Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 36.3 GB
Film Size: 23.1 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABCThe Video
A Nightmare on Elm Street comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. I was expecting a pretty good transfer to be honest, especially after hearing fairly good things about the previous Canadian release which I’m sure many of you major Elm Street fans imported.

One issue that I read about with the Canadian release is that it featured DNR and Edge Enhancement, which varied on intensity from scene to scene. With the U.S. release we do not have to deal with DNR and EE and the film looks very natural and grainy.

I was expecting the print to be a bit dirtier so I was very pleased to see it was in surprisingly good shape. Yes dirt and specks do pop up occasionally, but I was definitely expecting to see a bit more dirt. I think I had that mindset due to previous catalog horror titles on the format featuring plenty of dirt, but luckily that is not the case with A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The clarity of the release is very nice; the image always features that appealing high-def pop and upgrade from DVD. Past the healthy layer of grain we get a fairly impressive detailed image, with moments that range from average to extremely impressive.

The colors on this release are also very appealing and black levels stay quite strong throughout. While not everyone will be dazzled by the high-def presentation of the movie, I am definitely glad that Warner/New Line decided to skip the DNR and EE as we definitely could have been in for a very disappointing experience.

A Nightmare on Elm Street looks very good in my eyes and I think most viewers will be very pleased if not impressed by the high-def result. The films is an 80’s horror flick with plenty of grain, if you have a problem with the look of most movies from the 80s or are a grain hater, then you definitely want to lower your expectations a tad. Overall I’m very impressed by this high-def presentation and perhaps I am being a bit generous with the score, but I definitely didn't expect the film to look as good as it does. 8.5/10.

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option on the disc. The original English Mono audio track is included as well as French, Dutch and Italian. Subtitle options include English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and many more.

I went with the English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and I really had no idea what to expect, it was a nice surprise when I saw it come up on my receiver. The results are surprisingly impressive, while the quality does sound a tad dated particularly in dialogue aspects, the mix is far more immersive than I expected.

The audio is remixed from the original mono track and while it could have been painfully obvious, it really isn’t. Dialogue stays front and center pretty much the entire time, which is fine, but there are moments when certain whisper moments could have been placed towards the rear speakers.

The surround use is pretty much made up of audio effects and music, both which are used in very strong ways. There are times where I found the mix to be very chilling and it made me look over my shoulder quite occasionally. The audio effects are mostly sounds of the environments, but it definitely adds a nice touch to the mix.

At times certain dream sequences did sound a bit weaker, particularly dialogue which would slightly crack at times. This was a bit annoying but to be expected, most scenes feature very crisp and clear dialogue despite the films limitations.

Overall the audio is very enjoyable if you set your expectations accordingly. A Nightmare on Elm Street will never compare to a new release, but the 7.1 mix included definitely does its best to work with its limitations and provides a surprisingly immersive audio experience for a horror catalog title. 8/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon and Jacques Haitkin.

Audio Commentary
With Wes Craven, Robert Shaye, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Ronee Blakley, Sara Risher, Jacques Haitkin, John Burrows, Charles Bernstein, Rick Shaine, Patrick McMahon, Jim Doyle, David B. Miller and David Del Valle.

Focus Points (HD)
To view focus points, watch for the ‘disc’ icon during the movie and press “enter.” View aspects detailing the making of the movie, also included within the featurettes.

Never Sleep Again (49:55) (HD)
This is an extensive behind-the-scenes look of the Making of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’

The House That Freddy Built (22:48) (HD)
This is a feature about the legacy of New Line horror.

Night Terrors (15:58) (HD)
This is a feature about the origins of Wes Craven’s Nightmares

Fact Track
Watch the movie with texted pop-up trivia about the film, cast, crew and more.

‘Scary Ending’ Alternate Ending (1:39) (HD)

‘Happy Ending’ Alternate Ending (1:31) (HD)

‘Freddy Ending’ Alternate Ending (1:46) (HD)

Movie Money
Valid from 4/30/10 through 5/23/10, get up to $7.50 off one admission to see A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).

I was expecting to see a bunch of standard-definition extras, but to my surprise the features included are in high-definition. The featurettes are all very good and I did enjoy the Fact Track included. There are definitely plenty of extras on this release and I think fans will be very pleased.

The disc is available for a really great price on Amazon.com and those planning to see the remake already will really be spending is easily under $10 on this disc if you use the movie money to make up for what you spent to see the film. 8/10.

The Movie
A Nightmare on Elm Street comes just in time for the inevitable remake to hit theaters. A Nightmare on Elm Street is not anything new to even the most casual of horror film fans; it’s quickly become iconic and definitely considered one of the scarier horror films of its time.

It really was so exciting for me to be able to revisit the film on Blu-ray as it has been a couple of years since I had last seen the movie. Going in again I expected the movie to be a bit cheesier in both acting and scares, but it actually held up much better than I expected.

The film stars Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp. Of course the real star of the Nightmare on Elm Street films is Robert Englund who made Freddy Krueger the iconic horror character that he is. Freddy Krueger begins to haunt the teens of Elm Street and can only hope they fall asleep, giving him the opportunity to actually kill them.

There are so many aspects which I absolutely love about A Nightmare on Elm Street. The movie does feature some stupid teens, but they are likeable unlike most horror films. The unique deaths and plot of the film also help the movie differ from the average ‘slasher’ film recipe. I think it helped future films with developing unique stories.

The remake is expected to be extremely similar to the original story, most of you who have seen the trailer have probably already noticed that many characters are in for the same scares/deaths as the original. I did think the Friday The 13th reboot to be quite enjoyable (I know that opinions will definitely vary) so I have faith that this remake will also stay true to the original elements of the film while providing a bit more effective scares.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is not a perfect film by any means, but the movie definitely holds up well for a horror film. Not everything is still as impressive as it likely was when it released theatrically, but there is still plenty to love about A Nightmare on Elm Street and legendary Director Wes Craven. You can’t call yourself a true horror fan without seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street. A Nightmare on Elm Street on Blu-ray is a must for any high-def horror fan. 9.5/10.

Screenshot Comparisons
Compare the previous Canadian release to the U.S. release. As you can see, fine detail and grain is missing from the Canadian release. Grain haters will likely find the Canadian release a bit appealing in comparison, presenting a 'clear' picture but missing significant detail. The U.S. release should be the clear choice for those wanting to own the film as it was meant to look.

Alliance (Canada) Blu-ray Top vs. New Line (U.S.) Blu-ray Bottom

Alliance (Canada) Blu-ray Top vs. New Line (U.S.) Blu-ray Bottom
Alliance (Canada) Blu-ray Top vs. New Line (U.S.) Blu-ray BottomThe Blu-news Summary
A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most impressive horror films of its time and still holds up very well today. The movie that haunted audiences in the 80’s is still strong and will leave even new viewers impressed. The Blu-ray release is great, featuring strong video and audio presentations. The extras are also very nice. Overall this Blu-ray release is a ‘Must Own’ for fans and ‘Highly Recommended’ to all others.

Additional U.S. Blu-ray Screenshots:

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