The one significant extra the Blu-ray apparently includes is Jerry Goldsmith's isolated score. It should be a treat, since I'm aware that the majority of the score ended up scrapped in post-production and I'm assuming the whole thing is included in this track. I have a 20-minute suite for THE OTHER that was included on the soundtrack album for THE MEPHISTO WALTZ, another (great inferior) obscure early 70s horror Goldsmith scored, and I'm anxious to compare.
What I love about this movie is the way it makes pastoral settings, bright colors and
nostalgic bucolia so very sinister, and the sparse and often upbeat score supplements this wonderfully. It's a gothic horror film with grotesque imagery, for sure, and it finds a lot of use for shadows and severed fingers and corpses talking from caskets, etc. but it avoids a lot of the trappings of the genre at the same time. As with THE SHINING, loud colors and open spaces are made infinitely more menacing than a dimly lit, cobweb-laden attic.
Here's some trivia that I've always found fascinating: Thomas Tryon and Uta Hagen disparaged the film retrospectively. This particularly floors me because Hagen's portrayal is brilliant, and the screenplay, which Tryon wrote himself, is quite faithful to his novel. Both cite aggressive editing as part of their beef. I have a copy of the screenplay and I suppose I need to re-read it because I don't recall significant swathes being jettisoned from the final film. I continue to find the film to be a brilliant adaptation of a fine novel. Bonus feature: an impossibly young John Ritter in a small role! It's a film that has literally everything.
Also: Roger Ebert's softly positive review of the film from 1972 is patently weird. There's some decent insight but he gets a number of facts/names dead wrong and goes off on some odd tangents.
Edited by FatherDude - 10/22/13 at 6:55am