Updated: Apr 2, 2020
4K ULTRA HD MINI-REVIEW / HDR FRAME SHOTS
(1) Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her True Knot followers breathe the "steam" from one of their victims. (2) Rose and Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) battle at the old abandoned Overlook Hotel in the snowy Colorado Rockies.
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4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Digital copy; R for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use; Streaming via (buy & rent) Amazon Prime Video, Apple (4K), FandangoNOW (4K), Google Play (4K), Vudu (4K), YouTube (4K)
DIRECTOR/WRITER/EDITOR Mike Flanagan (creator “The Haunting of Hill House” TV series) has been a Stephen King fan since the fifth grade. “I’m a fanatic, in fact. So when I found out that he was going to be publishing a sequel to “The Shining,” I, like everybody else who’s a King fan, lost my mind,” says Flanagan during one of the three featurettes included on the 4K disc and digital platforms.
King said he always wondered what happened to character Danny Torrance after he grew up. “Doctor Sleep” (2013) became King’s 63rd published book, focusing on Torrance who’s in his early 40s trying to shack the violence and alcoholism that’s followed him from his father’s destructive past at the Overlook Hotel in the snowy Colorado Rockies. Danny (now Dan) played by Ewan McGregor, still suffers from PTSD and drifts to a small town in New Hampshire, where he attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and works at a Hospice facility attending to the terminally ill.
Dan still has his shine – to penetrate the minds of others, as his life intersects with Abra Stone played by newcomer Kyliegh Curran, who was selected from over 1,000 teenagers. Her shine is far greater than Dan’s and she telepathically finds him and leads Dan to the True Knot, a vampire-like cult led by Rose the Hat, played by British actress Rebecca Ferguson. She and her followers have lived for centuries, taking the shine from children by breathing the “steam” that escapes them when they are violently injured and killed.
The third act of the film takes place at the Overlook Hotel, completely recreated on a soundstage in Georgia.
(1) Rose the Hat entices a young girl with the shining gift at a lakeside park. (2) The ghost of Dick Hallorann (Carl Lumbly) visits young Danny at his new home in Florida, where he and his mother relocated after the Overlook Hotel horror. (3) Young Abra Stone (Dakota Hickman). (4) Dan Torrance at a local AA meeting. (5) Rose the Hat recruits a new follower Snakebite Andi (Emily Alyn Lind).
Flanagan and his cinematographer Michael Fimognari continue the same visual style and look of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” filming in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but dropping the 35mm film camera for the 6.5K Arri Alexa 65 digital. The supernatural thriller was wonderfully mastered in 4K, for striking detail and clarity from closes ups to distant objects in wide shots.
Warner Bros. also made sure you got the best HDR toning possible, providing the basic HDR10, plus the more controlled metadata HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The results provide a rich color palette with natural facial toning and deep dark shadows with an abundance of detail and controlled highlights far surpassing the HD versions (disc and digital).
The enclosed digital code will unlock the 4K version on all digital platforms with HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
The 4K disc and digital, plus the Blu-ray include the eight-channel Dolby Atmos soundtrack, that’s extremely active from effects to the electronic and strings music cues from The Newton Brothers, the composing duo of Andy Grush and Taylor Stewart, which are pushed to your height and rear speakers. There’s plenty of strong bass response and the dialogue never gets lost.
(1&2) This time Rose and her followers abduct a young boy named Bradley who has the Shine gift. (3) Rose and her follower take the "steam" from young Bradley. (4) Abra Stone now a middle schooler, has the vision of Bradley's killing, as her parents come to her bedside. (5) Dan drives to Iowa and with Abra's shine finds Bradley's body and baseball glove.
(1-4) The final showdown at the Overlook Hotel.