Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Insidious » User review


A movie directed by James Wan

< read all 8 reviews

Aptly named.

  • Jul 13, 2011
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.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

Click here for more BLACK SHEEP REVIEWS.
Click here to following BSR on TWITTER.
Aptly named. Aptly named. Aptly named.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
July 15, 2011
Great review, I actually liked this flick a bit more than you.
July 16, 2011
Everything changed for me when the psychic arrived. The tone shifted and it never recovered fully for me. I felt like they called the Ghostbusters at one point.
July 16, 2011
I agree
July 14, 2011
Yup. I really wanted to like this film. It had the right atmosphere and Wan has a good eye for horror visuals, but after everything is said and done, amid all the homage and references, it just didn't have enough to pull it off and match everything else. This should've been a lot more interesting. Thanks for the review, Joseph!
July 16, 2011
It is nothing if not gorgeous to watch at times at least.
July 13, 2011
Great review! I was really interested in checking out this film but, missed it in the theaters. I think I'll definitely have to get it on DVD, though.
July 16, 2011
Thanks, definitely worth seeing.
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 . March 30, 2011
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 …
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
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
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
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
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
    © 2015 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
    Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
    This is you!
    Ranked #
    Last login
    Member since