.
LASTLY, High Def Digest reports:
Greg McLean’s 2004 independent horror flick Wolf Creek is getting the high-definition treatment this October. In an early announcement to retailers, Vivendi has announced Wolf Creek for a Blu-ray release on October 5. The film is inspired by the true story of Australia’s “Backpack Killer” who murdered seven backpackers in the nineties. Specs and supplements haven’t been confirmed yet, but suggested list price for the 2-disc Blu-ray set is only $19.97.