Psycho 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score4.5
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Alfred Hitchock
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DTS:X, DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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One of Alfred Hitchcock's most sensational thrillers, "Psycho" is based on the novel by Robert Bloch. The black-and-white film features Anthony Perkins as the disturbed mamma's boy, Norman Bates. Janet Leigh stars as ill-fated heroine Marion Crane, who, while on the lam, should have kept on driving past the Bates Motel—or, better yet, passed on using the motel shower. (Gary Reber)

Both the extended uncut version (01:49:04) and the theatrical version (01:48:51) are available. Special features include commentary with Stephen Rebello, Author of "Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho"; "The Making Of Psycho," an original documentary featuring new interviews with Hitchcock's daughter Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell, Janet Leigh, Screenwriter Joseph Stefano, Assistant Director Hilton A. Green, Assistant Peggy Robertson, Costumer Rita Riggs, Clive Barker, and Paul Hirsch (SD 34:12); three featurettes: "Psycho Sound" (HD 09:58); "In The Master's Shadow: Hitchcock's Legacy" (SD 25:58) and "Hitchcock/Truffaut" (SD 15:20); the Newsreel Footage: "The Release Of Psycho" (SD 07:45); "The Shower Scene" (SD 02:30); The Shower Scene: Saul Bass Story Boards; The Psycho Archives; posters and Psycho ads; lobby cards; behind-the-scenes photographs; production photographs; the theatrical trailer; the re-release trailer; My Scenes; BD-Live functionality and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film stock using the Mitchell BNC camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The overall improvement is contrast and gray scale. The picture exhibits dramatically enhanced resolution compared to the previously softly focused releases. Resolution is nicely defined and pristine, while still preserving the light grain that contributes to the cinematic look. The black-and-white picture exhibits a good gray scale with generally well-balanced contrast and revealing shadow delineation. Overall the imagery is sharp and nicely defined, for a pleasing visual experience—the best that the film has ever appeared. (Gary Reber)

The DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack has been repurposed from the original monaural elements. Dialogue is the focus, and clarity is terrific as well as spatial integration. Bernard Herrmann's score has never sounded so wonderful and dynamic, with a fullness never before experienced. While focused frontal, the music extends subtly to the surrounds and the height layer. The Immersive Sound element is strong and provided by the music. The surround element is comprised of atmospherics and sound effects. Surround energy is intensified during the rain-burst downpour when Marion arrives at the Bates Motel, with extension to the height layer. Later, during the infamous shower scene, the sound of running water from the shower head is dimensional, extending to immerse the soundfield and overhead. The squirming response created by the sound during the shower scene is heightened due to the effective layering of the high strings, cellos, and double bass at the end of the segment, and the aggressive surround envelopment. There also are a few occasional sound effects and ambience effects scattered throughout. Occasionally the .1 LFE channel adds strength to the sound's foundation. While overall fidelity still sounds dated, the improvement is dramatic and benefits the experience. (Gary Reber)