Parasite was reportedly photographed at a resolution of 6.5K and finished at 4K, and on Universal's 2160p/HDR presentation, it shows. This is a striking presentation, a clear high point for digitally captured films on the UHD format. The new presentation boasts a shinier sheen. It's slicker and cleaner than its predecessor, sometimes vastly sharper and more effortlessly defined. Detailing is ridiculously high throughout. Individual hairs and pores are majestically clean and revealing. It's breathtaking. Practically very close-up is a showcase for how digital is done right, for how and why it's a viable format for striking, beautiful motion art in a world transitioning away from film. Some of the simplest shots are the most telling of the UHD's improvements. Look at a wide street shot at the 12:29 mark. It perfectly illustrates the improvements to both color accuracy and textural clarity. The green ivy leaps off the screen with a newfound color depth that appears comparatively dull and flat on the Blu-ray while the white building right of center takes on a more luminous, intensely crisp appearance. Likewise, sharpness abounds throughout the shot. In the UHD, the gray road and the various structural surfaces enjoy a tangible uptick in clarity that is nowhere near so pronounced on the Blu-ray, and those aforementioned leaves are also cleaner and better defined, looking soft and clumpy on the 1080p disc but individually sharp here. Expect this level of clarity and accuracy throughout, and find that the UHD trounces the Blu-ray in practically every shot.
Color saturation is terrific here, too. The HDR grading brings new depth and tonal intimacy to the movie that the Blu-ray cannot reproduce. Whether in intensely well lit exteriors or warm low light interiors or all the way into the darkest nighttime scenes, the picture finds greatly improved saturation and color command compared to the Blu-ray with every clothing fabric, home accent, art work, blood, and flesh tone beautifully full and fabulous. Black levels are impeccable: perfectly deep and delightful and boasting flawless shadow detail. There are a few other noteworthy elements, too. Noise management is improved, appearing less invasive here in comparison to the Blu-ray, though certainly the 1080p image handles its low-light affairs well enough. Additionally, there are no source or encode issue of note in play here, either. The true 4K resolution and the HDR color expansion both bring new life to the proceedings that, combined with the superior textures at this resolution, make Paraiste's UHD a greatly superior presentation next to the Blu-ray.
Parasite's new Dolby Atmos soundtrack expands on the 5.1 issue from earlier in the year with a more fluid and naturally occurring surround integration thanks to the added back channels while finding a few opportunities to integrate the overhead speakers into the mix (so to speak) as well. Music is a highlight. Listen in chapter four for a very large, expansive, energetic, impeccably detailed extravaganza of sound. Throughout the film, the feelings of immersion, clarity, and balance are superb. Every note brings lifelike vitality and clarity through the entire range. General effects -- sliding doors, footsteps, little odds and ends -- are always proportionally balanced and highly detailed no matter their placement or prominence in the track. Surrounds, and sides, carry some critical discrete effects, such as a coughing fit heard in chapter five and a heaving, wheezing sound off to the right in the 66-minute mark, which also delivers some excellent low end depth as a heavy shelf is moved to reveal a hidden passageway. Meanwhile, the overheads engage with some prominence at several key junctures, notably in support of thunder (the 46-minute mark) and falling rain (the 64-minute mark). Dialogue is clear and primarily remains stationed in the front-center channel, though there are occurrences when it is necessary for it to move or play from a different location. This is a fantastic audio experience that compliments the visuals to a high degree of excellence.
4K Bluray details
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (57.39 Mbps)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Korean: Dolby Atmos
Korean: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)
Slipcover in original pressing
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region A (locked)