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Home Entertainment Guide: October 2023


"Chicken Run"
"Deliver Us from Evil"
"Get Out"
"It Follows"
"The Killing of a Sacred Deer"
"Lady Bird"
"Long Shot"
"No Hard Feelings"



Maybe you've heard of it? The first half of the Barbenheimer craze landed on Blu-ray and VOD first, just in time to accompany every Halloween party with a Barbie and Ken costume in play. What more could possibly be said about "Barbie," a movie that somehow defies the easy categorization of "product based on product" to become something remarkably ambitious? What I admire most about "Barbie" is how much it really shouldn't work. In an era when we're all so deeply cynical about being sold something through our entertainment, "Barbie" has forever changed the reputation of a doll. It's because Greta Gerwig and company really understood the assignment, using the commercial aspect of their blockbuster as a launchpad for not just gender commentary but something else that the world could use more of: joyous, passionate blockbuster filmmaking. Big movies have become so cold and calculated over the years, and the reason "Barbie" really clicked was because one could feel the collaborative joy in making it in every frame. And now they can watch it over and over again. Sadly, no sing-a-long feature for "I'm Just Ken." But you probably know the words anyway.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Welcome to Barbie Land – featurette
Becoming Barbie – featurette
Playing Dress-Up – featurette
Musical Make-Believe – featurette
All-Star Barbie Party – featurette
It's A Weird World – featurette

"The Boogeyman"

Man, this one is a disappointment. On physical media and streaming already for Hulu subscribers, "The Boogeyman" seemed like a slam dunk for summer horror hit a la "The Black Phone" and "Smile" in Summer 2022. The small problem with that? It's not good. Based on a short story of the same name by Stephen King from five decades ago, this Rob Savage film feels like it came too late in the "manifested grief" cycle of elevated horror, failing to rise above a structure that now feels too familiar. Chris Messina and Sophie Thatcher are doing their best, but you can do better this spooky season.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Into the Darkness Featurette – Open the door into the dark world of The Boogeyman as the cast and crew share how the terrifying tale, based on Stephen King's classic short story, was crafted.
Outtakes – It's not all just jump scares and bumps in the night. Join the cast for some lighthearted fun in the outtakes.

"Don't Look Now" (Criterion)

The great folk at Criterion understand that horror sells, especially in October, so all five releases this month are of the terrifying variety, and all are worth a purchase. "Don't Look Now" starts with this 1973 stunner based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland are devastating as a couple who are traveling in Venice after the death of their daughter. When a woman claims their daughter is trying to contact them from the other side, things get surreal and unforgettable. This is a film that really defined the "grief horror" genre that's so prevalent nowadays, an unsettling movie with jarring editing that messes with perception in a manner that's more common now but was breakthrough a half-century ago. The film was released on Criterion before, but it's getting the 4K treatment this month, and it's worth the upgrade.

Buy it here 

Special Features
4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Anthony Richmond, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Conversation between editor Graeme Clifford and film writer and historian Bobbie O’Steen
“Don't Look Now”: Looking Back, a short documentary from 2002 featuring Clifford, Richmond, and director Nicolas Roeg
“Don't Look Now”: Death in Venice, a 2006 interview with composer Pino Donaggio
Program on the writing and making of the film, featuring interviews with Richmond, actors Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, and coscreenwriter Allan Scott
Program on Roeg’s style, featuring interviews with filmmakers Danny Boyle and Steven Soderbergh
Q&A with Roeg from 2003 at London’s Ciné Lumière
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic David Thompson

"Haunted Mansion"

The latest effort to turn a theme park ride into a feature film starts with great promise thanks to a grounded performance by Lakeith Stanfield and ambitious choices from director Justin Simien. When Stanfield encounters a single mother (Rosario Dawson) who just happens to live in one of the most haunted houses in the world, it forces him to reckon with what he believes about the afterlife and what he feels about his deceased wife. Stanfield takes the whole thing so emotionally seriously that he really elevates it, but the film has that common Disney problem where it runs out of ideas and sags in the middle. Still, this is better than the Eddie Murphy version and better than a lot of the Halloween season products that you could watch with the little ones on Disney+. The Blu-ray is a little slight for Disney, who usually pack their physical media with interesting special features. But kids may be drawn to a neat special feature that reveals the many easter eggs for Disney fans hidden in the movie.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Making Haunted Mansion (13:05) Hear from cast, crew and filmmakers about creating this grim grinning adventure based on the world-famous ride. See how the ghosts were "brought to life," what role new technology played, and how the wildly popular attraction inspired the film's design.
999 Happy Haunts (7:05) There are 999 Happy Haunts inside the Disney Parks' attraction…but always room for one more! See all the Easter eggs (well, maybe not all of them) where characters big, small, alive, departed, human and otherwise appear in both the movie and the ride.
Deleted scenes - take a look at some moments that passed on before the final version of Haunted Mansion was finished
Carol (0:45)
1 Star (0:44)
Harriet's House Of Intuition (3:11)
They Say The Place Is Haunted (1:16)
Between Realms (1:42)
Crump Manor (1:07)
Emergency Baptism (1:01)
A Good Head For Business (0:32)
Gag Reel - Who knew making a scary movie could be so funny!

"Insidious: The Red Door"

There have been five films in the "Insidious" franchise, a money-making machine for the good folk over at Blumhouse, but something of a critically derided operation overall. I went into "The Red Door" hoping that bringing Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne back to the series would give it new life. I was wrong. One of the worst horror movies of the year, this one is a dull slog that picks up with Wilson's Josh having been divorced from Byrne's Renai and basically estranged from his son Dalton. When both Josh and Dalton start having visions of The Further that haunted them in the first two films and were supposed to have been then repressed, well, things get creepy. At least, they should. "The Red Door" is boring, a disappointment from an actor as generally underrated as Wilson. Despite that, it made almost $200 million, the most in the series, so there's absolutely no way this door is closed. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Past, Present, Further
A Possessed Director

"The Last Voyage of the Demeter"

This one doesn't work as well for me as some other critics (including our own). However, I'm still sad that it bombed (currently grossing half its budget) because it was an undeniably ambitious effort, and the blockbuster horror genre could use more of that. Taking a passage from Bram Stoker's Dracula that was rich with potential enough to make a feature film is a clever idea. There are definite strengths here, including confident cinematography and fluid editing. It just sags a bit and can't quite transport us to this ship that just happens to be transporting a bloodsucker named Dracula. Still, you could do a lot worse for a horror rental, and the Blu-ray is packed enough with special features that fans of the film should pick it up.

Buy it here 

Special Features
ALTERNATE OPENING - Commentary available with Director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
DELETED SCENES - Commentary available with Director André Øvredal and Producer Bradley J. Fischer
Clemens Picking up a Stone in Varna
Bosphorus and Constantinople
Clemens Following Huck's Blood Trail
Clemens and Anna Talk on Deck
Crew Discuss Where the Beast Is Hiding
Finding the Corpses in the Crate
Wojchek Finds the Captain
Clemens Visits His Father's Grave
FROM THE PITS OF HELL: DRACULA REIMAGINED - Learn how the creative team behind THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER conjured a new nightmare.
EVIL IS ABOARD: THE MAKING OF THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER - Set sail for an exclusive journey inside the making of the movie with the filmmakers and cast.
DRACULA & THE DIGITAL AGE - Visual effects supervisor Brad Parker leads a detailed look at the imaginative work that adds fresh layers of fear to Dracula, creates realistic water, and enhances scenery with bleeding-edge VFX.

"Nanny" (Criterion)

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, this is the best horror movie you probably haven't seen and a phenomenal pick for this year's Criterion horror releases. Nikyatu Jusu's feature directorial debut is the story of Aisha (Anna Diop), a Senegalese immigrant in New York City who takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy couple. It's a blend of traditional domestic drama that could have just been a social clash between Aisha and the parents of the girl she nannies. But Jusu is more ambitious, weaving elements of culture, grief, and horror into a film that's really like no other so far this decade. The excellent Criterion release also includes a short film by Jusu and an essay by the singular Angelica Jade Bastien.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital master, approved by director Nikyatu Jusu, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio and uncompressed stereo soundtracks
New program featuring Jusu, actors Anna Diop and Michelle Monaghan, and director of photography Rina Yang
Suicide by Sunlight (2019), a short film by Jusu
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and English descriptive audio
PLUS: An essay by critic Angelica Jade Bastién

"The Others" (Criterion)

A horror movie so good that it won the Goya Awards for Best Film and Best Director and landed star Nicole Kidman a Golden Globe nomination, Alejandro Amenábar's 2001 ghost story is a phenomenal choice to enter the Criterion collection this month with a stunning 4K transfer and new special features. Kidman stars as a woman who lives in a deeply haunted house in 1945, although not everything is as it first seems. Moody and moving, "The Others" is one of the best horror films of its era, a confident work that recalls classic horror while also not feeling remotely dated.  

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Alejandro Amenábar, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Audio commentary featuring Amenábar
New conversation between Amenábar and film critic Pau Gómez
New making-of program from Studiocanal UK featuring Amenábar, actors Nicole Kidman and Christopher Eccleston, and producer Fernando Bovaira
Archival programs about the film’s production, soundtrack, and visual effects, featuring interviews and footage recorded on the set
Audition footage of actors Alakina Mann and James Bentley and photography from the “Book of the Dead”
Seven deleted scenes
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by scholar Philip Horne

"Talk to Me"

Australian directors Danny and Michael Philippou (aka RackaRacka) broke through with this huge horror hit for A24, a movie that has made almost $100 million worldwide on a fraction of that budget. Why has this movie connected? It's undeniably stylish, but it's also relatable, capturing a group of kids who get a little reckless with something they don't completely understand. In this case, it's an embalmed hand that allows them to speak to the other side. When one of the teenagers doesn't close the door in time, everything changes, but the Philippous never devolve into standard jump scares or horror movie tropes. There is some unforgettable imagery in this film that I still think falls apart a bit in the final act, but I'm still happy about its success. We could use more films this ambitious in the genre. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Talk to Me Q&A with Filmmakers Danny & Michael Philippou (Amazon-Exclusive Content)
Audio Commentary with Cowriter-Director Danny Philippou and Director Michael Philippou
"In the Grip of Terror" Featurette
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer

"Tod Browning's Sideshow Shockers" (Criterion)

This is a daring box set from Criterion, a collection of controversial films from an auteur who has been accused of exploitation in the past given his subject matter and setting, the world of traveling sideshows. His most famous film is the unforgettable "Freaks," which has been digitally restored here and accompanied by two other features, "The Mystic" and "The Unknown," both also restored. Say what you will about Browning's use of disability, his films are mesmerizing, and this Criterion release digs into why with audio commentaries, a new interview with Megan Abbott, an episode of Kristen Lopez's podcast, and much more. It's one of the company's most fascinating box sets of the year.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 2K digital restoration of Freaks, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New 2K digital reconstruction and restoration of The Unknown by the George Eastman Museum, with a new score by composer Philip Carli
New 2K digital restoration of The Mystic, with a new score by composer Dean Hurley
Audio commentaries on Freaks and The Unknown and an introduction to The Mystic by film scholar David J. Skal
New interview with author Megan Abbott about director Tod Browning and pre-Code horror
Archival documentary on Freaks
Episode from 2019 of critic Kristen Lopez’s podcast Ticklish Business about disability representation in Freaks
Reading by Skal of “Spurs,” the short story by Tod Robbins on which Freaks is based
Prologue to Freaks, which was added to the film in 1947
Program on the alternate endings to Freaks
Video gallery of portraits from Freaks
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Farran Smith Nehme

"Videodrome" (Criterion)

Where would we be without David Cronenberg? One of the most visionary and ahead-of-his-time filmmakers to ever live, Cronenberg has been featured regularly in the Criterion Collection, including a standard release of his masterpiece "Videodrome," which has now been given the 4K treatment. This release has always been one of my favorites from the company, loaded with supplemental material that doesn't just feel like filler but enhances the viewer's appreciation of the film. Two audio commentaries, special features, roundtables, archival material, and even a Cronenberg short—this is a must-own for any fan of the Canadian master.

Buy it here 

Special Features
One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Two audio commentaries, one featuring Cronenberg and director of photography Mark Irwin, the other actors James Woods and Deborah Harry
Camera (2000), a short film by Cronenberg
Forging the New Flesh, a short documentary by filmmaker Michael Lennick about the creation of Videodrome’s video and prosthetic makeup effects
Effects Men, an audio interview with special makeup effects creator Rick Baker and video effects supervisor Lennick
Bootleg Video, the complete footage of Samurai Dreams and seven minutes of transmissions from “Videodrome,” presented in their original, unedited form, with filmmaker commentary
Fear on Film, a roundtable discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg and filmmakers John Carpenter, John Landis, and Mick Garris
Original theatrical trailers and promotional featurette
Stills gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes production photos and posters
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: Essays by writers Carrie Rickey, Tim Lucas, and Gary Indiana

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Managing Editor of, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and GQ, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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