In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.
For more about The Shape of Water 4K and the The Shape of Water 4K Blu-ray release, see the The Shape of Water 4K Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on March 15, 2018 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Vanessa Taylor, Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer
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Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)
4K Ultra HD
Slipcover in original pressing
Region A (C untested)
The Shape of Water is presented on 4K UHD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with a 2160p transfer in 1.85:1. As with many other films digitally captured and then finished at a 2K DI, this 4K version shows at times considerable upticks in fine detail levels on things like fabrics in costumes and upholstery, while also adding a perhaps more subtle texturization to "smoother" elements like the Creature's exoskeleton. What struck me more about this presentation than the (perhaps expected) changes in detail levels was the interesting tweaking of the palette courtesy of HDR. I actually assumed things would take on even more of a teal or aquamarine tint in the green grades utilized throughout the film, but I was kind of surprised to see what I would term more of a "true" or "natural" green emerging, including in admittedly minor things like the color of the credits. But throughout the film, hues which in the 1080p version tended to be in the teal range looked either skewed more towards green (as in the lime colored men's room) or actually blue (as in Strickland's prized Cadillac) in the 4K version. Some of the most noticeable changes to my eyes were actually in the warmer graded moments in the apartments, which are often bathed in a kind of amber color. Here there's a noticeably more suffused yellowish undertone that gives things a kind of almost elegiac feeling. Shadow definition was surprisingly strong on the 1080p Blu-ray, especially given the surplus of underwater imagery and other dimly lit material, and it continues to be excellent in this 4K version, though I'd be hard pressed to say it's substantially improved in this version. As I mentioned in the review of the 1080p Blu-ray, there are a couple of moments of water imagery with backlighting, including the film's final fade out, that seem to flirt ever so slightly with banding, though in the case of the final fade, I'm of the opinion it's a deliberate tweaking of the imagery.
The 4K UHD disc contains the same effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track assessed in our The Shape of Water Blu-ray review.
Note: As tends to be the case with Fox releases, the audio and subtitle specs are different on the 4K UHD and 1080p Blu-ray discs. The specs above are for the 4K UHD disc. For the specs on the 1080p Blu-ray, please consult that review.