|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(James Wan, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Alliance Films
Video: Alliance Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,372,380,119 bytes
Feature Size: 25,365,639,168 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.01 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July 12th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3509 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3509 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3527 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3527 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), French, none
• Horror101: The Exclusive Seminar (10:27)
• On Set With Insidious (8:15)
• Insidious Entities (6:32)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:44)
Description: Saw franchise veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell team with Paranormal Activity writer/director Oren Peli to give the familiar haunted house story an exciting new twist with this tale of a family that moves into an old house and begins to suspect they are under siege from otherworldly forces when their young son inexplicably falls into a deep coma. As devoted parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) struggle in vain to uncover the root cause of their son's condition, the stress of the situation gradually begins to take its toll on their once-strong relationship. Later, when darkness falls and specters appear to reach out for them from the shadows, the frightened parents realize they're dealing with powers beyond human comprehension. Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye co-star.
It's a simple story about a young family--Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) and their three small children--settling into a new home. Again following classical form, there's a presence in the house that either doesn't want them there, or needs them to stay for the evilest possible reasons. When 8-year-old Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into an unexplained coma after a spooky encounter in the attic, Renai starts seeing the above-mentioned figures lurking around the house, sometimes none too subtly. Though the goings-on are unexplainable, no one acts crazy and Josh believes that his wife's bizarre encounters are real. Like any sensible people who believe they've taken up residence in a haunted house, they move. But the spookiness moves with them and the menace gets worse as months pass and Dalton remains unconscious without reasonable medical cause. Since things can't stay unexplained forever, the plot begins to intrude, especially when a geeky pair of paranormal investigators (Angus Sampson and writer Leigh Whannell) provide some slightly out-of-kilter comic relief. Fortunately their boss (Lin Shaye) is a bona fide psychic who's all business, and she determines that the ghosts, or demons, or whatever they are want Dalton, not the house or its other inhabitants. As the explanations continue, it's revealed that the little boy has the gift of astral projection and his spirit has left his body without really knowing it's gone. If he doesn't come back soon he'll be lost forever, taken by the strongest of the creepy phantoms, a blood-red fiend who provides the most terrifying moments of half-glimpsed horror. It turns out that Dalton inherited his gift from Dad, who has repressed his own childhood encounters with out-of-body flight, but must revisit the dark limbo where all the specters lurk in order to reunite his son's body and soul.Excerpt from Amazon.ca located HERE
A strength of Insidious is the seemingly mundane nature of the family into whose life this horror intrudes. The movie takes a little time allowing us to get to know them in relatively normal circumstances. There's Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), the dad, whose job as a teacher demands him to work long hours. Renai (Rose Byrne), the mom, has all-but-given up a songwriting career to raise their three kids: Dalton (Ty Simpkins), Foster (Andrew Astor), and baby Calli. The family has recently moved into a new house and they are subject to all the stresses associated with such a major life-change. Josh, despite being a loving and attentive husband/father when he's around, is spending longer hours than ever away from home, and Renai is becoming increasingly run-down from the difficulties of setting up the new house and caring for the kids. Tragedy strikes when, one night, Dalton falls and hits his head. Although initially okay, he slips into a coma during the night. His parents find him in that state the next morning and, three months later, the situation has not changed. As bad as circumstances with Dalton are, they're not the worst for the Lamberts. Strange noises, movements half-glimpsed out of the side of an eye, and voices heard through a baby monitor convince Renai that he house is haunted, and whatever is causing the haunting is a malevolent force.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Insidious looks acceptable but not dynamic on Blu-ray from Alliance Films. James Wan's standard 2.35:1, economically shot with a Red One MX camera, uses space nicely and the visuals are consistent and clean on a dual-layered Blu-ray, with a reasonable bitrate, reproducing a decent 1080P presentation. The film is fairly dark and contrast is layered well supporting the effects and lesser-lit sequences. The overall image probably looked similar theatrically. Modest and a bit greenish for HD but nothing worth complaining about.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Alliance provide a very healthy DTS-HD Master in 5.1 surround at 3509 kbps (24-bit) and spooky effects benefit from the robust lossless track with some crisp separations and shock-inducing bass. This adds significantly to the film experience - as does Joseph Bishara's (The Conjuring) chill-inducing score. There is an optional French DUB and English or French subtitles offered. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
There are three decent production featurettes totally almost 1/2 an hour; Horror101: The Exclusive Seminar, On Set With Insidious and Insidious Entities give further background on the making of the film/effects/performers/director etc. . There is also a theatrical trailer.
October 25th, 2016
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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