Alan Parker’s cult noir-horror tale Angel Heart descends upon the 4K Ultra HD format. So, how does it fare? Is it heavenly, or hellish?
The story: Arguably Mickey Rourke’s finest performance sees him portraying private investigator Harry Angel. Hired by one Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite, the investigation leads our dick on a trail of bloody murder, intrigue, voodoo… and chickens. Harry’s got a thing about chickens…
“They say there’s enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love.”
The 4K disc: StudioCanal have been bringing us some relatively leftfield choices on the 4K Ultra HD format – and we’re loving it! Especially when they’re putting so much effort into their restorations. Angel Heart is no exception, with its native 4K transfer being most impressive. Coupled with judicious use of Dolby Vision HDR enhancement, we doubt that the film has ever been seen looking better – which the incredible cinematography deserves. It’s generally a very dark affair, and black levels are bang-on, without detail being lost in the shadows. Grain is ever-present, however it’s natural-looking and scarcely noticeable at typical viewing distances.
Audio comes to us via a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that belies the film’s ’80s roots. At some points it can sound a touch centre-centric, but for the most part surround channels are used to great effect, especially when it comes to the evocative – and creepy as all get-out – Trevor Jones soundtrack. Subwoofer use is appropriate, and especially adds tension to the repeated heartbeat motif that plays at various points throughout the movie.
The good news keeps coming, with a raft of extras included on the 4K disc itself. These amount to a brief intro from Alan Parker that harks back to the DVD release, an Alan Parker commentary track, almost half an hour of an AP interview, additional interviews, a news featurette, personality profiles, behind the scenes footage and photos, a teaser trailer and a faascinating multi-part look at voodoo. A standard Blu-ray is also thoughtfully included.
It should be noted that a few seconds of gruesome chicken sacrifice have been excised from this cut.
Release date: November 13, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.