Since BFI made their 4K UHD debut with Ingmar Bergman’s iconic The Seventh Seal, only two more films have been released on the format under their label. The second was John Hillcoat’s magnificent The Proposition, and now, they drop their third – Richard Loncraine’s Full Circle: The Haunting of Julia.
This 1977 supernatural, eerie chiller has been the stuff of legend for many years – a big part of that due to the film’s elusivity. Based on Peter Straub’s haunting novel Julia, the film follows bereaved mother Julia (Mia Farrow) who finds herself plagued by ghostly apparitions of a child. Receiving mixed reviews on release, Full Circle soon faded into obscurity; often discussed, but rarely seen. A full 4K restoration overseen by the film’s director is something of a historic moment, then, and a long overdue opportunity for the film to be reevaluated.
Released as part of BFI’s Flipside range, celebrating ‘forgotten movies and filmmakers who would otherwise be in danger of disappearing from our screens forever’, this definitive release is essential. While some titles in the range have to make do with the best available assets – such as The Appointment’s VHS-quality transfer – Full Circle is very lucky to have such a stunning transfer at its core. The film’s hazy, dreamlike visuals look truly haunting on the 4K format, immersing us further into the chilling tale. Farrow’s performance too is stunning, and deserving of reappraisal itself.
Loaded with new retrospective bonus features and a packed booklet, this release has been crafted from the ground up with the utmost passion and respect for the film. Full Circle is a truly fascinating piece of work – walking the delicate tightrope between outright horror and mysterious supernatural – and it’s a crying shame that it has been unavailable for so long. Its’ reputation and legacy in the genre would surely be up there with the greats if this has been the case.
Those with an interest in 1970s chillers should put this one to the top of their wishlist.