'Scream 4,' 'The Hills Have Eyes' and Other Scary Movies on Blu-ray This October

Horror buffs can relish in both new and old titles this Halloween season, complete with bonus footage and director commentary.
The Weinstein Company

One of the best things about October is Halloween -- and one of the best things about Halloween is scary movies. This year, there are plenty of new offerings on Blu-ray and DVD.

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Scream 4 hit shelves earlier this week and while it didn’t fulfill its promise of returning glory to the series (the fact that it never found a satisfying way to marry the old cast with the next gen cast was one of the faults) it had its charms. And it still proved that director Wes Craven can flex some fine chops when in thriller mode.

Scream 4 is that rare big company effort in the horror field but for a good while now, the action  - or rather, the guts and gore – has been in the indie scene.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good guts and gore. Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 from Image Entertainment is already in stories after its debut in Comic-Con, and on October 20, we’ll see The Howling Reborn -- a brand new straight-to-home werewolf tale featuring no small amount of over-acting (and some under-acting).

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So when that doesn’t work, it’s best to head to the past. Image Entertainment redeems itself for Chromeskull 2 with its great selection of horror classics, out on Blu-ray for the first time.

Basketcase is a 1982 low-budget horror about a man and his Siamese brother…who happens to reside in a wicker basket the man carries. The film is still just as bizarre as it was back in the 1980s.

The Blood Trilogy brings together three grindhouse flicks from writer-director producer Herschell Gordon Lewis :  Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red. Scantily clad women and gore, it’s all here in 1960s style. There’s also a documentary on Lewis, Hershell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore, that’s just on DVD.

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The Hills Have Eyes is also worth checking out. The Wes Craven classic, about a nuclear family who falls prey to a family of savage cannibals while travelling in the American Southwest, stands up fairly well, especially the first part; Craven’s non-flashy use of close-ups and minimal music is something that a lot of directors can learn from.

Yes, the fur costumes of the savage family (a mirror to the “civilized” family) is silly by today’s standards, but the avenging German shepherd still rules. Plus, you’ll see that in 1977 it cost $6.80 to fill up a tank of gas.

The Blu-ray comes with some nice extras, such as an alternate ending and a frills-free and straightforward documentary on Craven that is also pretty good and pretty honest. (Would you believe he was supposed to direct Beetlejuice and met with Christopher Reeves for Superman 4?)

Kinda funny: Near the end of the documentary, made around the time of 2000's Scream 3, star Neve Campbell says about future Scream sequels “I don’t think there’ll be a four. I think we’re all happy that this will be the finish and are trying not to make one these films that go on forever.”

Oh, well.

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