Man oh man. I am a 3D junkie. I just love it. But mind you, I’m not talking about spending the extra cash, getting the bulky glasses and seeing a predominantly darkly projected movie in the movie theaters. No, I love 3D movies in the home environment! In fact, I often skip seeing 3D movies in the theater just so I can enjoy them in the comfort of my own home.
Simplest reason? In order for the 3D to work properly while projected, the image needs to be much brighter than usual. The types of bulbs used for theatrical projection often tend to be on the pricey side, so rather than invest in those, most theater chains just show them projected regularly and you tend to have a much darker image that prevents you from enjoying proper 3D. However, on a home set-up, there’s no bulbs involved. Your TV adjusts accordingly and if you have your television calibrated properly, it should look better than ever.
I should become a 3D TV salesman, because anytime I have friends over, I usually show them snippets of the following titles to convince them that having a 3D TV is a fun way to host movie screenings in your own home. Here’s 5 horror specific titles that I think you need to have as part of your 3D collection.
Holy smokes! For a movie that wasn’t originally shot or intended to be in 3D, this one fits the format perfectly! In fact, there’s a making-of featurette on the disc (also in 3D!) where the producers behind this version explain the entire 3D conversion process. Also in the segment, director Steven Spielberg admits that although he didn’t shoot it with 3D in mind, subliminally he must’ve had it somewhere in the back of his mind when it came to composing his shots because it all totally works. While the impressive stuff is obviously the depth of field in most shots, the best sequence is the first full on appearance of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. This is usually the first scene I show to guests when they’re over because I can immediately see them revert into a kid again, completely in awe of the first appearance of a giant dinosaur. Plus, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, all in 3D. Not to mention that big pile of shit? This has to be seen to be believed!
MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D
I love the uncut version of the original movie, so when this remake hit theaters, I was first in line. I saw it on the big screen in 3D and had a blast with it, but I didn’t feel like I fully understood the all encompassing 3D the movie had to offer until I watched this on a home 3D set-up. Director Patrick Lussier really did compose every single shot with the 3D gimmick in mind. The opening sequence explaining the entire Harry Warden story via newspaper clippings is a terrific way in (literally) to the story. And then we pick up in the hospital where Harry’s first massacre is detailed in all its crimson glory! (Well done, Gary Tunnicliffe!) About 5 minutes in is when we get our first tunnel sequence and it’s amazing. Our lead characters are trying to avert the attention of Harry Warden and he promptly shoves his pick axe into a poor soul’s face that fell on his ass trying to run away and then decapitates another girl with a shovel! The best gag is when he chucks the pick axe towards camera and the tip comes bursting through the front windshield, which to us looks like it’s sticking right out of the TV. And that’s just the opening sequence! Seriously, if you’re a die-hard horror fan AND a 3D junkie, this is a must own.
HOUSE OF WAX
I must confess that I’d never seen the original 1953 Vincent Price version of HOUSE OF WAX until this 3D Blu-Ray came out. I invited a small group of friends over for my first spin and we had a blast! This was intended to be the first US American 3D release from a major studio, although MAN IN THE DARK beat it to big screens just barely. It’s still regarded as the first big 3D horror release, and at a time when Vincent Price was at the top of his game. I mean, I’ll watch anything with him in it, because he’s always just so darned good. Also, because this is also an early Technicolor picture, there’s something unique and special about the way the colors pop, especially in 3D. It’s almost like looking into a time machine and seeing that strange surreal quality of something from the past. And while the 3D is primarily depth perception for the majority of HOUSE OF WAX, there is one stand out sequence directly following the mid-way intermission, in which its opening night at the House of Wax and a “carnival barker” type is swinging a ping-pong paddle and trying to rile up people to come see the museum for themselves. There is a shameless “ping-pong to the screen” gag, but it’s just perfect and one of the best 3D gags of any 3D movie release. Also of note, director Andre De Toth was blind in one eye, so the 3D effect would never have actually worked for the filmmaker and yet, he still made one of the best, most celebrated 3D horror movies of all time!
Whether you loved it or hated it, you’ve got to admit that PROMETHEUS is a darned good looking movie. And if you only saw it once, I strongly suggest giving it another chance. For me, much like with any remake, it’s always difficult to separate your expectations to a sequel/ prequel/ remake the first time you see it. I, like a lot of people probably went into this expecting it to somehow tie into the ALIEN series, and it actuality it never really does. However, when I viewed it for a second time, at home in 3D, I appreciated it for a stand-alone sci-fi epic as only Ridley Scott could deliver. The sense of space is what gives the 3D it’s most potent power in the film. The sweeping gorgeous opening shots over landscapes actually make me a little dizzy, since I’m afraid of heights. All of the holographic images and maps look incredible in the format. But then there’s the horror. I think the alien “abortion” scene is one of the most graphic, terrifying and suspenseful scenes in the entire ALIEN franchise and it’s made even more so in 3D when the blood and viscera are flung right in your direction!
Here’s another title that has its fans and its detractors, but one thing is certain once you watch this bad-boy at home on a 3D set-up – Guillermo del Toro absolutely made this film to be viewed in 3D. It’s by far, the best home 3D release out there on the market. It could be the vibrant colors or the holographic images when people are piloting their robots. But just go right to the battle in Hong Kong. Between the monsters, the rain, the choreography of the actual battles and the gorgeous color palette of the entire city, it’s one of the most beautifully illustrated 3D sequences I’ve ever seen. Sure, there’s cool stuff to see if you watch the regular Blu-Ray or DVD, but it literally makes a world of difference being able to see the various layers in every frame in a 3D setting. If you only pick up one 3D Blu-Ray to go with your new 3D set-up, start with this one.
These 5 not enough for you? Don’t worry. I’ll be back tomorrow with 5 more 3D Blu-Ray recommendations!