This article contains several comparisons which contrast the older Universal Blu-ray transfer (“before”, left) with the new Scream Factory restoration (“after”, right). The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches, but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.
Our Editor-in-Chief Ed Travis will be reviewing Scream Factory’s The Thing Collector’s Edition Blu-ray in full, but in the meantime we wanted to share some direct comparisons of the transfer against the 2008 disc.
Here are my own observations, though you can scope the screens below and draw your own conclusions:
The new transfer is generally brighter and higher in contrast, though whether this is a good thing or not may be a matter of opinion. It looks great but I kind of like the older transfer’s more muted tones as well, and they’ve never struck me as a problem when viewing my Universal disc. Similarly, the colors differ quite a bit, with the new transfer taking on a cooler palette. I’m no authority on which is “right”, but given the Antarctic setting, cooler certainly feels more appropriate.
What’s inarguable, though, is the vastly superior level of detail in Scream Factory’s transfer. Both detail and grain are clearly visible, whereas the older disc’s image quality is smeary and murky by comparison, with some banding evident – probably the result of DNR.
While Scream Factory’s new disc is a tad bright, it’s clearly the better option overall, based on the color and especially the superior level of detail.