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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Year in Horror: Stuff I Forgot to Mention

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a year in review, but wouldn't you know it? 2008 was such a multi-faceted year for horror that I simply couldn't fit it all in one post.

For one thing, I neglected to mention The Strangers--which just so happened to be the best American horror film I saw this year. Certainly not what I'd call an all-time great, but a solid little flick based around a tried-and-true, lean-and-mean formula. A worthy addition to the home invasion horror sub-genre--and if the Oscars had a category for Best Actress in a Horror Movie (now there's an idea!) it would definitely go to Liv Tyler.

As for best horror film I saw all year, period, that accolade would have to go to Let the Right One In. While I had yet to see the so-called "Swedish vampire movie" at the time I wrote the first "Year in Horror" post, I've now had the pleasure of experience, and can confidently heap such praise on it. I know I've written this before, but I will be posting a full review of that exquisite picture in the very near future.

But 2008 wasn't just about the new. As the DVD format has taught us, there is great joy to be gained in reliving the treasures of the past. Last time, I didn't even touch on major video releases, so let's remedy that, shall we?

After a long struggle, fervent fans of the original 1932 classic The Mummy got their wish, as Universal finally gave the film the deluxe "Legacy" treatment given to Dracula and Frankenstein. What, no Wolf Man? Maybe in time for next year's remake.

And speaking of the Universal Legacy series, Psycho also got the deluxe treatment. Believe it or not, it's the first such "special edition" DVD release for Hitchcock's seminal work.

Finally, high on my list in case there are any generous Vault Dwellers reading, Sony put out a spiffy new box set containing the Hammer flicks to which it owns the distributions rights. Called Icons of Horror: Hammer Films, it includes The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, The Two Faces of Dr. Jeckyll, Scream of Fear, and The Gorgon. That should fit nicely on my shelf, alongside the previous Warner Bros. and Universal Hammer releases.

Oh yeah, and did I mention Lucio Fulci's The Beyond got a much-needed re-release? Once again, generous Vault Dwellers take note!


Alana Noel Voth said...


I agree with you on The Strangers. Liv's performance wasn't cheesy in the least, simply dead-on, and the movie left me feeling freaked: more so than Them.

I can't wait to see Let the Right One In and have been taking peeks at clips on Youtube; I'm determined to read the book first though, and it's on its way!


Mr. Cavin said...

I was under the following impression: that Universal's "Legacy" series has included the Mummy from the very beginning (starting with the out-of-print box set featuring all eight Universal "standards" in 2000, through the series of six different sets--each featuring originals movies collected with their respective sequels, etc.--back in 2004).

I thought what we had here was the Mummy 75th Anniversary Version, a "Legacy release", following last year's 75th anniversary re-releases of Dracula and Frankenstein (back to one movie in a box, with copious extras, blah blah blah). If I'm right, don't fret, the Wolf Man version of this set should be out, what, in 2016. Until then we'll have to make do with the Legacy Collection still available to us, with Wolf Man packaged alongside Werewolf of London, She-Wolf..., and Frankenstein Meets....

Honestly, I think it's the better deal, anyway.

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