I once had a professor in an international horror class who gave an entire lecture arguing the merits of VHS tapes over DVD or high definition quality playback. I’m sure this was largely in part of his age; having experienced each of these modern classics through grainy film images, this was what he felt nostalgia for. In some respects, I could understand where he was coming from. We are spoiled these days, consumers of cutting edge technology which puts even more pressure on modern filmmakers. Seeing older films in pristine condition is a wholly new concept for cinephiles.
Before VHS there were few options for seeing an older film, regardless of quality. The best chances were theaters which had an old print to play, often scratched and worn from many trips through various projectors across the country. Every time I viewed Halloween prior to this 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release, it was difficult to see what was happening in some of the darker sequences of the film. Say what you will about the nostalgia of scratched and blurry film, but this version of Halloween allows us to see the immaculate photography by Dean Cundey and each of Michael’s background appearances in the first hour of the film.