Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock’s horror-tinged thriller tale of mummy issues and showers soundtracked by string stabs, books into the 4K Ultra HD club. So, will mother approve?
The story: Based on the 1959 novel of the same name by author Robert Bloch, Psycho is the tale of a secretary who succumbs to fiscal temptation, going on the run to California with $40k. A stayover at an out of the way hotel, however, gives her a change of heart, and she plans to return the money. She’ll just have a shower first to freshen up…
“We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?”
The 4K disc: Filmed in black and white by Hitchcock’s television show people, Psycho joins the small but elite club of monochrome 4K Ultra HD releases that look rather stunning thanks to the wider extremes of black to white achieved via the application of HDR. Detail is at a premium, while grain is ever-present, but quite complimentary to proceedings.
Audio has been given a modern DTS:X makeover, without going into wild “We’ve got surround channels and we’re going to use ’em” territory. The dialogue remains very front and centre, however it’s the score and general ambience – in particular rain – that makes great use of those extra speakers, delivering a nicely rounded listening experience. If that’s all a bit too new-fangled for you, the original mono soundtrack is also included, via DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.
A selection of extras is included on the 4K disc itself, with possibly the most interesting of all being the ability to play the ever-so-slightly longer, Hitchcock-preferred uncut version. Look past that though and there’s much to savour, in particular a 90-plus minute Making of. Add an audio commentary from writer, screenwriter, journalist and former clinical therapist Stephen Rebello, a couple of featurettes, a Truffaut/Hitchcock interview snippet, trailers and an exhaustive archive of posters, storyboards and stills. All of these also feature on a handy standard Blu-ray that’s included.
Release date: July 7, 2021
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.