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Arrow Video 4K UHD Box "Quartet of Torment"



The Covenant






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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Comparison:

  • Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)
  • Arrow Video 4K (2023)
Release: Oct 31, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the British Blu-ray by Arrow Video (2015 - Scarlet Box) (identical in the US in 2016) and the British 4K UHD version by Arrow Video (2023 - Quartet of Torment)

First and foremost, it's essential to emphasize that this is not a typical comparison on our page and will likely remain an exception for us because differences in aspect ratios, especially with older films across various media, are quite common. However, for international fans, the case at hand was a significant issue in 2015/16, and even with the 4K premiere of Arrow Video in the UK, available since October 23, 2023, international forums were filled with inquiries about whether the described problem has been fixed. As a quick summary: Yes, the new 4K version has the correct original aspect ratio and significantly improved overall quality.

So, what's the issue? When Arrow Video released Hellraiser III on Blu-ray in the UK in 2015 (and in the USA in 2016), the new HD master in 1.85:1 displayed way more visual information than any previous releases. While this may seem initially welcomed by many, it turned out to be a nuisance. In some scenes, objects like lighting equipment or the hooks on which the statue was mounted became visible. Especially on the left side there is simply too much to see, disrupting the composition of many shots. Similar to how some Open Matte releases during the VHS era revealed unwanted details, this was clearly not intended. Unfortunately, the frequent request for a replacement was largely ineffective, as Arrow Video did not admit the mistake but rather emphasized the relatively insignificant fact that previous releases in 1.78:1 were slightly zoomed in, and therefore not entirely correct.

Turbine, on the other hand, took the issue seriously, and in the 2018 Blu-ray premiere in Germany, they used the same 2K master in 1.85:1. However, the framing resembled earlier releases, particularly by zooming in on the unintended left side of the image. With the new 4K release from Arrow, we have taken a closer look. It can be observed that the framing has essentially been aligned with Turbine's version. Additionally, there are some minor adjustments in the Unrated inserts, with a notable change being the shot of Joey, which is now split before and after an insert instead of being shown in full after the insert previously. Unfortunately, the Unrated version still had to be reconstructed with SD inserts in 4:3, as the longer material remains missing in better quality.

Finally, a few words about the British 4K UHD box. The additional 0.3 sec of gore in the finale of Hellraiser I , which Turbine inserted for their Blu-ray release in Germany, is unfortunately absent. But after all, that is the original version of the film. Nevertheless, the box is a clear recommendation for any fan. The image quality has significantly improved, even for parts 2, 3, and Hellraiser IV - Bloodline, which is now included as well. For this part, there is a new workprint onboard for the first time. This workprint is actually different to the version included as a bonus on the German Blu-ray and will be covered in a separate report.

Runtime details are arranged as follows:
British Blu-ray (2015) at 23.976fps / British 4K Blu-ray at 23.976fps.

The logo of Dimensions, which appears at the beginning of both the Turbine and Arrow versions, has been removed in the 4K version. However, it is replaced by a black screen because the score already starts in these first few seconds.

No Time Difference



As a preliminary disclaimer: In fact, the 4K version has a new color grading. More importantly, regarding the screenshots of the 4K version, it's worth noting that we performed tone mapping to convert HDR to SDR. This provides some degree of illustration of the image quality, but the colors necessarily do not precisely match the actual representation on HDR-capable playback devices.

At 04:43, the camera, where Joey records her news segment, is nicely centered in the frame, while the extended frame in the old Arrow Blu-ray version notably leans to the right.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Here is the same screenshot from the Turbine Blu-ray, where the aspect ratio (based on the same restoration as the Arrow Blu-ray) has already been corrected.



Additionally, at 09:30, the positioning of the TV in the old Blu-ray version appears somewhat peculiar. Further along in the movie, there are more moments of a similar nature (see 35th-36th minute and 45:37), where the TV coincidentally appears nicely centered within the correct framing.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 08:02, the extended frame might be a bit more fitting in the sense that the caregiver on the left is entirely visible. However, the focus logically lies on the hospital bed, which is properly centered in the correct version.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



The light blue bar at 08:18 from a slightly different perspective was probably not intended.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



During the shot of the flames around the Boiler Room sign at 10:13, an object appears on the left side due to the extended frame, which probably shouldn't be visible. Immediately afterward, the first Unrated Insert occurs. Here's an example with visuals: In these moments, which are still only available in SD quality and full screen, the frame doesn't deviate.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 12:42, you can see a piece of camera crew equipment on the left (possibly a lens hood?).

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 16:47, a lighting object seems to come into the frame again.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Something peculiar appears briefly in the frame at 18:06.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 22:16, a set object (a monitor?) reappears on the side.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 23:30, a ladder is visible on the left, and during a subsequent shot at 23:41, a spotlight and other equipment are visible, which clearly shouldn't be in the visible area according to Image #1.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Probably nothing exciting, but during the shots from the climax of the sex scene at 27:46, you can also see more of the set exterior than intended.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



A few frames at the end of the shot at 30:41 reveal how the chain shooting out of the statue is held by a loop.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



The side view at 30:50 shows how the statue is attached and operated behind it. A similar view is also seen at 31:05.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



For a comparison, here's the Turbine Disc, which corresponds to the framing in 4K.



At 31:10, there is a broken corner of the dummy visible on the left. Additionally, the extended frame provides a clearer insight of how the effect (Pinhead's head forming on the statue) was achieved: wax drips down from the broken dummy onto the floor in the first few frames. The entire shot was then played in reverse.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



For a change, at 34:50, a shot is mentioned where the composition of the image works better with the extended frame on the left since the face is not cropped here.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 35:30 (the perspective is seen several times in the next few minutes), a light source from the top of the set seems to protrude.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Also, at 38:56, an object is clearly visible that provided additional side lighting.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



42:51 / 42:51-42:52

Interestingly, in the 4K version, there's an additional moment in a shot of Terry at the end of the Unrated Insert.

0.9 sec



Difficult to identify, but at 46:31, there's something next to the bed that wasn't meant for the viewer to see.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 46:42, you can see a bulge at the top, probably indicating the end of the set.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 47:09, several things catch the eye: firstly, the spotlight (?) at the top, and secondly, you can also see more on top, probably small lights on the set's ceiling. Additionally it's interesting to point out that the extended frame offers a look at the private parts of the guy pictured on the wall.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



No "error," but at 47:28, you can see again that the correct framing has the penis in the picture in the background just outside the frame.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Here's a comparison with the Turbine Blu-ray, where the image has been zoomed in, and the ear is thus cropped.



At 50:02, only the old Blu-ray reveals overhead lighting.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



57:31 / 57:32

In the 4K version, an Unrated Insert starts a few frames earlier here.

0.2 sec



57:31 / 57:32

In return, the next cut with a scene change within this insert in the old Blu-ray version (including Turbine) is a moment longer.

Old Blu-ray 0.4 sec




After a few unremarkable minutes, a light source on the left looks suspicious at 66:10.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Re-cut
67:02 or 67:08-67:11 / 67:03-67:05

Immediately before the Unrated Insert with the camera panning over the bodies in the Boiler Room, the 4K version briefly shows a horrified Joey.

The old Blu-ray version (and thus also the Turbine version) showed this after the insert. The shot continues smoothly there and is slightly longer in the middle before the 4K version continues with the rest.

Old Blu-ray 1.4 sec longer



The rest of the film has hardly any major glitches, and this is just a conjecture: at 78:32, a small light at the bottom left might not belong there.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



At 85:20, why is there a face visible in the upper left when in this scene, only Pinhead and Joey are talking?

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



Interesting: at 86:49, the extended frame is retained because it fully shows Pinhead, or rather, his right ear.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)



For comparison, here's the Turbine Blu-ray, where the image has been zoomed in like the rest of the film, and the ear is cropped.



After the identical credits, there was a notice about animal treatment, which had significantly lower SD quality in the old Blu-ray. In the new version, it is of good quality and shown slightly shorter, explaining the shorter runtime with credits.

Arrow Video Blu-ray (2015/16)Arrow Video 4K-UHD (2023)