American Horror Story: The Complete First Season

This is one house of horrors that's definitely worth visiting in high-definition

Violent. Scary. Sexy. Blimey, this latest series from producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk couldn't be more different from their previous smash hit, Glee.

The 12-episode tale (each season will tell a brand new story) follows a dysfunctional family who move into a restored LA mansion that turns out to be already home to a number of spooks. What unfolds is possibly the most twisted mainstream drama in years – unafraid to play it straight one minute and then embrace its trashier aspects the next. And we loved every minute of it – it's a truly terror-ific TV series [you could have gone for 'spook-tacular' there, too - Ed].

Picture: This FX Network series is something of a rarity these days, being shot on film rather than digital video. Thanks to this, the AVC 1.78:1 1080p encodes have an authentically grainy and gritty aesthetic that suits the material. Close examination reveals the odd spot of noise or faded black levels, but overall it's a commendable effort.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Every episode of American Horror Story boasts a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack full of things going bump in the night. Clearly benefiting from a production team that understands how important audio is to building an atmosphere of dread and tension, the show makes good use of your five-channel setup to the point where it puts to shame the sound design on some Hollywood feature-length horror flicks. Add in the well-balanced dialogue and music presentation and we don't have anything to complain about.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: Quality rather than quantity seems to be the order of the day when it comes to the bonus bits. Ryan Murphy provides a fascinating commentary for the pilot episode that serves as a general overview into how the series came into existence. The remaining extras are housed on the last of the three discs and take the form of a seven-minute fake guided tour of the 'Murder House'; a genuinely informative 25-minute Making of… documentary, a nine-minute look at the creation of the show's creepy title sequence and 15 minutes devoted to the show's many ghosts.
Extras rating: 2.5/5

We say: A brilliant Blu-ray release for this shockingly spooky TV series

20th Century Fox, Region B BD, £40 Approx, On sale now