Season One of ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror’ Coming to Disc Oct. 6 From RLJ Films

AMC Networks’ RLJE Films will release season one of the documentary-horror series “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” Oct. 6 on DVD and Blu-ray.

The series originally aired on AMC Networks in 2018 as part of the AMC Visionaries series.

The documentary is directed by award-winning horror filmmaker Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, The Green Inferno) and written by Kurt Sayenga (“Breakthrough,” “Origins: The Journey of Humankind”). Roth brings together the masters of horror — the storytellers and stars who define the genre — to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode takes viewers on an exploration of how horror has evolved through the years and examines the genre’s impact on society as well as delving into how horror maintains its fan base and why audiences are addicted to fear.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series features interviews with author Stephen King (“Creepshow,” The Shining), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, “Kill Bill” franchise), Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead,” “Watchmen”), Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses), Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Tippi Hedren (The Birds, Marnie), Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense), Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and David Arquette (“Scream” franchise).

Bonus features include five featurettes and extended interviews with Stephen King, Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Diablo Cody, Roger Corman, John Landis and Joe Dante.

Paramount to Bow Stephen King Five-Movie Collection on Blu-ray Sept. 15

Paramount Home Entertainment will release a five-movie Stephen King collection on Blu-ray Sept. 15.

The films, based on the written works of Stephen King, include Pet Sematary (1989), Pet Sematary (2019), Stephen King’s The Stand, The Dead Zone and Stephen King’s Silver Bullet.

Pet Sematary (1989) is written for the screen by King based on his bestseller. Directed by Mary Lambert, the film follows a grief-stricken father who sets off a perilous chain of events that unleashes unfathomable evil. The Blu-ray includes commentary by Lambert, a guided tour of the locations led by King, an introduction to the cast and characters, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, an interview with Lambert about her memories making the film 30 years later, interviews with cast and crew of the 2019 movie discussing the original film’s impact, and photo galleries.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Pet Sematary (2019) includes more than 90 minutes of special features, including deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, a look at the main characters, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast interviews.

Stephen King’s The Stand, adapted by King from his novel and directed by Mick Garris, chronicles an epic story of good and evil that unfolds as the few remaining people on Earth fight to survive after a deadly plague kills most of the world’s population. It stars Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo and Rob Lowe. The Blu-ray includes commentary by King and members of the cast and crew, along with a making-of featurette.

Follow us on Instagram

The Dead Zone, directed by David Cronenberg, is a psychological thriller about Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), a schoolteacher who awakens from a coma to discover he has psychic abilities. The film also stars Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Nicolas Campell and Martin Sheen.

Stephen King’s Silver Bullet features a screenplay from King based on his novella Cycle of the Werewolf. When a series of brutal killings plague a small town, a paraplegic boy becomes convinced they are the work of a werewolf. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the film stars Gary Busey, Everett McGill and Corey Haim.

‘The Stand’ to Premiere on CBS All Access Dec. 17

The limited series The Stand will premiere Dec. 17 on ViacomCBS’s SVOD and live streaming service CBS All Access.

The nine-episode series will drop weekly on Thursdays exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers.

The Stand is Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man.

Based on King’s best-selling novel of the same name, the series will close with a new coda written by the author himself.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“During the two years we spent making The Stand, we all felt the responsibility of adapting what may be the most beloved work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, but none of us could have imagined that Stephen King’s 40-year-old masterpiece about a global pandemic would come to be so eerily relevant,” said Benjamin Cavell, showrunner and executive producer, in a statement. “We’re honored to tell this sprawling, epic story, including a new coda that Stephen King has wanted to add for decades. We’re so proud of this show and its attempt to find meaning and hope in the most uncertain of times. We can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Follow us on Instagram

In addition to Goldberg and Skarsgård, the series stars James Marsden as Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, Brad William Henke as Tom Cullen, Irene Bedard as Ray Bretner, Nat Wolff as Lloyd Henreid, Eion Bailey as Weizak, Heather Graham as Rita Blakemoor, Katherine McNamara as Julie Lawry, Fiona Dourif as Ratwoman, Natalie Martinez as Dayna Jurgens, Hamish Linklater as Dr. Jim Ellis, Daniel Sunjata as Cobb and Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman.

Creepshow: Season 1

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

RLJ/Shudder;
Horror;
$34.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Tobin Bell, Adrienne Barbeau, Giancarlo Esposito, Cailey Fleming, Jeffrey Combs, DJ Qualls, Bruce Davison, David Arquette, Dana Gould, Tricia Helfer, Scott Mescudi.

This original series of the Shudder streaming service continues the tradition of anthology horror established in the 1982 movie Creepshow directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King, as well as the 1987 sequel written by Romero.

The new series, executive produced by Greg Nicotero of “The Walking Dead,” offers two short stories per hourlong episode, with six episodes in the first season. The series expands on the visual style of the films, which were heavily influenced by horror comic books of the 1950s and 1960s. Episodes frequently use comic book-style artwork for story introductions and scene transitions, as well as a vibrant color palette for the title designs and linking materials.

The shorts are a mixture of adaptations of existing stories and original material. They range from the downright disgusting to the generally creepy, typically offering a helpful metaphor to a real-life problem. For example, the first story in the first episode, “Grey Matter,” presents an allegory for the dangerous effects of alcoholism on friends and family, in transforming a drunk father into a monster who eats local pets and absorbs anyone he comes into contact with, causing him to duplicate and spread his numbers to the rest of society.

The back half of the episode is the charming “The House of the Head,” about a little girl (Cailey Fleming of “The Walking Dead”) whose dollhouse seems to be haunted by a strange miniature rotting head that causes the figures of the family to move while she isn’t looking (shades of the Weeping Angels from “Doctor Who”) leading to her discovering them in new poses of varying degrees of terror as she tries to figure out what is happening to them.

Those looking for a more comedic mix in their horror should like “The Finger,” which stars DJ Qualls as a loner who stumbles upon a weird demon-like creature that ends up doing his bidding in ridding the world of the people who plague his life.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Blu-ray is absolutely loaded with bonus materials, including several episode commentaries, featurettes for each episode and myriad behind-the-scenes galleries. There’s also a special featurette about the Easter Eggs in the episodes that reference the movies — and as a fun touch it’s set up like an unlabled old-school DVD Easter Egg you actually have to search for in the menus. It’s a nice touch that lends to the throwback nature of the series.

Warner Sets HBO’s ‘The Outsider’ for DVD and Blu-ray Release

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the first season of HBO’s “The Outsider” on Blu-ray and DVD July 28. The 10-episode limited series is available now to buy through digital retailers.

Based on the bestselling Stephen King novel, the mystery series follows a seemingly straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a local boy. When 11-year-old Frankie Peterson’s body is found mutilated in the Georgia woods, police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) sets out to investigate — with eyewitnesses and physical evidence pointing to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), a popular high school teacher, Little League coach, doting husband and father. While the case appears ironclad, Ralph is baffled by the emergence of contradictory evidence that places his suspect in a neighboring city at the time of the murder. The mysterious set of circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, a seasoned cop still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.

The cast also includes Bill Camp, Mare Winningham, Paddy Considine, Julianne Nicholson, Yul Vázquez, Jeremy Bobb and Marc Menchaca.

Follow us on Instagram

The Outsider: The Complete First Season DVD and Blu-ray will offer more than 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes bonus content, including the featurette “El Cuco. The Bab Yaga. The Outsider,” about the real-world origins and supernatural abilities of the being at the center of the story.

Other extras include the featurettes “Invitation to Set,” “Stephen King and The Outsider,” “Jason Bateman and The Outsider” “Adapting The Outsider,” “Analyzing Holly Gibney” and “The Outsider: Inside Episodes 1-10.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Update (4/27/20): The original street date of June 9 was changed to July 28 by Warner.

Doctor Sleep

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Horror;
Box Office $31.58 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use.
Stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood.

It’s not exactly a secret that Stephen King didn’t much care for Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of King’s 1977 novel The Shining. King’s distaste for the film was even a plot point in the 2018 film version of Ready Player One.

So it’s a bit remarkable, then, that King, serving as executive producer of the adaptation of his 2013 sequel Doctor Sleep, would allow the film to quote so much of Kubrick’s work.

Somehow, director Mike Flanagan has managed to make a film that both faithfully follows Kubrick’s version of The Shining while reconciling the differences between the source material and the film that irked King to begin with. The result is one of the better King adaptations, a terse game of supernatural cat-and-mouse that manages to be far more interesting than other recent King-to-screen efforts such as the bloated It: Chapter Two.

Like the book, the film picks up the story of young Danny Torrance, the little boy tormented by his father in The Shining, as he grows into a troubled adulthood (where he’s played by Ewan McGregor). Like his father, Dan has descended into alcoholism, turning to booze to drown out the traumas of his experiences at the Overlook hotel.

But he has also learned to deal with the ghosts that sought him due to his telepathic powers, and after reaching rock bottom manages to sober up and get a job at a hospice, where he uses his powers to help the terminally ill die peacefully, earning the nickname “Doctor Sleep.”

His telepathy also puts him into contact with others with the shining power, including a young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran). She alerts Dan to a cult of shiners led by Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) who seek immortality by murdering innocent children to claim their youth.

Dan then must take steps to protect Abra when the cult decides to come after her next.

Follow us on Instagram

Flanagan re-creates sequences from The Shining, albeit with different actors embodying the spirit of the original film, to effectively bridge the time gap between the two stories. The use of different actors can be a bit uncanny for those familiar with Kubrick’s film, especially if watched back to back with The Shining, since Flanagan admits he didn’t feel the need to go down the rabbit hole of digital re-creations of the original actors as long as he stayed true to the characters. He does a nice job matching Kubrick’s visual style, however, re-creating specific scenes and even using the original film’s music to good effect. Flanagan’s script also references plot elements of the second book that weren’t fully carried over into the film version.

As much as the film is a journey for Danny to reconcile traumas of his youth with the potential for using his abilities to help the world, so too it seems is it a chance for King to embrace the legacy of Kubrick’s version, which is often considered one of the greatest horror films of all time. In interviews before the theatrical release of Doctor Sleep, he spoke to elements of Flanagan’s screenplay that redeemed Kubrick’s version for him, and he echoes those sentiments in the home video bonus materials, in which he seems very much to have softened his stance toward the original film.

Indeed, the sequel does provide some deeper context for what transpired at the Overlook in the first film while giving Dan a chance to atone for his father’s demons.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Blu-ray includes a three-hour director’s cut, which runs about a half-hour longer than the theatrical cut. There aren’t really any scenes that change the meaning of the work, but the new material does give the story a chance to breathe by developing the characters a bit more. There are also more scenes of young Danny and his mother that take place shortly after The Shining, deepening Danny’s personal story and enhancing the film’s effectiveness as a psychological thriller while making it more of a bridge between King’s and Kubrick’s interpretations of the first novel.

Really, the director’s cut is the definitive version of the film, so anyone who hasn’t seen it should probably just start there.

The Blu-ray combo packs of Doctor Sleep include the theatrical cut on one disc and the director’s cut on another — so the 4K Ultra HD combo pack has just the theatrical cut on a 4K disc, with the director’s cut on a standard Blu-ray. The bonus materials are presented on the theatrical cut disc in both the 4K Ultra HD and standard Blu-ray combo packs. Each combo pack is only two discs, so the 4K pack doesn’t have a theatrical cut or extras on a standard Blu-ray.

However, the digital redemption code gives access to both the theatrical and the director’s cut, and all the extras as well, with the digital code from the 4K Ultra HD combo pack providing a 4K digital copy of the director’s cut.

Included are three featurettes running a bit more than a half-hour in total that are aimed at fans intrigued by the prospects of a King-approved sequel to Kubrick’s Shining. The 14-minute “The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision” deals with the general making of the film, the five-minute “From Shining to Sleep” provides an overview of how the filmmakers went about trying to connect the disparate movie and film versions of King’s vision, while the 15-minute “Return to the Overlook” focuses on re-creating the iconic sets of the first film.

Season Two of ‘Castle Rock’ on Disc May 19

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 19 (order date April 14). The season will be released for digital sellthrough Jan. 21. The Blu-ray will include a redemption code for a digital copy.

The disc release will include all 10 episodes from the second season of the Hulu original series about the small town that’s inhabited by author Stephen King’s most infamous literary characters.

Follow us on Instagram!

In season two, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes (Lizzie Caplan), from Misery, gets waylaid in Castle Rock. Local businessman Reginald “Pop” Merrill (Tim Robbins) is dragged into the fight, when Pop’s nephew, legendary bully John “Ace” Merrill (Paul Sparks), stirs up trouble.

Season two also stars Barkhad Abdi, Yusra Warsama, Elsie Fisher and Matthew Alan.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King stories such as Cujo, The Dark Half, It, Needful Things, The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

The season two disc includes the featurette “Annie Wilkes: Mother of Sorrow.”

‘Shining’ Sequel ‘Doctor Sleep’ Due on Digital Jan. 21, Disc Feb. 4

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the supernatural thriller Doctor Sleep through digital retailers Jan. 21, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 4.

A follow-up to 1980’s The Shining and based on the novel by Stephen King, Doctor Sleep continues the story of Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel. Still coping with his childhood trauma, he encounters a teenager (Kyliegh Curran) who like him also has the shine power, who needs his help against the merciless Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film earned $31.5 million at the domestic box office.

The Blu-ray versions of the film will include Mike Flanagan’s director’s cut of the film, featuring nearly 30 minutes of new, alternate and extended scenes not shown in theaters.

Follow us on Instagram!

Extras on the Blu-ray include the featurettes “Return to the Overlook,” “The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision” and “From Shining to Sleep.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Doctor Sleep will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack as well as both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+

‘It: Chapter Two’ Stalks to Digital Nov. 19, Disc Dec. 10 Including 4K

The horror sequel It: Chapter Two will arrive on digital Nov. 19 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 10 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began with the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time. The sequel made $209.9 million at the domestic box office.

It: Chapter Two, based on the novel by Stephen King, stars James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie and Andy Bean as Stanley. Reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as Mike and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben. Bill Skarsgård returns in the role of Pennywise.

In the sequel, set 27 years after the Losers Club defeated the shape-shifting clown Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of It: Chapter Two will feature Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+, both sporting dynamic metadata for better picture, as well as Dolby Atmos sound.

Special features on the Blu-ray and 4K release include five featurettes and commentary with Muschietti. The DVD includes the five featurettes.

‘Pet Sematary’ Screening Is Cat’s Meow

Paramount Home Entertainment July 9 held an after-dark screening of Pet Sematary at a cat cafe in New York. Jeté Laurence, who plays Ellie in the film, introduced the screening for human and furry fans. The new adaptation of the Stephen King story is available now on digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and VOD. (Photos courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment)