When it comes to horror on Blu-ray, one of the premier names in home video entertainment for us genre fans is Scream Factory, the subsidiary company of Shout! Factory. Specializing in horror, thrillers, and science fiction, the label is not only responsible for putting out some of the best titles in horror history, they’re also dedicated to creating the best package possible by including rare bonus features, such as interviews, deleted scenes, and brand new commentary tracks from the cast and crew.
Their marketing strategy is so effective that their titles become de facto collector’s items on top of being a “Collector’s Edition.” Just go on Twitter and ask the movie collector community to share their collection of Scream Factory Blu-rays, and you’re bound to get dozens upon dozens of photos.
Scream Factory announced their launch back in May of 2012 with the release of two very special titles: Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. The former was a direct continuation of John Carpenter’s first film, taking place immediately after the events of Michael Myers and his grisly murder spree. The latter was a departure from the story of Myers and instead introduced us to a world where pagan rituals still hold terrifying power and the lives of children are the most precious commodity of all. Originally detested upon release, Season of the Witch has since grown into a beloved cult film that many hail as one of the best titles in the horror genre.
Both of these titles were released by Scream Factory on September 18, 2012, giving fans the chance to get them ahead of October’s Halloween-y atmosphere. Additionally, Scream heard the outrage of fans regarding Universal’s own Halloween II Blu-ray release, which came a year prior. On that edition, the credit “Moustapha Akkad Presents” was taken from the opening credit sequence and replaced with “Universal, An MCA Company, Presents.” To add insult to injury, this credit wasn’t even done in the same font. So Scream restored the original opening credits, delighting fans and cementing Scream as a company in it not just for the money but also for the preservation and recognition of genre history.
Scream’s Collector’s Editions of these films included audio commentaries with their respective directors, making-of featurettes, trailers and TV spots, visits to the shooting locations, and more. In a time when horror and other genre titles were often getting bare bones home video releases, Scream Factory bucked the trend and gave fans something they’d not only be willing to pay for but would do so happily, a trend they’ve continued ever since.
To this day, Scream Factory stands as one of the most prestigious and beloved home video companies for genre fans. They have over 300 releases to their name, many of them classic films from decades ago while others are newer titles. But one thing remains certain about their titles, which is that each of their releases is prepared with love and attention.
So when you’re celebrating Halloween this year and you pull out your Scream Factory copy of either Halloween II or Halloween III: Season of the Witch, know that what you’re holding in your hands is not only a film that’s part of a historic franchise, it’s the beginning of something truly special.