Review Detail

9.6 5 10
salemscinematic_front
TV-to-Movie October 15, 2022 988
(Updated: October 16, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Absolutely the best version that can be rendered out of the 1979 Salem's Lot miniseries. The problem with the full-lenght version is that it's already a very compressed adaptation of a book that's between 400+ and almost 700 pages long, depending on the printing. So, inevitably, in order to tell the story in three hours a lot of character stuff had to stay skin deep, and as a result we have a collection of supporting characters that are little more than stock 70s soap opera types, with little to no complexity. And then, there's the theatrical cut that lost one hour of footage yet insisted on keeping all the subplots, with the result of being very uneven, plot hole-ridden, and rendering the characters even flatter.

So, how to make the best possible version? Doing what any wise editor should do: instead of compressing stuff even further, dropping subplots in order to let what remains breathe. Which is exactly what Music Ed has done here: get rid of flat stuff that never really worked, and concentrate on the aspects of it that do work wonderfully: the atmosphere, the scares (no one will ever forget THAT scene), and the magnificently suave and sinister performance of the always excellent James Mason, forever one of my favorite actors. And the result is a very well paced, cinematic, and truly spooky horror film. Definitely the best possible cut of this.

The reframing to 16:9 works so well that it took me seconds to forget this was filmed in the old TV ratio. Editing is absolutely flawless, as are video and audio quality. I have to mention, however, the strange case of "Schrodinger's sync issues" that may or may not be present, depending on the player you use to watch. I don't know why this happens, but in any case, if one watches it on VLC or PotPlayer, all should be good, and the issue will be either barely noticeable or inexistent.

Definitely a replacement cut for me, and very highly recommended, particularly around this Halloween season. You will enjoy this edit (and it will enjoy YOU!)
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