Bad Times At The El Royale 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 239, May 2019

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Strong violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Drew Goddard
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"Bad Times At The El Royale" is a thriller filled with gripping suspense and startling revelations. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption...before everything goes to hell. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 28:35, a gallery, and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35mm Kodak Vision3 film stock using the Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is superb. Light but consistent grain is exhibited throughout, but never objectionable. Production design is effective throughout and within the interior of the hotel. HDR contrast is excellent, with revealing shadow delineation, deep blacks and natural white highlight levels. The color palette throughout is naturally hued with accurate fleshtones. The hotel's interior appears warmly hued. Exteriors are perfectly natural. Fleshtones also appear natural throughout. The rain on cars appears realistic. Resolution exhibits fine detail throughout as well. WOW! segments are from 05:38 to 07:40, 50:00 to 51:18, 01:08:46 to 01:11:44, and 02:14:46 to 02:15:42. This is a very pleasing and realistic presentation that plays nicely in Ultra HD. (Gary Reber_

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with good spatial integration and clarity. Surround envelopment is delivered via the varied music, which at times is very powerful, with extension to the height layer. Sound effects, such as gunfire, roar at moments to push the otherwise quiet dynamics of the soundtrack. Foley sound effects are excellent and enhance the realism of the production design within and out of the El Royale.

The Immersive Sound element consists of a surprisingly effective extension of the varied music. Other elements are the opening scene brief thunder and rain, surrounding wind through the woods, birds chirping, aggressive thunder and rain, ocean waves at the beach, raindrop sounds on a car roof, a fire pit blast, and ambient flutter. Overall, the height layer is effective and provides an added sense of spherical dimensionality.

This is a nicely crafted soundtrack that while dialogue focused, manages to provide segments of greater intensity and surround envelopment. (Gary Reber)