When the cat's away Michael Douglas will play - Fatal Attraction, the thriller that terrified a generation of young men returns to Blu-ray as the introductory title of Paramount's new prestige Paramount Presents line for catalog titles. With a fresh new 4K transfer, an already great looking Blu-ray gets a worthy upgrade, however, the same lacking Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is recycled. A new conversation with Adrian Lyne as well as archival materials rounds out the bonus features package. Recommended.
Read our 2009 Blu-ray Review
Fatal Attraction still packs a wallop 33 years later. Watching it again for the first time in probably a decade, it's still a chilling film with a pitch-perfect performance from Glenn Close. The film itself may not do much for the stigmatization of mental illness, it's a little thick in that regard, but it's a hell of a sexual thriller. While Glenn Close continues to receive the lion's share of the acting accolades, I do have to tip my hat to Douglas here. His later filmography may become a bit silly by recycling the theme of how sexual dalliances gets him in trouble - but he's in perfect form here. You never really get to know if his Dan Gallagher habitually cheats on his wife or if this was a first-time offense, but you can see pretty quickly he regrets his choice. While I wish the original darker alternate ending could be worked back into the main feature through seamless branching, Fatal Attraction remains a highly entertaining flick.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Paramount Pictures debuts its new prestige line of catalog releases Paramount Presents with a new release of Fatal Attraction. Housed in a clear single-disc case with cardboard slipcover that opens up to reveal the original poster artwork with spine number 1. The disc loads to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options.
When Fatal Attraction first reached Blu-ray in 2009, it was a prime example of what the format had to offer for overall picture quality. 11 years later, this film is showing that the 1080p format still has some life left in it. Sourced from a new 4K remaster, from the first moments this is a hell of a great looking disc. It's been since the first release that I last saw this movie so my memories of that disc are hazy - but I feel like I was seeing more fine details - especially in clothing and production design. When the Gallagher family is checking out the new house, textures in the walls, floors, and scenery felt more lively. Likewise, facial features and clothing come through with great detail. Through it all, film grain is retained, apparent, and gives the image a nice film-like presence. Colors are bold - when and where necessary. Red on White is a bit of a motif what with attempted suicide and an unfortunate bunny rabbit. Black levels are on point giving the image terrific depth while whites are crisp and clean without blooming.
While Fatal Attraction enjoys a new 4K remaster, it doesn't sound as though the same effort was afforded for this Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. As it sounds very front/center without much in the way of dynamic object placement or surrounds activity, I'm left to assume this is the same mix as the 2009 release. If this had just been left as a stereo track, it would be solid stuff. But for a surround track, there just isn't much to ignite your sides or rear channels. The best moments are in big New York City street scenes, or when Dan and Alex are in Central Park, but once the movie moves into closed interiors there's really very little surround activity. With that dialog is clean and clear and primary sound effects come through with good clarity and impact. The Maurice Jarre score gives the film that 80s thriller punch his work was well-known for! It's not a terrible mix, just underwhelming.
Paramount only offers up a new conversation with director Adrian Lyne as a new bonus feature for this release. All other materials were available on previous Blu-ray and DVD releases.
Fatal Attraction stands as one of the best sexual suspense thrillers of the 80s and is still shocking today. Glenn Close carries the film with an Oscar-worthy performance. As the entry title to Paramount's new Paramount Presents prestige catalog line, the film gains a new 4K remaster, but the same iffy audio mix is recycled while a new interview with director Adrian Lyne and archival extras round out the bonus features. If you didn't already own Fatal Attraction this new disc is a fine release, however, since this film is available on 4K UHD streaming with Dolby Vision HDR, it's a shame we're not enjoying a true 4K UHD Blu-ray disc release here. As it is, this release is Recommended.