IT (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

IT 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ReviewI wish I could be cool and say I love Stephen King’s 1986 novel IT.  The truth is I’d be lying.  Not only did I never read it but nor have I ever seen the 1990 network television miniseries either.  I know.  I suck.  It goes unsaid that I lived a very sheltered childhood up in Cleveland, Ohio.  Thank goodness I left there five years ago and grew into the responsible young adult you all know and love now.  Ha!  So let’s fast forward some 30 years here since the book first came out and now IT receives a modernized (so to speak as still set in the nostalgia of the 80’s) adaption on the big screen.  It’s actually part of something bigger too as this American Rated-R horror film is just the first installment of a planned two parts.  Truth be told you had me at Rated-R.  Let’s take a closer look down below at what IT (also known as IT: Part 1 – The Loser’s Club) is all about.  Join me down below and you’ll float too.



IT tells the story of seven children living in Derry, Maine.  They are all separately terrorized by this entity responsible for the disappearance of children in their neighborhood.  Think of this first film as Goonies, Stand By Me and Stranger Things meets a real monster and the second planned installment will be about the adults, but more on that in a bit.  IT is directed by Andrés Muschietti off a screenplay written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman.  The film stars Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgård, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton and Jackson Robert Scott.

The story of IT is set during summer vacation of 1989.  Remember that year?  I sure do!  That’s my coming of age, yo!  So anyway IT focuses on a group of outcast preteens that lovingly refer to themselves as “The Losers Club,” hence the alternate title I mentioned up above.  Like I said up above too they are all separately terrorized by some terrible ghostly force that appears to them as a result of the real life demons they individually battle.  Those personal demons range from over protective, neglectful and downright evil parents to bullies that relentlessly and violently never leave them alone.  They band together to protect one another and more importantly battle a seemingly immortal, shape-shifting entity, known as “it,” that’s ultimately responsible for you guessed it…the disappearance of dozens of other kids in their town.

So I honestly had no idea what I was getting into with IT.  I know it’s highly heralded as one of King’s finest works, but other than the balloons, clown and yellow rain jacket I had zero knowledge.  Afterwards I think back and wonder who the hell cares.  I frickin’ LOVED IT!  Had this came out when I was a child growing up it would no doubt have been one of my all-time favorite horror films ever.  Hell, this is my childhood with an R-rating.  And let me tell you this.  What a breath of fresh air this R-rating is here.  “It” enabled this movie to do something that few horror films are ever allowed to do anymore, swear with the utmost of debauchery and scare with the utmost of freakiness, violence/gore and sheer terror.  Just because this story is about little kids don’t let that frighten you off.  These kids get taken out just like Michael Myers would slay a couple having sex (within moderation of course).  I LOVE “IT”!  Chew on this one for a moment.  What if Goonies, Stand By Me and even Netflix’s Stranger Things had a love child out of wedlock with Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses and Nightmare on Elm Street?  Well, that’s IT here!

Next let’s talk about the kids here.  How about them?  They were perfectly cast.  Yes it helps the one is from Stranger Things (Wolfhard), but I swear to whatever God you want me to that it felt like I was re-living my childhood here with little nods to Goonies, Stand By Me and more (sorry I know I am being repetitive).  IT does life right too.  What I mean by that is kids swear.  They have potty mouths just like we adults do.  Where do you think they learn it from?  They also have real life demons from parents trying to molest them to bullies relentlessly tormenting them.  That’s what I love most about these characters.  They are so three-dimensional.  This film is literally no holds barred from the violence inflicted upon the kids to the F-bombs they religiously drop throughout.  The only thing this one doesn’t have is nudity.  However, when I first saw our beloved Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Skarsgård) viciously rip apart a kid I knew right then and there I was going to absolutely love this.  No I don’t want to see pain inflicted upon helpless, innocent kids, but I do want to see a realistic, freaky horror movie and this was “IT”!  The pun here is VERY MUCH intended.  I will say this though as it starts out with a shocking scene, but as we go on IT does lose a bit of its edge (hence the not perfect film score).

Let’s wrap things up in the film section by talking about the horror and direction here.  First up, IT is a pretty horrific film.  It’s downright gory and nightmarish at times (again it does lose some bite as it transgresses).  No it did not make me jump or anything like that, but what I truly mean here is it’s completely freaky (think Rob Zombie again) and is basically what nightmares are made of (think Freddy).  You feel like you’re in a lucid dream at times and I can totally see people having some pretty twisted nightmares after watching this one.  I endorse them. It’s not for the weak hearted in terms of freakiness.  Pennywise is also done right too.  At times he can be completely ridiculous, but when those teeth come out it’s game on.  And finally, what I love about the way they ended things here is IT‘s directionality.  Make no mistake about it there will be a second film here and we all know now how it’s going to happen and we’re completely aware of the stakes.  I’m looking forward to “IT”!

Disclaimer: This is just an FYI for those keeping track.  I did lower my film score here by a half doggie compared to my initial theatrical review of IT.   I guess you can say I adjusted my score to real world standards after taking in IT for a second time.  It’s hard to get “it” right sometimes with just one quick viewing of a film…so much pressure.    

IT 4K Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Warner Bros’ IT.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: There’s a lot of difference here in my option between the 4K UHD and 1080p Blu-ray presentations.  Most notable are the colors and the intricate details.  The makeup and effects are what brilliantly shine here too from the cracks in the white paste on Pennywise’s forehead to the hundreds of individual teeth within his mouth.  Everything from textures in clothing, rugs and bricks to the individual paint strokes on wood surfaces and rust on the kids’ bikes are right there in your face to dissect with clarity.
  • Depth: All the onscreen characters all have that three-dimensional pop to them so depth of field is a given. However, if you want more traditional examples look no further than the vast woods and nature on display to the city streets, interior sequences and of course the sewer.  Beware of the sewer!
  • Black Levels: The black levels are also where the HDR presentation bumps up the difference between IT‘s 1080p Blu-ray counterpart.  Nothing gets lost in the shadows yet there’s a deep inkiness to it all too.
  • Color Reproduction: I mentioned colors up above and they are rockstar here.  Brilliant reds haunt the production from the many floating balloons to Pennywise’s scorching eyes.  However, what I love most about the color palette here is outside the shadows things look stunningly wide, natural and lively throughout.  The moments outside may be a bit saturated at times, but I’ll taking a scorching sun any day over clouds.  You just wouldn’t think of a horror film this bright, but I like “it.”
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones seemed rather natural in almost all of the lighting conditions here ranging from scorching summertime outdoor sequences to what creeps in the darkest of shadows.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I didn’t notice any unnecessary noise, banding or other artifacts that would get in your way of enjoying this presentation to its fullest.

IT 4K Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Warner Bros’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of IT.  Both the 4K Ultra HD and the 1080p Blu-ray presentation share the same frightening Dolby Atmos surround track.  Just a word to the wise you NEED to select the Dolby Atmos track from the disc’s main menu to play.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French (Dubbed in Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • DynamicsIT has one of those audio tracks that will drive people crazy.  It’s not because it’s a bad one, but because one minute it’s eerily quiet and the next your house is being knocked down like a tornado hit it.  At full throttle IT is a force not to be reckoned with just like its onscreen counterpart.  The audio here is wide open, spacious and ferociously loud at times.  Even better though everything has a sense of priority and directionality here.  Take a simple balloon for example the way it floats from left to right.  Well I know it sounds weird to read this but the sound design here literally reproduced the sweeping of a balloon from left to right.  I was actually taken aback by how remarkable it was.
  • Height: The height channel is seamless and not gimmicky here.  Obvious moments outside of other fulfillments include rain pouring down, thunder and lightning, a crow and my favorite the exploding bathroom sink scene.
  • Low Frequency Extension: There’s a heightened sense of aggression when the subwoofer joins the party here.  From low rumbles, sound effects and growls to an outright onslaught courtesy of hysterical and lunatic screams, pounding, gunshots, lightning and thunder and crescendos in the score the LFE channel rocks your viewing room with the utmost of rage and power.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: This one is all about producing chills as the rears capture all the ambiance of the scenes with sound effects directionality and that score that downright engulfs you at times.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue of this presentation is the only thing I want to nitpick here.  IT has some super bass and it’s very low in the frequency department so for me dialogue is a tad low in the mix here.  However, for the most part I was able to make out all the spoken words.  I was tempted though to bump up my center channel, but I digress.



The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack of IT features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR and a 1080p Blu-ray disc also featuring the theatrical version.  Additionally, all the special features, including interviews with filmmakers, featurettes and deleted scenes, can be experienced in an entirely new, dynamic and immersive manner on tablets and mobile phones using the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App, available for both iOS and Android devices.  When the Digital HD movie is redeemed, or the digital movie is purchased from an UltraViolet retailer, the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App allows users to watch the movie and simultaneously experience synchronized content related to any scene simply by rotating their device. Synchronized content is presented on the same screen while the movie is playing, thus enabling users to quickly learn more about any scene, such as actor biographies, scene locations, fun trivia or image galleries.  Also, users can share movie clips with friends on social media and experience other immersive content.  So without further ado let’s take a look at the 4 main extras housed on the 1080p Blu-ray Disc.  There’s not much here and they’re your basic EPK making of kind of stuff, but they’re fun and engaging nonetheless.

  • Pennywise Lives! (HD, 16:25)Here you’ll discover how 25-year-old Bill Skarsgård prepared to portray the primordial creature known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.  Everything about the clown is explored here from the origin of this shape shifting entity to it’s costume and makeup.  I just love what Bill brought to the role as shown in this extra.  Everything from his bottom lip and drool to his own lazy eye are just several of Bill’s immediate, physical contributions.  They also go into how they saved the kids from seeing the monster for a whole month and a half so they could catch their initial reaction to the frightening entity.
  • The Losers’ Club (HD, 15:42) In this extra you can get up close and personal with the teenage stars of IT as they bond together during the production.  This one was really heartwarming too as these kids bonded and became really good friends over the summer of this production.  It was really cool to see how they all interacted goofy with each other and their experience with the acting instructor and everything he made the kids do to prepare for the filming.
  • Author of Fear (HD, 13:51) Here Stephen King reveals the roots of his best-selling novel, the nature of childhood fear and how he created his most famous monster, Pennywise.  It was really interesting to hear how King created the town everything takes place in here drawing from his own experiences and research.  He even dishes on IT’s food sources and how the adults factor into this story.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 15:18) – There are a total of eleven deleted or extended scenes from the film found here.

4K IT Review


Well there you have it.  Another fabulous 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review by yours truly.  Truth be told I loved IT much better my first go around with “it” in the theater.  However, what’s not to love about “it” here?  Warner Bros’ IT arrives on UHD disc with a great 4K presentation and an Earth smashing audio track.  It’s a little light on the extras, but IT IS WHAT IT IS.  So buy it!  And I really am truly sorry for all my “it” quotations.  I just can’t help myself.  It’s a pun I love wickedly repeating over and over, never getting my fill.  Until next time…stay thirsty.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


*You’ll Float Too




4K Ultra HD Blu-ray




IT 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Cover

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