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I Saw What You Did (Blu-ray Review)

Saw-What-You-DidIt starts as a game… and there’s no end in FRIGHT! A simple prank call turns into a night of person-to-person terror in I Saw What You Did, a movie that dials up the heart-stopping suspense! Scream Factory presents the Blu-ray debut of William Castle’s I Saw What You Did on May 17, 2016, complete with an all-new high definition transfer.  Joan Crawford (What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, Trog) and John Ireland (Terror Night) are among the stars in this chiller produced and directed by the great William Castle (The Tingler, House On Haunted Hill).

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Film 

Teenagers Libby and Kit have found a new way to entertain themselves: by calling up random strangers and tormenting them with a warning: “I saw what you did, and I know who you are.” But when a man who has recently murdered his wife becomes their latest victim, the tables are quickly turned… and this wrong number may mean that their number is up!

William Castle is behind I Saw What You Did.  The guy was a master showman when it comes to cinema.  Castle would appear in his trailers, not unlike that of Alfred Hitchcock, to hype up his films as much as he could.  He was always making the most terrifying and scary movies you ever saw.  This one featured uxorcide! (whoooo).  Gimmicks in the theater were a trademark of his and for this movie he wanted to install seat belts in the theater to prevent audience members from jumping out of their seats. Unfortunately it never transpired.

Castle’s hype was definitely needed as his film doesn’t really deliver the horrors it promises.  It has one terrific segment that feels horribly off key with the tone set in the rest of the film, but its much more of what this movie really should have been.  Its tone feels like that of a “Sally learns a lesson” episode of a sitcom from its era and never really that of horror.  The film is really clean and friendly looking.  It was hard getting a sense of danger at all in the whole thing.

One of the problems is that the film has a great concept, but its one that doesn’t work to stretch out into a feature length film.  Or at least they weren’t able to figure it out on this try.  It reminds me of another telephone-related horror film, When a Stranger Calls.  In that film, the concept worked like gangbusters for the opening sequence in the film (Ditto for its sequel, too).  However, holding on and extended the story diluted it and make it not really work as a whole.  Here isn’t as lucky, but it has the right idea.

I Saw What You Did is a film I was excited to check out, being William Castle and all, but it really was a hair of a chore to get through.  I like the concept, but even getting down to the casting, they don’t seem to know how to pull of this movie.  And worst of all, its just not scary.  The murder scene in this film is pretty excellent, but that’s really about it.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  I Saw What You Did comes with a pretty impressive picture.  It looks as if the print used in this transfer was in terrific shape for the most part.  The image is sharp and has some pretty strong detail where it can based on its color shortcomings.

Depth:  Movement is very smooth and cinematic.  The image is loose and objects and persons are free. 

Black Levels:  Blacks work very good here as they are one of the two colors making up the picture.  Shading is very good as well as helping to define the image.

Color Reproduction:  N/A

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are white/gray being as this is a black and white film.  Details are pretty strong.

Noise/Artifacts:  Some dirt/specs.  A really good looking print was used for this.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  A analog sounding track, but its pretty cleaned up and clear sounding.  Effects/foley work sounds really well defined for its age.  Clarity here is most impressive.  The vocals, sounds and score are all loose and balanced.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean and crisp.  Loud and full sounding.

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Extras 

The “Special World Premiere Announcement featuring William Castle” that was listed on the press release is found under Theatrical Trailers.

Photo Gallery (HD, 3:31)

Theatrical Trailers (HD, 2:38)

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Summary 

I Saw What You Did isn’t a particularly good film, but it really is a collector’s item.  It’s a William Castle film on Blu-ray after all.  Scream Factory has this “shocking” feature out on Blu-ray with some surprsingly terrific audio quality and video transfer.  The extras aren’t much, but the William Castle-led trailer is a treat enough on its own.  Nostalia, collecting, Castle-fandom, whatever; those that pick this up should be pretty happy .

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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