Last night I watched the new 4K UHD Psycho Bluray disc, and I’m very sorry to report that portions of it are grainstormed all to hell, and I mean totally smothered in swarms of digital micro-mosquitoes.
There were complaints here and there about the previous Psycho Bluray being overly DNR’ed (digital noise reduction), and so the Universal Home Video grain monks (i.e., “the grainmakers”) went into the control room and took their revenge.
The older DNR’d Psycho Bluray (which I can no longer find on Amazon) is much more pleasing to the eye. Yes, I know that the DNR’ed look isn’t what the film really looked like when it came out of the lab in ’60, and I couldn’t care less. All the surfaces and textures look clean and smooth and ultra-detailed, but now the Universal gremlins have injected hundreds of billions of throbbing mosquitoes into this classic Hitchcock film.
Plus there are some scenes in the newbie that appear way too contrasty. Steer clear of the 4K version and stick with the 2010 Bluray. If you don’t own a copy, buy one now.
By the way: As noted earlier, the 4K Psycho includes some excised material that had never been available before, including a brief glimpse of Janet Leigh side-boob as Anthony Perkins watches her undress through a peephole.
Also: The knifing of Arbogast (Martin Balsam) at the bottom of the stairs now includes two or three extra stabbing strokes. Except the sound of Arbogast’s “arrhhwwghhhh!” is oddly delayed. The knife plunges in a couple of times, but he doesn’t go “arrhhwwghhhh!” until the third stab. Brilliant.
Note: The top video clip is an ECU of the Bates Motel parlor scene from the new 4K disc. The Egyptian mosquito grainstorm effect is obvious to the naked eye. The below video clip is an ECU of a scene from the 2010 Psycho Bluray — very little grain to speak of.