H-e-e-e-e-r-e-‘s Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining on 4K Ultra HD! So, how does it shape up on the format? Does it shine, or is it all work and no play?
The story: This descent into decidedly creepy horror sees Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their young son Danny head off to the remote Overlook Hotel to act as caretakers for the winter. This isn’t just any old hotel though, as it has a distinctly violent past. As Jack gradually lurches deeper and deeper into madness, Danny tries to use his psychic abilities to bring help.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
The 4K disc: Whether you’re a Stephen King fan, Stanley Kubrick fan, general horror fan or 4K fan, you’re going to love this transfer. The native 4K vision is sourced from the original 35mm, and was recently produced with assistance by some bloke named Steven Spielberg. Quite simply, it’s stunning. Beautifully detailed right from the opening chopper shots over the mountains, it has a fine, very natural level of grain and the addition of Dolby Vision (or HDR10+ if your gear goes there) only adds to the spectacle. Shadow detail is superb, whites – such as the snow – have a realism without searing your retinas, and the colours of the Overlook’s chic 1970s decor – even if they are mostly browns, oranges and golds – look a treat. Seriously, this transfer is sharper than Jack’s axe.
A new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix supplies the sound here, and it does it pretty well. While not the revelation that the vision is, the creepy-as soundtrack surrounds you, while dialogue is clear and the subwoofer kicks in where appropriate. At times it’s very front-heavy, but we suspect that this is part of the intended aural atmosphere. Some sticklers may miss the film’s original mono audio, as it isn’t included.
A commentary track from Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Stanley Kubrick biographer John Baxter is the only extra on the 4K disc. Pop in the handily included standard Blu-ray, however, and not only do you get the remastered movie in 1080p, but also the ~30-minute View from the Overlook: Crafting ‘The Shining’ featurette, an almost 35-minute making-of (with optional commentary), plus featurettes on both Stanley Kubrick and composer Wendy Carlos.
Release date: November 27, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.