Scream: Collector's Edition (1996)

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Released 12-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Wes Craven (Director) and Kevin Williamson (Writer)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Production featurette - Behind The Scream
Outtakes
Interviews-Cast
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 106:49 (Case: 111)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (71:20) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Wes Craven
Studio
Distributor

Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Neve Campbell
Skeet Ulrich
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

     I actually hadn't heard or seen anything about Scream when I first went to see it at the cinema. But, right after the now-famous opening sequence I was scared out of my mind. That scene still gives me the chills. But what surprised me the most about the movie was the wit inherent in the script, which is a testament to the great writing of screenwriter Kevin Williamson.

    The script has loads of humour, references to other horror movies, and a great twist that I for one didn't see coming. For a more detailed plot analysis, refer to Dean M's original review. In short, the movie centres around Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a high school student whose mother was brutally murdered one year ago. The opening scene featuring Drew Barrymore introduces the killer in the movie in a most effective way, and the remainder of the movie revolves around revealing the relationship of the killer to Sidney, her friends, and her family.

    The cast is great, featuring great performances from mostly silver screen unknowns Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, and Matthew Lillard. The cast injected a real enthusiasm and freshness into the movie that separated it from the many slasher flicks that followed.

    This release of the movie is definitely an improvement over the last Pan & Scan joke. Unfortunately, the movie presented here is still the cut version with toned down murder scenes. But even with this, I found the movie very entertaining, and it still gives me the chills after repeated viewings. A great movie that pretty much started the teenage slasher flick trend. I don't think any of the others have managed to reach the standards that Scream reached.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this release is generally very good, with some flaws that are discussed below.

    The movie is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which is the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. This is a major improvement over the original Region 4 release that was a Pan & Scan hack.

    There are times when the transfer seems to be a little soft, with many scenes not seeming to be as sharp as they could be, but this doesn't present too much of a problem. Grain is certainly visible at times, particularly against white backgrounds. As expected for a horror movie, there are a lot of dark night-time scenes, and black levels are quite solid. Shadow detail isn't too bad either, and I could not detect any low level noise.

    Colours are natural throughout the movie, and the reds really shine through in clothes and in the blood. I could not detect any colour bleeding, and there was no over-saturation. The opening scene in particular seems muted, but overall the colour is pretty good in the transfer.

    Film artefacts pop up quite frequently in the transfer, with black and white flecks appearing intermittently. Other flaws include a rather ugly blue splotch in the middle of the screen at 16:40, and a white blur at 41:42. Even though the transfer appears soft for most scenes, aliasing crops up frequently against buildings, car grilles, and railings. One example of shimmering occurs in the opening scene against Casey's jumper sleeve as she talks on the phone. Every little move appears to make the jumper sleeve shimmer disturbingly. Moire effects also appear against the TV screen at 23:16. I did not detect any edge enhancement in the transfer.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc with the layer change occurring at 71:20. The pause is only slight and does not really disturb the flow of the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Three English soundtracks are provided with this release: an English DTS 5.1 (768 Kb/s) soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) soundtrack, and an English Dolby Stereo (224 Kb/s) soundtrack. I listened to the DTS track in its entirety and sampled sections of the Dolby Digital track for comparison. Both are effectively identical and are quite effective.

    Dialogue is usually clear and easy to understand. Audio synchronisation was not a problem apart from one or two cases of bad ADR work. For example, when Courtney Cox says "Be right back" at 71:51, there is no way her lips actually said those words.

    The score is quite good throughout the movie, really enhancing the mood and tension in critical scenes, and providing the necessary bursts to make you jump out of your seat. Surround activity is a bit of a mixed bag, with the surrounds kicking in intermittently to enhance the scenes. Right from the opening scene the surrounds are used to add a creepy ambience to the score, but for the most part the audio is more frontal. Fortunately, the front soundstage is quite good with some decent separation.

    The subwoofer is called into action effectively to give the shocks in the movie that extra lower end support. It supports the music and on-screen action effectively without being too overpowering or conspicuous.

    Usually with DTS and Dolby Digital comparisons, DTS wins out. On this occasion, it is pretty much a dead heat, with no differences that I could hear with my ears. Even the output level appears to be very similar, which goes against the trend that I am used to where the DTS tracks are significantly louder. So, whichever option you go with, you'll be happy. The Dolby Stereo track for those without the appropriate decoders should suffice for that equipment level.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This release provides a set of extra material mostly recycled from the original release which are mostly interesting. One notable inclusion is the very good Behind the Scream documentary on the trilogy.

Menu Animation

    The DVD presents a very good menu with a lot of animation and background noise. In fact, when you put the disc in, the DVD plays a short clip from the movie before the menu is shown. The clip from the movie differs on different occasions when you put the DVD in.

Behind the Scenes - 9:47

    Presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this short featurette simply shows on-set footage with no commentary at all. It is effectively someone walking around the set during rehearsals and actual filming and capturing it all on a hand-held camera. It does capture some interesting behind the scenes footage, and shows the great direction that Craven gave to the cast.

Director's Comments - 3:04

    Craven talks briefly about the film, the script, and why audiences get a real buzz out of a great horror movie.

Outtakes - 4:12

    The usual filming gags and stuff-ups. Presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (non 16x9 enhanced), the outtakes are mildly interesting.

Trailer - 1:01

    A trailer of the movie presented at 1.33:1. Picture and audio quality isn't great.

Behind the Scream - 28:40

    A great documentary on the entire Scream trilogy that involves a lot of the crew and the cast. There are many interviews with the crew that provide a lot of interesting anecdotes about the film-making process. The cast interviews are the usual standard fare of everyone loving to work with everyone else. It was interesting to hear that they actually tried making scenes in the movies more graphic and waiting for the censors to ask them to tone down certain scenes. Overall, a very good documentary on the making of all three movies.

Interviews

    This section is broken into snippets for each major cast member. The most annoying thing about this extra is that the interviews only show the responses given by the cast, and do not show the questions being asked. All that happens is that there is a brief blackout between answers. Therefore, it is very hard to follow the conversation and to understand context in which the actors are responding. This extra is tedious and is not very interesting.

Commentary - Director Wes Craven and Screenwriter Kevin Williamson

    The commentary with Craven and Williamson is quite entertaining, with mostly continuous banter between the two. Of most interest in the commentary are the references to the censorship issues, although it is disturbing that they are referring to the inclusion of scenes that do not appear to be in this cut of the film. For example, the scene where Steve's intestines are shown falling out in close-up is described and said to be included, but is not in this release. Overall, a very interesting commentary that includes good behind the scenes information.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As described in Dean's original review, there are a number of different versions of the film, thanks to the various censor organisations in different countries. The censorship issues are indicated in the censorship section. There are a number of Region 1 versions released in the US, with the preferred release being the Scream Collector's Series version.

    This Region 4 version misses out on:

    The Region 1 version misses out on:

    It is a well known fact that the Region 2 Japanese version features both the theatrical and director's cut (uncut) versions of the movie.

    If you're a purist then perhaps go for the Region 2 uncut version. Personally, I would prefer a 16x9 enhanced movie with a few cuts here and there to an NTSC version that is not 16x9 enhanced. Therefore, I would recommend this Region 4 version.

Summary

    Scream really is one of my favourite horror movies. It was such a surprise that I enjoyed it so much the first time I saw it at the cinemas. The humour is spot on and the shocks still give you chills when you watch it. The opening scene still scares me. This release is a definite improvement over the original release, so if you like this move, definitely shell out the dough to get this version. It is unfortunate that we do not get the uncut version, but there's not much we can do about the censors.

    The video quality is generally quite good, but could have been better.

    The audio options provided are good, with no discernible difference between the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks.

    The extras are mostly enjoyable, particularly the Behind the Scream documentary on the trilogy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Chanh-Khai Ly (My biodegradable bio)
Saturday, November 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP500, using Component output
DisplayRK-32HDP81 HDTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD/DD-EX/DTS/DTS-ES matrix and discrete. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600
SpeakersKef KHT 2005 5.1 Home Theatre System

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)
AllZone4DVD - Magalie S
MovieHole - Clint M
The DVD Bits - Mark M
Web Wombat - James A
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Ken C
impulsegamer.com - Tory Favro

Comments (Add)
Japanese R2 Director's Cut is 16x9 -
Started the teen slasher trend? -
To anonymous - Shane C (read my bio, you will)
Re: Japanese R2 Director's Cut - Alex H (My biography...in 500 words or less!)
Oh the horror - pellicule
Danish R2 also uncut... - Sam O (read my bio)
Australian version -
New to Blu Ray -
Strange issue with Blu Ray Release of Scream -