Review: The Shining (4K)

The Shining 4K Review

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

Plot: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director:  Stanley Kubrick

Aspect Ratio: 1.33.1

Runtime: 144 min

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King’s novel, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness — exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.

Online Ratings:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes 85% 
  2. IMDB 8.4
  3. Metacritic 66

“A timeless horror-classic, for every generation.”


This movie was shot with the Arriflex 35 BL on 35mm and ultimately finished as a 4k Digital Intermediate — that means you will get a native 4K release! As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in Dolby Vision & HDR10+. Something else to note is the fact that Steven Spielberg and Kubrick’s personal assistant Leon Vitali were very closely involved during the entire process of this release.

Going into this film I thought there would be a noticeable amount of grain to hold the original intact, but to my surprise you actually get a pretty clean image. There is some grain, of course, but it’s nothing to speak negatively on — it’s just enough of a layer to hold the original filmatic look.

Everything compared to previous releases now looks more natural and picture perfect. Nearly every scene is a great improvement and you could showcase and speak on almost anything. What’s the biggest thing to marvel about? That would be the added detail and color. Sometimes you will sit in awe and admiration as they add to the hypnotic vibe of the film, while other times you will appreciate the subtle differences. It’s an all around boost to the 1980’s classic! Let me just (if you weren’t catching on) — this disc is amazing and it’s a top notch disc to own in 2019.

Some of the highlights I noted start in Chapter 1 when you get the long cinematic lead in following the yellow VW Beetle through the forrest and snow on the way to the Overlook Hotel. HDR adds color that’s never been seen before and the clarity sets you up for the rest of the film. As a matter of fact, all the sweeping shots of the surrounding scenery of Overlook Hotel look amazing. You will see this continued on and on, whether it’s in the introduction to the maze looking more green than ever in Chapter 11, the (whoa!) red walls in the Hotel bathroom in Chapter 24, the shots of the interior rooms, carpet, wallpaper, decorations — you name it, everything is a plus. Beyond that, there is a noticeable new natural light that flows through the hotel that adds new depth, contrast and detail again and again. It’s all there to shine in the UHD format.

As another side note: the climatic night scene in the snow looks way better due to the new untouched tone that was removed from the original? I’m not sure, but the Blu-ray disc had a cyan like appearance, which after watching the UHD looks out of place. Strange.

You may think that this is all too good to be true, but this UHD disc is simple — yet jaw-dropping in the way it boosts and holds the natural quality of the way it was originally shot. Mix all the positives noted above with an eerie score and stunning cinematography — you now have a top notch UHD presentation through and through.

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of the most famous horror classics of all time and its never looked better. You can bet your bottom dollar that this is a must own UHD — both for long time fans and those continuing to build their movie collection. Warner Bro’s shows some master class work in this remaster, you really need to see it for yourself. You can get The Shinning in 4K UHD at your local retailer and digitally today!

Are you a fan of this film? Will you be picking up a copy? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

All work and no play makes a Jack a dull boy.



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The Shining 4K Review