Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) | 4K Blu-ray Review

The ending to the 2018 film teased the arrival of Venom’s next foe in the movie franchise, and 2018 film’s 4K release was very good but left for improvement. While this follow up was a bit of a let down on the story front, let’s see if the 4K release kept up with expectations.

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Buy it here!

Venom: Let There Be Carnage, 4K Blu-ray cover art

Tech Specs:

Format(s):UltraHD/4K Blu-ray (BD-66)
Blu-ray (BD-50)
Digital code
Released By:Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date:December 14th, 2021
Video Format / Codec:4K: H.265 (HEVC)
Resolution:4K: Upscaled 4K, 2160/24p
BR: Full HD, 1080/24p
Digital Intermediate (DI):2K (captured digitally)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):Dolby Vision (MEL), HDR10
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K): Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English (BR): DTS-HD MA 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Additional tracks also available in French (Canada), Portuguese, Spanish and Thai
Subtitles:English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Thai, Vietnamese
Packaging:Dual disc snapcase with slipcover*

*Slipcover may only be available on initial pressing
Region Coding:4K: Region-free
BR: Region A (locked)

Video Review:

Much like the character, I found this 4K presentation to be a bit of a dual personality. On one hand, certain scenes look very sharp and detailed, highly reflective of its 4K and 6.5K digital capture. But on the other hand, there was quite a bit of softness layered in, almost to the point where you would potentially think you were looking at a decent quality 1080p picture and not something that is 4K sharp. For where the movie shines, close ups of skin, eyes, hair and environmental details are all well resolved with refined textures and finer details revealed. While I would not call it a reference level in those scenes, it’s certainly very good. But when the heavy digital effects come in, its very clear that the use of a bit of softness was used to blend in the 2K visual effects into the more detailed practical elements. Combine that with the heavy amount of motion blur used in the visual effects themselves, along with the slightly more cartoony look to the animation (intentional) and it all does look just a bit too soft for my liking, but certainly not  something I would call bad.

On the color and dynamic range front, this does come with Dolby Vision on board, which does a decent job with the very dark environment of many of the night time scenes in terms of pushing down the blacks, and keeping specular highlights and whites punched up and impactful. That said, there are a fair amount of crushed blacks, which Andy Serkis admitted was an intentional choice for the visual style of the film. I will say that even though the blacks were crushed, I did not find a heavy amount of negative artifacting along with it. That said, depending on your display and watching environment, you may or may not be a fan. On to color, the colors in the film are not meant to be plentiful, but there are a few instances where they get to pop, especially in the club scene with Venom, with its strong use of bright neon colors contrasted with deep dark blacks. Additionally, even the muted colors look solid, well resolved and without any obvious signs of banding.

The included Blu-ray is not far behind the 4K disc in terms of managing the detail. While the 4K definitely tops it where available, the standard Blu-ray actually appears more consistent due to its softening of those sharper scenes on the 4K. The colors are not quite as lively, but they are not far behind either. Overall it’s a good quality Blu-ray.

Video Score (4K): 3.8 / 5 (Good)

Video Score (BR): 4.2 / 5 (Very Good)

Audio Review:

The audio department gave us an Atmos mix on the 4K, and it’s similarly a bit off and on with it thankfully being a bit more of the latter. None of it is bad, and I will say up front that I did really enjoy the experience on my first watch through. But on closer analysis, the usage of the surrounds and heights was very scene by scene. It was apparent when they came into play, generating a lively and engulfing audio experience, but there were also times where I would expect them to be active, and while there was activity on the bed layer, the sound from overhead was fairly dead. I confirmed this by turning off the bed layer amps and immediately the sound died. With that said, when the immersive format was well used, it definitely made for an impact on the experience. Paired with a strong, clean dialog tracka, balanced front stage, deep and powerful bass and LFE that will work your subs, and overall this mix was far more good than average. 

The Blu-ray’s 5.1 mix is also not bad, but definitely lacks the much more active and immersive mix on the 4K disc. It’s too bad that Sony decided to keep that Atmos mix on the 4K only, but it may also have been intentional given the 4K image quality may not have been enough to sway money towards the 4K, but throw in the better mix and it starts looking more attractive.

Audio Score (4K): 4.4 / 5 (Very Good)

Audio Score (BR): 3.7 / 5 (Good)

Special Features and Packaging:

For special features we did get a few featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reels and more, all on the Blu-ray disc. All of it was pretty standard and though I definitely enjoyed a watch through of the various aspects of the behind the scenes and dive into the character relationships, overall it was fairly short and probably not something I would revisit.

For packaging, it’s a pretty standard looking slipcover edition with art on the slipcover case and both discs. And I will say the artwork on the 4K is definitely an improvement over the one chosen for the standard Blu-ray, but overall it’s fairly average.

Features Score: 3.0 / 5 (Average)


This one will need to come from how you prioritize your desires in a disc. I think the Atmos mix alone is reason enough to grab the 4K disc over the standard Blu-ray, but if you tend to lean towards the visual experience you may have a tough time coughing up the extra dough for a slight visual improvement. That said, at the right price (far less than the $28-$30 this is currently running) this could start making a lot more sense. Now of course, if you are a fan of the franchise and already enjoy the 2018 film on 4K, then I’d probably still recommend you pick this up in the more premium format as well, but probably once the price starts to decrease.

Buy/Upgrade Recommendation: Possibly… (wait for a price drop)

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Buy it here!

Summary and Overall Scores:

Overall, I did enjoy the presentation we received on the 4K disc of this release, but I will also have to say it was not a world ahead on the visual front, and without the Atmos mix, I might have made a different recommendation. But overall, it’s a decent release and definitely worth picking up (on sale) in the future.

Experience Score**: 3.9 / 5  (Good)

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

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