As we started wrapping up (heh) Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide for the year, ol’ Saint Nick (in the form of a mild-mannered delivery person) dropped an unexpected package off at your pal’s house today. In amongst the gingerbread-tinged goodies lay nestled a few special edition horror Blu-Rays that would make an absolutely wonderful last-minute or belated holiday gift for a spook-a-doodle loving buddy. Buy one, buy them all to bring some chills into your holiday quarantine!
Z (Raven Banner)
Limited Edition Blu-Ray – $35 from Raven Banner’s Online Store
When Colin Minihan (Grave Encounters, What Keeps You Alive, Spiral, Extraterrestrial, It Stains The Sands Red) is on a project, I always get excited about it. He wrote the new Babadook-by-way-of-Poltergeist thriller, Z, with Brandon Christensen (Still/Born) directing, and his sure hand behind the tense and shocking experience is apparent from the first frame. Z’s story about a child with an imaginary friend who has sinister intentions and implications is just the kind of twisty, genuinely scary film that’s a pleasure to own. Raven Banner’s package comes with tons of extras, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, director’s commentary, and four great featurettes that break down the film’s music, as well as a few key scenes. I can’t recommend this release enough.
Deathcember (Raven Banner)
Blu-Ray/DVD Combo – $32 from Raven Banner’s Online Store
24 horror shorts by a roster of modern masters form the most fucked-up Advent calendar you’ve ever seen. With the likes of Lucky McKee (The Woman, May), Michael Varrati (Tales of Poe, Flesh for the Inferno), Pollyanna McIntosh (Darlin’), Sang-woo Lee (Fire In Hell, Barbie), and many more on board, this collection packs a ton into this holiday-themed package. Put your willpower to the test and watch one a day, or consume it all in one go, this is a crowd-pleaser that would be great to hold onto until you can have, you know, a crowd. Raven Banner’s release gives you the film in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats, as well as two hours of interviews with the cast and crew.
Midsommar: Special Edition Director’s Cut (A24)
Director’s Cut Special Edition 4K or Standard Edition Blu-Ray – $45 from A24’s Online Store
It may not be the most intuitive feeling to want to spend more time with the wacky Swedish Harga village in Ari Aster’s mind-melting Midsommar, but I definitely felt that way when the credits rolled on the theatrical version. Not wanting to compromise his vision one iota, Aster released this special edition of his dark fable while the reels were still warm on the original. It’s a substantial package – not changing the world he created with an alternate ending or anything like that but instead augmenting the story quite a bit with more context and even more of the ritual weirdness that fleshes out the Harga experience. Keeping with the theme of ‘more’, the package includes a stunning art book with an introduction by some guy named Martin…Scorsese? Maybe someone you should keep an eye on in case he ever becomes a big deal one day.
Ring out this terrible year with some great horror! Happy holidays, everyone!