Scream Factory is a company that has been killing it over the last few years by providing excellent Blu-Ray versions of some of the best the genre has to offer. Naturally, they save their most anticipated releases for October, and this year is no exception. Fans can soon get their hands on excellently restored copies of John Carpenter’s The Thing (October 11), Brian DePalma’s Carrie (October 11), Child’s Play (October 18), and Exorcist III (October 25). As a massive fan of Carrie, I did not even hesitate to pre-order Scream Factory’s Deluxe Edition of the film, which shipped two weeks before the street date and is now happily in my possession.
The deluxe edition consists of a 2-disc Blu-Ray, two slipcovers, and two posters. There’s really no need to talk about the film itself. Carrie is a perfect movie that is made even more perfect with Scream Factory’s treatment. I used to think that my DVD copy looked just fine. However, as someone who knows every frame of this film, I am simply amazed at how much this 4k restoration just opens it up even more to the viewer. There are no imperfections at all in the transfer. When I first put the Blu-Ray in my player, I was just going to skim the movie to check out the quality. I ended up watching the whole thing again from beginning to end because I couldn’t get over how beautiful it looked. It was really like watching it in a completely new way.
I never even bothered to get the bare-bones Blu-Ray that MGM put out in 2013, which did not even carry over the special features that were on the DVD from 2001. Scream Factory rectified this oversight by including all the old features and adding a healthy dollop of their own new features. The first disc in the set has the original theatrical trailer, as well as trailers for all the other iterations of the film–the TV movie, the sequel, and the remake.
The second disc is chock-full of goodies, mostly new interviews. My favorite of these is “Bucket of Blood,” a 24-minute talk with composer Pino Donaggio. He still has great reverence for the film, and it was wonderful to see him talking about his collaboration with Brian DePalma and his influences for Carrie‘s music. The “More Acting Carrie” is another interview feature and is 20 minutes long. I especially enjoyed the addition of Edie McClurg, who played Helen, in this, and once more seeing PJ Soles in her famous red hat. I still love hearing stories of how the cast got to audition for DePalma and George Lucas at the same time (he was simultaneously casting Star Wars), and how important Carrie was to all of their careers.
There are also new interviews with casting director Harriet B. Helberg; director of photography Mario Tosi; editor Paul Hirsch; and screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen. The latter particularly gave great insight into how he adapted the film from the book, and how DePalma came to direct it. All the interviewees obviously still love the film and still love talking about it. An older feature that is still worth checking out is the 45-minute piece called “Acting Carrie.” Some of the actor interviews are repeats, but this one is great because it also has interviews with Sissy Spacek and DePalma.
Another fun new feature is an episode of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds. HHG was created and is hosted by Sean Clark, who takes fans to famous horror filming locations around the US. Clark hits all the high points while revisiting key locations from Carrie: the volleyball court from the opening, the lot where Carrie’s house once stood, the actual gym where the infamous prom sequence was filmed, and several others. The coolest thing for me, though, was seeing that the mural at Bates Packing pig farm (in reality, Farmer John’s) still existed. It has been updated over the years but still looks basically the same. A feature like HHG is a wonderful addition to the already great stuff that Scream Factory does itself, and I welcome a new episode on any of their other releases.
The newly commissioned art by Nat Marsh and Joel Robinson adorns the slipcovers and posters, and I love them both. Marsh’s image features a bloodied Carrie walking home after the prom with the headlight’s of Chris and Billy’s car behind her, and the burning gymnasium in the background. The style he chose is great, as is the color scheme that seems to define Carrie–the stark black, the red of the pig’s blood, and the yellow of the fire. This image is also on the insert sleeve, with the original poster art on the reverse side. Robinson’s art is a collage style, and my favorite of the two. He chose a more realistic approach, with a similar color scheme, and excellent screencap renditions of all the main characters from the film. They both have the title in its original font at the top, and Robinson’s has the tagline “If only they knew she had the power” at the bottom. My only minor gripe about the posters is the fact that they are shipped folded into fourths instead of rolled, which creates unsightly creases.
Scream Factory’s gorgeous release of Carrie gets an A+ from this fan. While the deluxe edition is now sold out, you absolutely must have this Blu-Ray in your collection. The transfer is flawless, and sometimes makes you feel like you are watching a whole new movie. The new artwork is stunning and will look perfect on my walls, and all the new features are a joy to learn from and experience. Hats off to Scream Factory for finally giving me the chance to see one of my favorite movies in the best possible way!