Us was reportedly digitally photographed at a resolution of 3.4K and finished at 2K. Universal's upscaled 2160p/Dolby Vision presentation offers neither color nor clarity improvements that are off-the-charts superior to the Blu-ray, but the modest gains go a long way in creating the best image Us has to offer. Of the two, the image's most readily apparent source of fine-tuning comes via the Dolby Vision color palette. The film opens at night at a Santa Cruz carnival. The Dolby Vision color grading allows for deeper night sky blacks and more refined and eye-catching carnival lights with greater luminance on tap. Throughout the film, at any time of day or under any lighting condition, skin tones appear deeper and more satisfyingly nuanced. There is not a total, dramatic alteration of the palette. Dolby Vision offers a modest refinement that adds to color clarity and nuance. Slight increases in depth and vitality are commonplace, but not to the point that the image appears radically different. Even a sunny, brightly sunlit beach scene in chapter five offers simple adds to color definition along the sky, the sand, and colorful beach towels. Slightly more bright, a bit more organic, a touch more stable and deep, the scene is a good example of the small upward adjustments made to the movie's video quality. Darker scenes, of which there are many, are the most improved, with the more stable, deeper, more dynamic black levels and shadow details on offer enhancing the film's locations and dramatic (and color) tones.
There is also an obvious, but not significant, add to image sharpness. The 2160p resolution reveals a crisper, more complete presentation, finding greater clarity and image stability to both location details and characters alike. While not dramatic, it's easy to see the image refinements, the feel for improved clarity and definition that yields healthier, more natural object definition. Close-ups are much less forgiving on the UHD, showing various bumps and pores and other fine, intimate facial features with more exacting visibility and total clarity. Sharpness improvements additionally solidify the darker scenes, allowing for more commanding stability in visually challenging shots. The UHD also improves noise management, which appears less readily dense on the 4K presentation. There are no other significant source or encode flaws of note. This is very much a refinement rather than an overhaul, and while the added qualities in isolation add little, they add up to make a fairly good UHD image that does improve upon its 1080p counterpart.
Us' Dolby Atmos soundtrack is up to the challenge of delivering the film's fairly intense and involved sonic landscape. There is a natural feel for atmospheric details at the carnival. Plenty of one-off discrete effects pepper the listening area but give way to less dynamic sounds as Adelaide wanders off down towards the beach. The track features many involved moments that offer a harmonious compilation of musical and sound effect sincerity. Discrete details and well engineered sound movements help shape a number of scenes, whether those which are immediately violent or those portending fear and violence. The track makes use of every channel in an effort to fully draw the listener in, which includes sounds such as splatters of blood flinging against surfaces and bloody droplets dripping from walls. The track's ability to fine tune and finely place its sound details create a full, capable atmosphere that perfectly compliments the film's frightening cadence. Bass is aggressive but not dominant. Overhead channels offer little in the way of discrete details but do help better define the larger world around the characters. Dialogue is clear and center focused. It is always well prioritized.
4K Bluray details
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region free