Insidious (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by James Wan
Written by Leigh Whannell
Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment
Finally the most profitable film of 2011 has come home to Blu-ray and DVD, and it just may even play a bit more scary at homes than it did on the big screen. Before we get into all of that, though, let's make with a quick plot crunch.
Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) are your average couple with two young sons and a newborn daughter eating up the majority of their time. With such a big family the time has come to buy a bigger house, and that they do. The only problem? They may have just bought a hell of a lot more than just a new abode.
After their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) has an accident in the new home's attic, the youngster seems to have gotten away relatively unscathed, but then it happens: Morning comes, and poor Dalton never wakes up. He's alive. He's breathing. Yet, he's in an unexplainable comatose-like state. Unfortunately, Dalton doesn't wake up the next morning either. Or the morning after that. After spending a great deal of time in the hospital and yielding no results at all from the doctors, the Lamberts bring the ailing child home, and that, kids, is where the real fun begins. Without spoiling anything, let's just say that from here things go wonderfully haywire in the most frightening of ways.
Insidious is a little movie with big aspirations. The first half is a truly riveting and at times incredibly eerie experience that piles on the scares. A lot of people have issues with the third act as that's where the small budget really shows. But me? I'm just glad the flick didn't devolve into a CGI-laden shitfest, which it easily could have. Thankfully there is more than enough on-screen creepiness happening to keep viewers entertained and make the film's shortcomings pretty damned easy to forgive.
For a more in-depth review of the film itself, check out our theatrical Insidious review here.
Now then, remember when I said that the movie plays better and scarier on the small screen? This is totally going to be dependent on how good of a stereo surround set-up you have. There's no question the masterful DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack is the star of this spookshow. Insidious is home to some of the single best and spookiest sound design work to come around in quite some time. Listening to it in the darkness of your own home will have many a chill running down your spine. Turn down the lights. Turn up your sound. I promise it's very effective.
Of course the Blu-ray looks better than its standard definition cousin. By now that's a given, but for those out there who need to be reassured ... Black levels are spot on. Detail is sharp and crystal clear throughout. There's really not a damn thing to complain about in terms of Paramount's presentation of the film.
What we can complain about, however, is the notorious for the studio lack of supplemental features. We get three featurettes that run between six and eleven minutes, no commentary track and not even a trailer. Don't get me wrong; what's here is good, especially the Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar featurette, but everything's over before it ever gets really cooking. This is a horribly average package for a way above average film.
Insidious just may surprise you. With it director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell prove that they've earned their spot in the genre and can hold their own with the best of them. Take the ride, man. It could be the spookiest one you'll have all year.
4 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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