Thursday, August 4, 2011

Insidious - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011

I loved watching this in the theater with a large crowd of people. This type of movie just begs to be seen with a theater full of screaming women and guys yelling at the screen. I was a little unsure how well the experience would translate to the home theater though. While it isn't nearly as entertaining as it was upon my first viewing, the solid script, fantastic cast and the unique premise still held up much better than expected. And it still has that unnerving effect that any good scary movie should have where it has you double checking your doors and windows are locked, the closet is empty and that nothing is under your bed. I am surprised at how well this has held up as a home experience and implore everyone out there looking for a spooky night at home with a loved one to seek it out immediately.

Review Vital Stats:
Format: Blu-ray
Player: Playstation 3 Slim
Monitor: Samsung 40' LCD Series 5
Picture Quality: 1080p
Sound Quality: True HD - English

Excerpt from my original theatrical review:

Director James Wan has been looking to hatch another egg out of his golden goose for some time now. After the surprise success of Saw (the original) he sort of went off the grid making some mildly entertaining revenge trash (Death Sentence) to a film so unremarkable that even after watching it I can recall absolutely nothing from it (Dead Silence). His new film Insidious isn't even what I would call a return to form, it is more like the film that he should have made directly following his sequel maker. While I am on fence as to which is the better film between this and Saw, I can say for sure that this at least shows he still has what it takes to get in under your skin when he wants to.

Read the full review here.


What's on the disc?

This is a shame. I wasn't expecting any sort of elaborate disc filled to the brim with extras but given how enthusiastic the filmmakers seemed about their film I would have thought more effort would be put into this release. The handful of extras that we do get are informative and well produced but they only scratch the surface of what clearly was a film put together by people who have a certain affinity towards the haunted house genre and I would have loved to get some more insight into how they went about their decision making process. The lack of any sort of audio commentary track is also disheartening but I suppose not every blu-ray disc can be a winner. These features are fine for anyone that is a fan of the film but for anyone else they are not essential viewings.


Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar (10:27 min) HD - Both the writer and director give their thoughts on how they approached making a haunted house horror movie. Subjects they cover range from how they were able to harness real scares by stripping out a lot of conventions of the genre and turning the audience's expectations on its head while also discussing the many different types of shifts the film takes in its narrative structure. This is a particularly good set of interviews mainly because it shows that the filmmakers were quite aware of how to make a good scary movie and how they avoided the usual traps of the genre.

On Set With Insidious (8:15 min) HD - Your basic behind the scenes footage but despite being rather rudimentary it still shows that everyone on set had a good time making the movie. You also get a couple small snippets of some tested sequences that were later removed and some stunt footage. Good but rather generic, i would have preferred interviews with the cast to be included here.

Insidious Entities (6:32 min) HD - A look at the ghosts that populate the film, their designs and their origins. One neat little piece of information you get is that the film's composer played the part of the main demon in the film.

Final Verdict:

Insidious brings back the haunted house film in grand style. Although it is not on the same level anyone that loved those older classics such as Poltergeist, The Exorcist and The Shining will have a lot of fun with this mixture of ghosts and demons scaring the living hell out of an unsuspecting family. The disc itself provides great audio that will have you cowering in your couch at the slightest sound  along with a crisp image to accompany it. The extra features or lack there of are the only things preventing me from giving this a full recommendation. If you need a good assortment of extra features to compliment a movie when deciding on a purchase then this is unfortunately not a good investment and you would be better suited with a rental. Everyone else out there that wants a good scary movie to keep around this is a solid purchase.

Movie   -  B
Video   -  A
Audio   -  A
Extras  -  D+




audio brisbane said...

I've watched this video and I can say that it's a nice movie. I've also bought a DVD so I can share it with my friends when they go over and have fun.

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