Eli Roth’s ‘History of Horror’ Season 1 (Blu-ray Review)

History Horror Blu-rayRLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, will release the documentary/horror series ELI ROTH’S HISTORY OF HORROR SEASON 1 on October 6, 2020 on DVD and Blu-ray. Award-winning horror film director, writer, producer and actor Eli Roth brings together the masters of horror – the storytellers and stars who define the genre – to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the years and examine the genre’s impact on society as well as delving into how horror maintains its fan base and why audiences are addicted to fear. Interviewees include Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Linda Blair and many others. Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 1 will be released on Blu-ray October 6, 2020! Read our Blu-ray review now!

History Horror Blu-ray


Eli Roth’s History of Horror was a mini-series that chronicled the horror film genre. Eli Roth interviewed and talked to folks ranging from Stephen King to Quentin Tarantino about their relationship to the horror genre and what makes them tick with regards to it. Roth talks to many veterans of the industry and the way the series is formatted, we also get some nice actor interviews by folks who have made careers in the horror genre. The icing on the proverbial horror cake is that of the scholars brought in to discuss the cultural and sociological importance of the horror genre on society.

To say that Eli Roth’s History of Horror is packed would be an understatement. The series is comprised of seven episodes focusing on a particular horror film subgenre. Episode 1 talks about “Zombies” and so forth. Yeah, I get they would focus on The Walking Dead a lot being that’s an AMC show, but there’s a lot of focus on the beginnings of the zombie genre – mainly due to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and subsequent Dead films. These scenes are intermixed with the commentators addressing parts of the films they are speaking of and what impact they had.

If you ever wanted to know why Rob Zombie directs the type of films he directs, look no further than this set. Once he saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time, he knew he wanted to make films showing off a “hillbilly chic.” Other episodes focus on “Creatures,” “Demons,” and the “Supernatural.” Each episode runs about 45-minutes and is jam-packed with information.

A few weeks ago, I reviewed James Cameron’s History of Science Fiction for the site and that set just oozed pedigree due to the subject and filmmakers at hand. Eli Roth is no James Cameron, but History of Horror was definitely made for the horror film nerd in us all. I expected Roth to be smug but he’s a cool cat that seemed to have a lot of fun talking to all of these important people that write and create scary movies. Here’s hoping we get more insights into horror sometime soon with a potential second season.


History Horror Blu-ray


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Contrast and sharpness levels are stable. I did not notice any post-production tinkering. The quality will of course vary depending on what stock footage is used.

Depth: If you’ve seen some of the marketing materials for this set, you’ll see that they have a quaint look to them. Once projected, the Blu-ray enhances some of the perspective shots used to give production some nice scale.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky. This is due to how some interviews are framed in darkness or corridors.

Color Reproduction: The color wheel is fine — the sets are creatively dressed and constructed, which lends itself to the Blu-ray format.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks great — they’re all low-lit and it gives the folks discussing various topics a “we’re hanging out in a library” vibe.

Noise/Artifacts: The main roundtable and standard interviews look great. It’s only when stock footage in intermixed that the image might suffer with various anomalies.


History Horror Blu-ray


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

Subtitles: English SDH

DynamicsHistory of Horror is a documentary, with various talking heads and roundtable discussions. It doesn’t call for a dynamic soundtrack. We get a nice 2.0 soundtrack. If anything, the stock footage used may or may not have some questionable audio, but I’d say that’s more of an issue with the source material than the Blu-ray. It’s fine.

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: A dialogue driven production that sounds great. No one talks over anyone else and it’s fun to listen to.


History Horror Blu-ray


The back of the box says that these extras are 2-hours long. In the grand scheme of things, that would minuscule compared to how much stuff used to be packed in on one Blu-ray. The good news is, all of the extra and extended interview footage is absolutely stellar. Tarantino’s extended interview is almost half an hour by itself. I don’t want to spoil it, but he laid down an awesome hypothesis about the Brian De Palma/Alfred Hitchcock aesthetic that blew my mind.

  • Extended Interviews with: Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Diablo Cody, John Landis, Joe Dante, Roger Corman
  • How Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein influenced Tarantino
  • How Video Games Resurrected Zombie Movies
  • Is Horror Sexist or Feminist?
  • Making a Monster
  • Scarred for Life


History Horror Blu-ray


Eli Roth’s History of Horror was great. The video and sound were fine, with the special features knocking it out of the park. I’m hoping they bring it back for a second season but seeing as how this mini-series is two-years old, I doubt it. If you’re a horror fan, then this is the Blu-ray set for you. Highly recommended!

The images used above within the review are not actual Blu-ray screenshots. They are for illustrative purposes only.



Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 1 is available on Blu-ray!





History Horror Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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