Our Halloween fright flick roundup continues with spooky tale of ghostly goings-on

Writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan changed the face of modern horror with their low budget 2004 hit Saw. However, since that ingenious debut the filmmaking partnership has struggled to come up with a concept as fresh or inventive (remember we're talking about the original Saw here, not the franchise that followed), serving up first the derivative haunted ventriloquist dummy flick Dead Silence, and now this curious mix of subgenres. Initially playing out like a haunted house flick, Insidious then transforms into a possession movie before finally heading out into the Dreamscape-like territory of astral projection. As you might expect, it doesn't exactly hang together comfortably, but there are at least a few good scares along the way.

Picture: Visually Insidious is a film of two halves - both handled competently by this Blu-ray's AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode. The first half of the film, the 'haunted house' section if you will, has a deliberately subdued and cold look, full of flat areas of shadow and drab colours. The second half increases colour saturation, which works particularly well with the red-faced demon at the heart of the film's mystery, but also has the benefit of giving the locations and skin tones a slightly warmer feel. Consistently good (if never truly great) fine detailing throughout the entire film helps lend cohesion to the two styles and offers further proof of the quality of the hi-def encode.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Haunted house movies offer filmmakers a great excuse to indulge in all manner of acoustic trickery, and Insidious is no different. As you'd expect, the sound design veers from ominous silence to sudden piercing shrieks, while still managing to find plenty of space to include a smorgasbord of atmospheric surround sound effects. Throw in excellent dialogue and music reproduction and you have a very pleasing lossless mix that should thrill fans of the genre.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Insidious fails to scare up very much in the way of supplementary material for this Blu-ray release. The 10min Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar finds writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan breaking down the film into the various sub-genres they're tackling, the 8min On Set with Insidious is a standard behind-the-scenes overview of the production, while the 7min Insidious Entities looks at the creation of the film's spooks. Add to that the teaser trailer and that's your lot.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: Too many horror clichés combined with a lack of extras make for a rather middling Blu-ray spook-fest

Momentum Pictures, Region B Blu-ray, £20 approx, On sale now