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A movie directed by James Wan

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Insidious may upset you, but not the way it should....

  • Mar 30, 2011
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What happens when the creators of SAW and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY team up to make a horror movie called Insidious?   Maybe something that is not so great.  

                Being a huge fan of horror films, especially the movie PARANORMAL and its sequels – it’s always exciting to see a scary movie when the team consists of a successful cast and crew.  With great actors that have done impressive work and a production team that have scared audiences stiff white before – what could go wrong?  The movie stars two-time Tony nominee Patrick Wilson (The Watchmen, Little Children), and two- time Emmy nominee Rose Byrne (Damages, 28 Weeks Later); as Josh and Renai, a married couple with two young children.  The couple begins noticing strange ghostly events in their new home.   All of a sudden, their eldest son slips into a mysteriously eerie coma just when things start getting very supernatural.  They hire a pair of parapsychologists and a psychic, portrayed by Line Shaye (Snakes on a Plane, My Sister’s Keeper); to remedy the problem.   However, an introduction to Josh’s mother Lorraine, played by Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey (Black Swan, Loves Comes Lately); admits an underlying secret that unfolds into a dark twist of events.   Sounds entertaining right?

                Much is to be expected when the creators of the film claim that they want this film to be this generations POLTERGEIST.  It’s definitely a movie about haunted houses, but where the film loses its gas is in the unveiling of the horrors - so to speak.   Starting out, the movie gives the audience an eerie feeling of mysterious supernatural events occurring, and the actors to a terrific job portraying an innocent family struck by all these scary events.  There are plenty of creepy page turners giving the viewers the scary questionable feeling of “What’s going to happen next?”   The filmmakers are good at using dark corners with strange noises and unanswered circumstances that are enough to raise the hair on the back of a person’s neck.  The scene where one of the kids is playing in the attic and takes notice to a hair raising sound coming from the shadows; or when its bedtime and the family hears a strange sudden noise, only to find the front door wide open.   These scenes alone will make the audience look over their shoulder and wish the theater staff would turn on the lights. Then as the events unravel and as the veil of horror is finally pulled - “Awe, that’s it?” 

                Out of all fairness it has to be a tough sale to completely give way to the mystery and show exactly what is causing all of the horror.  Movies like POLTERGEIST and PARANORMAL held on to a lot of the mystery, which is exactly what Insidious doesn’t do.   When films give away like this, it takes a lot to prove to the audience that this is in fact, well, scary.   Mystery brings the unknown, and the unknown invites a feeling of eeriness; which this movie fairs well with at first. Take all of this away, and filmmakers better have a pretty unusually scary or shocking idea; otherwise the audience will probably walk away unsatisfied with the feeling of being robbed of their fear.  Insidious gives too much away, leaving very little to the imagination and it’s hard to imagine that it will even set well with the die hardest of horror fans.   Then again opinions do vary, and what doesn’t scare some people may very well scare other people.  All in all, if you are an easy sell and get scared while touring the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland -then maybe this film is for you.  If you get a little nervous taking your kids trick or treating on Halloween - then this film may still be for you.  Now if you have never been to the Haunted Mansion and/or Halloween is about having a good time, and walking to the bathroom down a dark hallway is a piece of cake- maybe you should look elsewhere.  Either way, you’ve been warned.

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August 01, 2011
I agree with you on just about everything; however, for some reason I did enjoy this movie! I can be hard to please with the latest so-called horror movies-seems the older I get the more I hate too much gore, and this one had no gore and it made me jump a few times LOL. All in all, I think Insidious was a good choice even if just to have a little change of pace as opposed to Saw. Great review!!
April 04, 2011
You know you've already lost when the poster boasts OTHER notable directors and producers out of marketing desperation. Nice review!
March 31, 2011
I just have a very hard time getting into horror films, so this won't be one I take a look at. Great review!
More Insidious reviews
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Parody-Like Occult Horror Fantasy That Starts Well But Collapses At The End...
Going into a horror film with trailers such as those of “Insidious”; one wouldn’t be hard-pressed to believe that he would be privy to another one of those clichéd “fright shows” and yet it provides loads of fun entertainment. Well, the director of the “Saw” film and of movies such as “Dead Silence” and “Death Sentence” teams up with the producers of “Paranormal Activity”; Oren Peli and company. What results is …
review by . August 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Insidious" is a horror film that attempts to combine the "Poltergeist Formula" with the "James Wan Formula". Wan, the man behind the well-known "Saw", directed the film, and I've never been as happy to say so. He hasn't made an actual good movie since "Saw", but he's tried. He made "Dead Silence", which I admired and for the most part enjoyed, but it lacked true scares, atmosphere, or anything beyond its extremely intriguing visual design. Then, Wan made …
review by . April 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The interesting thing about Insidious is that it’s very good at being completely unoriginal. In their third collaboration, director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell indulge in just about every conceivable haunted house cliché, and they do it with such style and conviction that I just couldn’t bring myself to blame them for it. This doesn’t mean that I’m recommending the movie; it just means that I understand …
review by . July 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Aptly named.
INSIDIOUS   Written by Leigh Wannell   Directed by James Wan   Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbra Hershey       I hate to be the guy who does this but as I had to look it up before watching the movie, I feel justified in saying that if you look up “insidious” in the dictionary, you will learn that it means proceeding in a gradual, subtle way but with harmful effects. And so INSIDIOUS, director James Wan’s first …
review by . November 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Just a waste of time.
After watching both Paranormal Activity 1 and 2 I began having a little more hope for the horror movie genre. Maybe now directors will take a page from Oren Peli's book and actually make good horror flicks. Maybe 2011 is the year horror movies stop sucking, but alas I was naive to think that.      Insidious tells the story of a little boy names Dalton and his family. After exploring there new house Dalton falls off a ladder and gets a nasty bruise, luckily its nothing …
review by . May 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
15 - 103mins - Fantasy/Horror/Thriller - 29th April 2011 Now if there is one thing that freaks me out most in movies it is horrors that involve children in any way. So when I sat down to watch a movie from the guys and gals that have given us Paranormal Activity revolving around the story of a possessed child, well lets just say I had my diaper at the ready! Insidious follows a textbook family, the parents- Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) that have it all as they move into their …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I love a good horror movie but alas they are so hard to find!  Some are just too disgusting and gross for me, zombie movies are all the same, some lack any kind of scare tactics and others are just plain dumb and make no sense whatsoever.  I always keep in mind too that movies not rated R usually don't interest me much.  After watching Insidious I was surprised that one rated at PG 13 actually made me jump several times and kept my interest.      There were …
About the reviewer
Ed Haley ()
Ranked #417
I have always been a huge movie buff. Therefore in my spare time I write movie reviews, entertainment articles and interview celebrities for two major entertainment websites: www.socal.com and www.picktainment.com. … more
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About this movie


  • Opened April 1, 2011 (Special screening on 3/29) | Runtime:1 hr. 42 min.
  • PG-13
    Violence, thematic material, terror, brief strong language and frightening images
  • A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.
  • Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Angus Sampson, Barbara Hershey
  • Director: James Wan
  • Genres: Haunted House FilmHorror
  • Poster art for "Insidious."
  • view wiki


    Director: James Wan
    Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
    Release Date: 1 April 2011 (USA)
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Screen Writer: Leigh Whannell
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