Time to Go Peeping with Our Home Video Pick of the Week

Plus 7 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
Non Horror Peeping Tom

Streaming might be the future, but physical media is still the present. It’s also awesome, depending on the title, the label, and the release, so each week we take a look at the new Blu-rays and DVDs making their way into the world. Welcome to this week in Home Video for May 14th, 2024! This week’s home video selection includes new 4K UHDs of older classics like Peeping Tom, Once Upon a Time in the West, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and more. Check out our picks below.


Pick of the Week

Peeping Tom [4K UHD, Criterion]

What is it? A sick masterpiece.

Why see it? Michael Powell is one half of the powerhouse filmmaking duo, Powell/Pressburger, and it’s there where he made classics like The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and more. He went solo in the late 50s, but he almost tanked his entire career with the release of Peeping Tom. The film, premiering just a few months before Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, follows an unwell young man prone to killing young women. He’s a photographer interested in fear, and that becomes the focus here as viewers become voyeurs to his murderous madness. Add that exploitational plot to Powell’s sharp eye for visuals and colors, and you have an unforgettable tale of madness. Criterion’s new 4K UHD sees those colors and details pop bringing the terror even more into focus, and the extras provide all manner of insight into the film, its initial reception, and its evolution into an acknowledged masterpiece.

[Extras: New 4K restoration, commentaries, Martin Scorsese introduction, interview, documentaries]


The Best

Killer Klowns from Outer Space [4K UHD, steelbook]

What is it? A horror comedy with cotton candy running through its veins.

Why see it? While some films tease a fun premise only to come up short, the Chiodo Brothers manage the rare treat of going all in on their setup and committing to the bit all the way through. The result is a wonderfully goofy slice of sci-fi/horror that sees aliens arrive and start decimating a small town’s population. They’re clowns! Killer clowns! And the practical makeup effects are out of this world. Even better, their methods of dispatch are all variations on circus and clown paraphernalia meaning the various kills are both deadly and fun. The comedy is broad and silly, the dialogue is equally goofy, and the fun is six times what you’d find at a real big top. And now it’s in 4K? Wild stuff, people, wild stuff.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, making of, featurettes, deleted scenes, bloopers, short films]

The Lair of the White Worm [steelbook]

What is it? A goofy, horror/comedy masterpiece!

Why see it? Bram Stoker may be best known for Dracula, but this adaptation of a different Stoker novel is every bit as unforgettable. Pagan cults, giant snakes, sexy priestesses, and the unlikely pairing of Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi as the only ones capable of saving the day. Director Ken Russell embraces the campy thrills and fills the screen with colorful visuals, fun encounters, and some terrifically entertaining pagan antics. This one doesn’t get the respect it deserves as a sexy masterclass in tone and visuals, a creature feature with real personality to spare, so kudos to Vestron for releasing this one (a second time now, this time via steelbook) for fans.

[Extras: Commentaries, featurette, interviews]

Once Upon a Time in the West [4K UHD]

What is it? A Western masterpiece.

Why see it? Sergio Leone made more than his share of classic Westerns, but this 1969 epic arguably sits atop them all. Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Jason Robards headline a tale of three men, all varying degrees of immoral and violent, who cross paths with each other and with a woman played by Claudia Cardinale. The film is a powerhouse filled with monstrous performances (Fonda in the atypical villain role is sublime), stunning vistas and locales, and an unforgettable score by Ennio Morricone. It’s a mesmerizing watch and rewatch, all the more given the beauty of Paramount’s new restoration, and even at 165 minutes it never drags or feels overlong. This is a raw world, one where emotions and greed lead to pure violence, and all of it entertains, thrills, and rewards the senses.

[Extras: New 4K restoration, commentaries, featurettes]

Orphan [Scream Factory]

What is it? A family welcomes in a new daughter, but maybe they made a mistake?

Why see it? This 2009 horror/thriller is best known for its bonkers third-act reveal, but there’s fun to be had even before we reach that point. Little Esther is adopted by an American family who soon discover their kind deed is going to be severely punished. Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard are both fantastic here, but Isabelle Fuhrman steals the show. Part slasher, part twisty thriller, part pure ridiculousness, this is a good time made even better with a new scan. I prefer the prequel that followed, but you can’t go wrong here.

[Extras: New 2K scan, featurette, deleted scenes]


The Rest

Imaginary

What is it? A child’s stuffed bear is actually a dick.

Why see it? Director Jeff Wadlow has made eight feature films, and no one can take that away from him. The fact that all eight are mediocrities at best is ultimately unimportant as he keeps getting gigs at Blumhouse anyway. To be fair, all of his theatrical releases have made money with some of them making *a lot* of money on small budgets. His latest imagines an imaginary friend that’s actually up to no good, and the result is a blend of jump scares and psychological terrors. In true Wadlow fashion, though, none of it really works to create anything resembling a good horror movie.

[Extras: Commentary, featurettes]

Submarine Command [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? Post traumatic stress disorder, on a submarine!

Why see it? The term may not have been identified yet, but PTSD is the focus here as a submarine commander whose quick thinking leaves two seamen dead. The incident haunts him and unavoidably affects his job and his relationships. Director John Farrow manages some solid wartime engagements, and you can’t really go wrong with William Holden, but the film as a whole lacks a punch. Still, credit for exploring ideas that the period typically avoided.

[Extras: 4K scan, commentary]

Thunder in the East [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? An arms dealer finds love and trouble in India.

Why see it? You come to this wartime romance/drama for Alan Ladd and Deborah Kerr, and the result is satisfying enough. Look for anything more, though, and the film is probably going to leave you a bit cold. The tale doesn’t really find its spark until the third act, but thankfully it’s not really a slog getting there and instead is just pretty mundane. The finale, though, manages some post-war fun and drama that lands.

[Extras: 4K scan, commentary]


Also out this week:

12 Strong [4K UHD], The American Society of Magical Negroes, American Sniper [4K UHD], Dune: Part Two, Friendly Persuasion [Warner Archive], Magic Mike [4K UHD], Noryang, The Nun’s Story [Warner Archive], One Life, Vitagraph Comedies

Rob Hunter: Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.