Tuesday, January 2, 2024

4K Digital Review: The Abyss


A nuclear submarine has crashed in a deep trench on the ocean floor after an encounter with an unidentified object. A team of Marines are sent to an underwater research station to mount a savage operation.

Captain Bud Brigman (Ed Harris) isn't thrilled to have a bunch of Marines onboard his station and even less thrilled when the company sends his ex-wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to oversee the operation. They find the submarine and all is well until Lindsey sees the unidentified object. Once everyone is convinced that it indeed extraterrestrial and not Russian, tension rises as both sides want to handle the situation differently. 

The Abyss is a pure adventure of exploring the deep ocean and the fear and then joy of meeting extraterrestrial life for the first time. The film is one of my favorites and is just as thrilling today as it was when it first came out in the 1980s.


The 4K upgrade is fantastic here. Fine details such as facial shots are crisp and clean. The grain is definitely reduced and at times things look too smooth. But for a film that is 34 years old, the transfer looks great. 


The Dolby Atmos audio mix is also fantastic here. The dialogue is front and center and crystal clear. The surround channels create the claustrophobic feel of being deep underwater. The sounds of the metal underwater station straining against the pressure of the water to the sounds of the roar of the water rushing in and people being overwhelmed by it with envelope you. 


  • Deep Dive: A Conversation with James Cameron – An exclusive new sit-down with James Cameron as he revisits the origin of the project and addresses some of the myths behind the production.
  • The Legacy of The Abyss – Discover the lasting legacy of The Abyss with stories from James Cameron and the crew about how and why the film continues to have an impact on filmmaking today.


  • Under Pressure: Making The Abyss – The original documentary about the infamous production of The Abyss, with candid commentary by the actors and crew.
  • Archives
    • Deepcore Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the Deepcore set being created.
    • Videomatics Montage – Watch a montage of behind-the-scenes production videomatics.
    • Montana Bridge Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the Montana bridge flooding.
    • Engine Room Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the engine room flooding.
    • Surface Shoot Montage – Watch a behind-the-scenes montage of the surface shoot.
    • Crane Crash Shoot – Check out behind-the-scenes footage of the crane crashing sequence.
    • Visual Effects Reel – Watch a reel of visual effects progressions to see how they were developed for the film.
    • Miniature Rear-Projection – Watch behind-the-scenes footage of how production used rear-projection techniques on miniatures.
    • Motion Control Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the motion control technology being used.
    • Teaser Trailer
    • Main Trailer
    • Reviews Trailer
    • Still Gallery – Presented here are extras as they appeared in the “Imaging Station" on the Special Edition DVD release of The Abyss, along with the trailers. Since their original presentation has been preserved, resolution and clarity will vary from element to element.

The Abyss is one of my favorite adventure films and it is finally available in a beautiful 4K release. The video and audio are fantastic. The wealth of bonus material is nearly overwhelming. A solid addition to your library.

The Abyss is available on digital and will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 12, 2024.

*The movie was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of review and the review is strictly my own opinion* 

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