Legendary cinematographer turned filmmaker Nicolas Roeg (1928-2018) was one of the true auteurs of cinema. His oeuvre of classics was very eclectic and imaginative, and when he dipped into fingers into the horror genre, he really gave us something special and nightmarish with his quite unsettling and erotic 1973 masterwork Don’t Look Now, which joins the 4K UHD world this week, courtesy of Criterion.
The now famous plot (which Roeg beautifully adapted from Daphne Du Maurier’s short story) has Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland (who give career best and deeply emotional performances) play loving couple Laura and John Baxter, who go to Venice after the drowning of their daughter Christine, as John is hired to restore a church, and especially to process their immense grief. During their trip, they meet two creepy sisters (Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania) who claim to be psychic and have supposedly contacted with Christine. Meanwhile, John (not being convinced of the sisters’ ability) spots a hooded figure running through the streets of Venice, wearing the same red coat that Christine wore when she drowned.
Unfolding as a terrifying puzzle (one that you just want to remove the pieces and put them together again), there is an unnerving sense of grief (one that gets even more so as the film plays out), loss, decay (inner and outer), danger, and definitely eroticism (the famous sex scene between Christie and Sutherland is still talked about to this day). And not to mention that chilling ending (which continues to be a sheer gut punch), the film rightly continues to be an important influence on many filmmakers, including Joachim Trier and Edgar Wright, as well as the horror genre as a whole.
Making its 4K UHD debut this week, the supplements aren’t new, but they’re still very enjoyable and quite viable. They include a conversation between editor Graeme Clifford and film writer/historian Bobbie O’Steen; a short documentary from featuring Clifford, Richmond, and Roeg; Q&A with Roeg from 2003 at London’s Ciné Lumière; trailer, and more. There’s also the original essay by film critic David Thompson.
If you don’t already own previous editions of this all-time classic, then you’ll be doing yourself quite the favor by adding this release to your collection because the film is an expert masterpiece and a sublime piece of creepy filmmaking.
The Mist 4K UHD: A new 4-disc Collector’s Edition of Frank Darabont’s now iconic adaptation of Stephen King’s short story starring Thomas Jane as an ordinary man, along with his son, among a group of terrified townsfolk trapped in a local grocery store by a giant mist, one that contains a bevy of deadly and grotesque creatures.
Talk to Me: The recent horror hit where a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand. They become enamored with it, until one of them goes too far and opens the door to the spirit world, forcing them to choose between the dead or the living.
Night of the Demons 4K UHD (Scream Factory): A new edition of the 1988 grisly cult classic where teens deciding to go to a party at an abandoned funeral parlor, which obviously turns out to be a big mistake, especially after they awaken an evil force and find themselves trapped and taken over one by one by it.
It Came from Outer Space (Universal Essentials Collection): A brand new 4K UHD + 3D Blu + Blu combo of Jack Arnold’s 1953 sci-fi classic about a spaceship that crashes in the Arizona desert that brings aliens who pretend to be nearby townspeople to repair their hidden craft.