Review: Insidious



dir. James Wan

Release Date: Apr 01, 11

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Insidious is… INSIDIOUS.” Maybe not the most complicated tagline ever, but the people doing the marketing for Insidious are on the right track. This is a simple little movie. But frankly, that’s a good thing.

The plot of Insidious revolves around the Lamberts (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson), a nice, normal couple who start to hear things go bump in the night at their new home. However, even after moving out of their creepy dwelling, the strange occurrences continue, especially the ones revolving around their comatose (or is he?) boy. Soon, they discover that it isn’t in fact their house that’s haunted; it’s, bum, bum, buuuuuuuuh!-their son!

Seriously though folks, jokes aside, Insidious is good PG-13 horror. It’s filled with jump scares, eerie atmosphere and evil creatures. James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the director and writer behind Saw, are so far away here from what they’re known for that one can only assume Insidious is an outright attempt to move away from the torture-porn genre that they helped create.

Yes, some of the movie is pretty ridiculous. Like many horror films, Insidious occasionally makes you laugh when it wants to make you scream. It also looks like it was shot on digital, which isn’t a good thing in this case. It’s not even that the film looks horrible as much as it looks like something that was made for, well, let’s just say it looks like it was made for much less than your typical studio horror movie. There are also a few very stupid moments where the plot gets bogged down in explanations concerning astral projection.

But Insidious is spooky, if not downright terrifying. The monsters in the film range from kind of dumb looking to absolutely disturbing, and although the ending is easy to see coming, it’s nonetheless effective at leaving the audience with a chill as they exit the theater. While horror directors continue to pick up the pieces from the chaos torture porn has wrought upon Hollywood, it’s a good time-filler. A decade of scary movies which have been gross, repetitive, offensive, and serve no point other than to titillate and disgust has left the landscape for horror pretty bleak, and while Insidious isn’t anything new, it’s a refreshingly old-school change of pace.