The producers of Dog Solidiers are back with another low-budget werewolf flick

When Sarah Tyler (Isabella Calthorpe) returns from America to visit her family home in the English countryside, it's not long before she gets much more than she had bargained for. Together with her extended step-family and a bunch of old friends, Sarah discovers that something else has also decided to visit the remote mansion at the same time. Something very hungry, that will happily spend the 13 hours they have left until sunrise picking them off one by one.

Claws 'n' flaws
Nothing says low-budget horror quite like getting a bunch of young people together in an isolated location and having them killed one at a time by an unseen menace. Not that this is a bad thing in itself (there have been plenty of films that have succeeded using this exact set-up) it's just a trope that has become particularly familar to genre fans by now and 13Hrs' biggest failing is that it just can't think of anything original to do once all of the characters and threats are in place. Indeed, the only twist is has to offer is so clearly sign-posted early on in the film that it's only a few steps away from having a massive flashing neon sign on the screen saying 'Pay attention to this everyone'. Despite the flaws though, there's something quite watchable about 13Hrs, and if you're at a loss for a lycanthrope-flavoured flick to watch in the run-up to Halloween, there are far worse examples that you could try.

Visually, the film feels every bit as hamstrung by the low budget as the film's eventual werewolf effects (wisely kept hidden until the finale). Director Jonathan Glendening shows the odd moment of flair, but a lot of the time the rather flat lighting gives the entire thing the look of a TV movie. The same effect often comes across from the young cast as well - several of whom are familiar faces that'll have you going, 'Ooh look, it's her off HollyOaks and him off My Family, and there's the nasty kid from Harry Potter' rather than registering as giving particularly credible performances. Only a small cameo by Simon MacCorkindale (who sadly passed away last week following a battle with cancer) lends any real gravitas to the film, but his appearance is sadly all too brief to have any lasting impact on what follows.

Pathetic prosthetic
13Hrs comes to Blu-ray with a surprisingly strong VC-1 1.78:1 1080p encode. Black levels can be a little hit-and-miss at times, but on the whole it's a very pleasing image that packs in plenty of fine detailing and some solid colour reproduction (just look at the clarlity of the wounds on the film's first victim - pictured above - to see what we mean). The downside of this is that it sometimes draws attention to some of the failing in the film's prosthetic effects - such as a particularly unconvincing bald cap in the final scene.

Rather less impressive is the disc's audio. There's no lossless mix on offer, just a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 tracks. Both are extremely front-heavy mixes, with the rears only used for subtle atmospheric effects such as the odd roll of thunder. Still, the dialogue is very cleanly rendered, as are the odd screams, so on that front, they work fairly well. Sadly, for those with hearing difficulties there are no subtitle options available.

Disappointingly, this being a UK Blu-ray release of a UK horror film, there are no extras on the disc whatsoever. While I'm not exactly the film's biggest fan, I still think it would have been nice to hear from the director about what he set out to acheive and how he did it on what was clearly a fairly tight budget, and there was always the possibility of a fairly fun commentary track from the film's young ensemble cast. But clearly none of this was to be.

High Fliers, Region B BD, £20 approx, On sale October 25