After an already impressive Limited Edition Blu-ray - Blue Underground one-ups themselves with an impeccable 2-disc 4K UHD Blu-ray release of House By The Cemetery. Fulci's bizarre gothic horror ghost story creature feature may not make a whole lot of sense, but it's steeped in mood, creepy atmosphere, and plenty of gore for genre fans. With a full native 4K transfer with HDR10 and Dolby Vision with a new Dolby Atmos audio mix - on top of excellent 5.1 and 1.0 mono tracks - plus all of the bonus features of the previous release. This may not be the best of Fulci's film's but it makes for a hell of a 4K UHD release. Highly Recommended.
For great coverage of House By The Cemetery read our original 2011 Blu-ray Review
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Fresh off an incredible Limited Edition Blu-ray release, Blue Underground unearths Lucio Fulci's bizarre splatter feature onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a two-disc 4K + Bonus Blu-ray set. The discs are housed in a sturdy black two-disc case with identical cardboard slipcover with raised textured features. The disc loads to an animated main menu with traditional navigation options.
Considering all things, when I sat down to Blue Underground's Limited Edition Blu-ray set - I didn't think it could get much better than what I was already seeing. I'd watched this movie so many times on so many sub-par releases that I was just so blown away by that new restoration. I was being conservative in my enthusiasm when I gave that transfer a 4.5/5 review. But damn… in native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Vision (and HDR10) The House By The Cemetery stands as another incredible release from Blue Underground. There are moments when watching this movie that I'm just stunned that this film looks as good as it does.
The film grain has a wonderfully natural texture and quality to it. You can see it in virtually every frame, but it isn't so thick it draws attention to itself. With the beautiful details of the costuming, facial features, but when Dr. Freudstein appears I just wanted to pause and take in all the gnarly detail work in his face and limbs. The movie may not make a whole hell of a lot of sense, but Freudstein is one of Fulci's best creature killers. I remember the first time I saw him and how he freaked me out and seeing him in this level of detail was especially gnarly. The film also sports first-class production values and set design so every frame of the movie there's something incredible to see.
With Dolby Vision HDR, the bold colors and moody lighting and even some of the gore effects all get punched up a notch. Like most of Fulci's movies, the light and shadow work play up the horror and that's especially the case here. The deep true blacks allow all sorts of critters to hide in the shadows. Whites are also impressively balanced here again. Those bright whites that would bloom or washout past releases are still strong and present but they're even more nuanced than even the Limited Edition Blu-ray. In short, Blue Underground took all the best elements they were working with and just turned everything up a notch.
Not to leave anything off the table, Blue Underground returns with a brand new Dolby Atmos audio mix that is a hell of a listen. Also included are the English 5.1, English Mono, and Italian Mono tracks from the past Blu-ay, but man - this Atmos mix kicks things up nicely. Really where this mix wins the day is the spacing of the elements and a much-improved sense of directionality. Nothing like a creepy old house to give you distinct channel placement with the sides, rears, and height all working to fill each scene. These may be slight enhancements over the 5.1 mix as both tracks are very similar, but there are enough subtle differences from scene to scene to give you a genuine bang for your buck. That bat attack that already made me kinda sick to my stomach now has extra punch as the rat with wings moves about the room and the gurgling bloody death sounds extra thick. Same for the throat-slashing sequence, it's extra gurgly now.
With that in mind - You can't really go wrong with any of the audio tracks to choose from. The Atmos is definitely "fuller" sounding and does offer up some extra atmospherics over the 5.1 track. The notes of some object placement give the edge but truly the DTS-HD MA 5.1 and DTS-HD MA 1.0 tracks are excellent. I do find myself still favoring the mono track because that's simply what I'm used to hearing over the last twenty odd some years. If Atmos was the only track available I wouldn't complain one bit - but you have a choice to make depending on your setup and you can't go wrong.
Nothing new was added to the bonus feature package over the previous release - however - what it doesn't have is the third disc, the soundtrack CD featuring Walter Rizzati's creepy score. For me, that's reason alone to hold onto the 3-Disc Limited Edition. However, if you didn't pick that set up already, you get all of the great interviews with cast and crew as well as the excellent audio commentary from Troy Howarth.
4K UHD Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Bonus Disc
It's awesome to see an independent studio like Blue Underground not only putting genre classics like The House By The Cemetery on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray but they're also knocking the release out of the park. When the 3-Disc Limited Edition came out I thought that was pretty damn impressive and the only way it could look and sound better was on 4K UHD, and here we are. The only downside of this release is the simple fact the 3-Disc Limited Edition just came out earlier this year. A gorgeous fully restored native 4K transfer with HDR10/Dolby Vision with a new Atmos audio mix along with all of the excellent bonus features of the last release makes this a pretty damn attractive package. Blue Underground continues to do right by Fulci and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray fans with this impeccable release. Highly Recommended