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 hit since he exploded in blood-soaked glory onto the horror scene with SAW in 2004, is aptly named. Wan slowly draws you into his hyper-stylized haunted house and those harmful effects I mentioned, they begin to take hold.
The trouble with paranormal based horror films is that their build is usually intense and potentially brilliant but their reveal is ordinarily ridiculous. INSIDIOUS begins with great promise. The low lighting, bizarre imagery and frighteningly sharp score pull you into the nervous energy that permeates the walls of the house in question. A new family has just moved in and the lack of familiarity itself is a device to cause more anxiety in the characters. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play parents to young Dalton (Ty Simpkins), who has seemingly fallen into a coma after a mysterious experience in the attic. As it turns out though, it is Dalton, and not the house, that is haunted and unfortunately, the means with which Dalton’s rescue is orchestrated, which I will not spoil for you here, change the tone of the film so greatly that the subtlety required for it to live up to its name is all but lost completely.
That said, just because I wasn’t convinced does not mean that many believers out there will not be fully taken with INSIDIOUS. When it comes to the paranormal, you either believe or you don’t and it should be the filmmaker’s job to change the mind of even the most ardent of non-believer. While that didn’t happen for me here, I can say that the film gave me chills on more than one occasion. In fact, I had to distract myself when watching, which could mean that I’m not at all interested but in this case, it just meant that I was too scared to look.
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 … more
*** 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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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