Saturday, June 5, 2021

 Beyond Dream's Door (Home Grown Horrors: Volume One) – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Director: Jay Woelfel
Writer: Jay Woelfel
Cast: Nick Baldasare, Rick Kesler, Susan Pinsky, Norm Singer

Release Date: April 27th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 80 Minutes 35 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD  5.1 English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $79.98

"Lately, Ben hasn't been sleeping well. His dreams are filled with violent and terrifying visions of monsters and death. Seeking out answers, he begins to pursue the subtext and hidden meanings of his strange and terrifying nightmares, with the help of his professor and several friends. As the dreams grow increasingly lifelike, Ben fears that he's losing his grip on sanity, especially as those around him start turning up dead; horribly mutilated just like he's seen in his sleep..." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 16mm original camera negative (with tape inserts)".

"Although photographed entirely on 16mm, Beyond Dream's Door was edited on video, meaning no prints or other dupes were ever created. Unfortunately, over the years, several rolls of the original negative were lost, amounting to roughly five minutes worth of footage, scattered throughout the finished film. As such, a video master, which is the best quality source available, was used to fill in the missing shots."

Beyond Dream's Door comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 37.9 GB

Feature: 24.7 GB

The information provided by Vinegar Syndrome about the transfer gives a clear idea of what to expect. That said, this is another solid transfer from Vinegar Syndrome that far exceeds expectations.

Audio: 4.5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio track is in great shape, dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and ambient sounds are well-represented.

Extras:

Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, original trailer (2 minutes, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), rerelease trailer (2 minutes 51 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), deleted scenes: Sewer Escape scene (1 minute 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), and The Phone Booth (1 minute 8 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), Local news coverage (4 minute 7 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage (5 minute 54 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), unused and alternate fx footage (5 minutes 24 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), montage of unused and alternate takes (10 minutes 57 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival making-of documentary titled Behind Dream’s Door (34 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival fx featurette titled Getting Monstered (6 minutes 23 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a making of documentary titled Where Horror Lies (41 minutes 4 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with subtitles) and two audio commentaries: the first audio commentary track is with director Jay Woelfel, cinematographer Scott Spears, and actors Nick Baldasare and the second audio commentary track is with Nick Baldasare.

Other extras include Beyond Dreams Door short film (20 minutes 62 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an audio commentary with Jay Woelfel for Beyond Dream's Door short film, raw footage (4 minutes 29 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and a making of featurette (7 minutes 47 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a short film titled At The Door of Darkness (7 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and an audio commentary track with Jay Woelfel for At The Door of Darkness and a short film titled Come To Me Softly (8 minutes 10 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) an audio commentary track with Jay Woelfel for Come To Me Softly and an interview with actor Rick Kesler interview (1 minute 34 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).

Summary:

With do it yourself horror cinema most DIY horror films fall into two categories, amateurish films that fail in just about every way or films that fully exploit its limited resources. Beyond Dream's Door falls into the latter-category.

Though Beyond Dream's Door will give some viewers a sense of déjà vu, since there are many elements in Beyond Dream's Door that are like A Nightmare on Elm Street. To write off Beyond Dream's Door as A Nightmare of Elm Street clone would be doing Beyond Dream's Door a great disservice.

From a production standpoint, Beyond Dream's Door is a slickly made film that superbly executes its premise. The well-executed narrative does a great job alternating between reality and the dream realm. Other strengths include well-executed special effects and stylized visuals that give Beyond Dream's Door a tremendous amount of atmosphere. That said, Beyond Dream's Door gets an exceptional release that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of insightful extra content, highly recommended.

It should-be noted that Beyond Dreams Door is part of Home Grown Horrors: Volume One, a box set that also has Winterbeast and Fatal Exam.










Written by Michael Den Boer

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