Movie Review: Insidious (2010)

I know this is moving slightly away from my typical “Random Horror” but I am not averse to bigger pictures which I why I relished the opportunity to watch Insidious. Having received it as a Christmas present in 2011, I couldn’t wait to watch it and I have since seen it several times.
Insidious follows Josh and Renai Lambert and their three kids. After moving into a new house, the family struggle to settle and things are set back even further when Dalton, one of the kids falls into a bizarre coma like state. This causes more strain on the already thinly stretched family but it isn’t until Renai experiences strange noises and ghostly activity that the family decide enough is enough! They move into a new house to try to escape the supernatural activity which has been plaguing the poor woman only to experience the same thing in their new home!

On the advice of Josh’s mother Lorraine, Renai calls in an expert and promptly invites paranormal investigator Elise into their new home. Along with her two assistants Specs and Tucker, Elise sets about trying to explain the mysterious occurrences surrounding their haunting and how the medical condition of Dalton and the weird activity could be connected!

What impressed me about Insidious was, well pretty much everything. With a few minor tweaks, this could have been one of the closest things to a modern horror masterpiece. Directed by James Wan, a personal favourite and someone who is consistently improving with each film and written by regular Wan collaborator and star, Leigh Whannell, Insidious instantly became a favourite! Whannell and Wan combine to create thrills, spills and genuine fright in equal measure. The atmosphere generated in the first half of the film help create a world which is not only believable but also terrifying! Together they have developed the horror genre from all facets and in my opinion they have created a whole new sub-genre of slasher with Saw.

A large aspect of the horror in this film comes from the fact half of the ghostly happenings occur during the harsh light of day. It certainly adds to the unexpected fear throughout the film and vigorously avoids the standard traps and clich├ęs of most horror films! Some great ghosts and demons rear their ugly heads throughout the film to fantastic effect and all add to the growing anxiety and atmosphere which grips the viewer from every angle.

Red Faced Demon

If there is one criticism of Insidious it would have to be the slight decline towards the films conclusion. There is something wholly dissatisfying about actually seeing the antagonist in a less than sinister state. Once the red faced demon is seen sharpening his claws and listening to ‘Tip toe through the Tulips’ he seems less intimidating and therefore loses a lot of the lustre! In saying that though, the remainder of the spirits maintain their initial daunt factor and even provide some jumpy moments of their own.

It is very satisfying after watching a lot of low budget horror which sometimes leads to some yawns and groans to watch something which not only looks and feels brilliant but is almost effortless in its delivery. There is a lot to be said for a more than able cast and crew and sometimes films like this really showcase the gap between Hollywood and indie pictures. Unfortunately for the indie scene for every Midnight Movie there is a Zombie Chronicles and to make it even worse, you have James Wan putting efforts like this into the wider world for all to see through cinema and wide releasing. It can’t be easy for the likes of Midnight Movie to get any kind of exposure when this is what they have to compete against. However, in the same breathe for every Insidious there is Friday the 13th (Remake) and another Paranormal Activity sequel so I suppose Hollywood is just as open to failure as the rest of the world!

Released: 2010
Insidious (2010) on IMDb
My Rating: 9

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