Scream Trilogy

Post-modern horror franchise suffers from old-fashioned source material on Blu-ray

The Scream Trilogy finds director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson (replaced by Ehren Kruger for the third outing) in full-on self-reflexive, post-modern mode, deconstructing the slasher genre for a new generation of horror fans. Unsurprisingly, it’s the original Scream that still stands up best, being an effective piece of horror cinema as well as a fun commentary on the sub-genre. Scream 2 follows the sequel path of upping the body count, but fails to really offer anything really fresh, while Scream 3 misses the point completely and is a total dud.

Picture: All three films feature AVC 2.40:1 1080p encodes but the picture quality across them is rather hit-and-miss. Scream is the worst of the bunch thanks to some pretty egregious edge enhancement that’s clearly been employed to try and sharpen up an old master - it’s safe to bet that this is the same one used for the old DVD release, as is undoubtedly true of the subsequent films as well. Things pick up a bit with Scream 2, which boasts better detailing for the most part, but also features the odd ‘mushy’ texture and more edge enhancement. Visually, Scream 3 is the pick of the bunch, looking much sharper and more natural than both its predecessors.
Picture rating: 3/5

Audio: While the hi-def picture quality is mediocre at best, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks served up by these Blu-rays is much better. All three films make great use of the entire soundstage to play around with all of the usual slasher movie standards – be it loud bursts of music or somebody suddenly jumping up from one side of the screen or the other. Indeed, audio placement on all three is very good, aided by natural panning across the speakers and a very robust low-end.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Final proof that these discs were put together by simply dusting off the materials created from the aging DVDs comes from the extra features. There’s absolutely nothing new here, just the same old audio commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailers and outtakes that fans have seen and heard before.

Rather more annoyingly, we’re still stuck with the cut version of Scream, and none of the gorier deleted/alternate scenes for that flick are present. Also missing are all of the extras from the bonus disc included in the 11-year old Ultimate Scream Collection R1 DVD boxset including additional outtakes, screen tests, TV spots and the Behind the Scream documentary.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: This mediocre Blu-ray boxset is unlikely to have fans screaming with joy

Lionsgate, Region B BD, £50 approx, On sale now