I saw this film a few months ago and it immediately became my new favorite "evil children" movie, but also one of my favorite recent horrors. And it gets huge bonus points for being actually frightening. This review is of the US Region-free Blu-ray release from Lionsgate/Ghost House Underground, released today, Oct. 6, 2009.
The performances are uniformly excellent, which is crucial for a horror film to be scary. Special kudos for Mr. Shankland for coaxing genuinely creepy performances out of very young children. See the recent The Omen remake to see how not to do it. ;)
This film is not for fans of jump scares or fast-paced editing. Well, to be honest, there are a couple brief flash-cut editing moments, but they are thankfully brief, and I can see the point to them, so they are forgiven. My point was, this is a slow burner that takes its time to establish the setting, characters and mood. And as a real horror fan, I can appreciate this deliberation as true scares are built from those building blocks. The horrors that do happen, in time, are that much more effective when they do.
The picture on the BD looks great to me, but I'm not a real A/V geek, so you can look elsewhere to discuss crushed blacks. ;) There are a wealth of special features here, too, but noticeably absent is a director's commentary, alas.
On a side note, what was wrong with the fantastic cover art of the UK release? And why does Ghost House feel the need to plaster their graphics all over more prominently than the film title?
Anyway, highly recommended for horror fans who are tired of cheap jump scares. But parents beware, as the themes here are truly disturbing.