Horror Special Edition Collection: Carrie / The Fog / The Howling Brian De Palma, John Carpenter, Joe Dante

Horror Special Edition Collection: Carrie / The Fog / The Howling Brian De Palma, John Carpenter, Joe Dante
Finally, a box set worth buying. For the Halloween season, MGM packages three classic scary movies: the original Carrie (which launched the careers of director Brian De Palma and star Sissy Spacek), John Carpenter's The Fog and Joe Dante's The Howling. Where most horror flicks drown in guts and gore, each of these movies was made with skill and restraint, insisting on characterisation and suspense on top of the requisite frights. In The Fog, the centenary of the small sea town Antonio Bay is marked by the return of sailors who died in a horrible shipwreck. The sailors rise from their watery graves to exact revenge for their deaths, which remain shrouded in greed and secrecy. Carpenter exploits his settings (a lighthouse, an old church) and relentless moody music to create an ominous atmosphere. He's backed by a good cast (Hal Holbrook, John Houseman, Janet Leigh). In 1981, The Howling updated the werewolf movie and launched its brief revival. TV newswoman Karen White (Dee Wallace) recovers from a traumatic encounter with a serial killer by going to a secluded retreat called the Colony. Nights of bestial cries lure Karen into the woods where she makes a horrifying discovery. The mediocre script is redeemed by fine performances and marvellous special effects, which were revolutionary then and hold up today. The jewel of the set is Carrie. Mousy schoolgirl Carrie White is bullied by classmates and tormented by her mother, a religious fanatic who demonises all things sexual. After the gym teacher punishes Carrie's classmates after one humiliating event, one classmate (Nancy Allen) and her boyfriend (John Travolta) take revenge by ruining Carrie's prom. Meanwhile, another girl makes amends by fixing up Carrie with her hunk boyfriend (William Katt). However, nobody knows that Carrie has the power of telekinesis, psychically hurling objects with her mind. DePalma skilfully balances frights, pathos and even laughs in this low-budget movie, which launched innumerable careers and Oscar nominations. Each disc comes loaded with features. Carrie includes two detailed documentaries on the acting and directing, with enough information to make up for a lack of audio commentary. The written essay on how author Stephen King wrote his original novel is insightful and concise. The Howling and The Fog also contain "making of" docs, but also good director's audio commentaries plus outtakes, storyboards and photo galleries. Extras: commentaries; featurettes; more. (MGM)