Insidious (2011) Review
I have been meaning to watch this film for a while but only got reminded recently when they announced a sequel to Insidious, so what did I think about the film then? I liked it, creepy but not necessarily scary, however I did like its unique story and its telling of said story. The acting was good and I liked most of the cast. The film is at its strongest for the first half although the beginning was a bit slow, the last half though went a bit too far for me with the other realm travelling and an exorcism which had the ghosts in a bit too much light. What I liked the most about the beginning was how you didn’t really get to see the big bad demons and that made it creepy, but when that vale is lifted it doesn’t have the same effect, but it doesn’t reveal them in most scenes so I’ll give it a pass.
Saw franchise veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell team with Paranormal Activity writer/director Oren Peli to give the familiar haunted house story an exciting new twist with this tale of a family that moves into an old house and begins to suspect they are under siege from otherworldly forces when their young son inexplicably falls into a deep coma. As devoted parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) struggle in vain to uncover the root cause of their son’s condition, the stress of the situation gradually begins to take its toll on their once-strong relationship. Later, when darkness falls and specters appear to reach out for them from the shadows, the frightened parents realize they’re dealing with powers beyond human comprehension.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.
Story: 80% Acting: 80% Visuals: 70% Dialogue: 70%
The Scares/ Creeps: 75% Style/Sound: 65% Characters: 70%
To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was good for the most part, I liked the cast and they did well in their roles within the story. We have the dad played by Patrick Wilson who has some unreasonable need to stay at a haunted house (keeping to the normal formula), the mum played by Rose Bryne who doesn’t like living with creepy dark figures watching her cook dinner (silly woman, it was only a friendly demon…who wants your son’s body…okay so not so silly), oh and Lin Shaye as the demon hunter who let’s face it kind of sucks at her job what with not knowing that bit at the end was coming (I won’t spoil). Onto the story, I liked the story with the demons and ghosts and what have you, never found the trip to the dead zone any fun but I did like the not knowing what they were that went after the child’s empty body. I also liked the demon hunter woman, especially the two tech guys and that one scene where she looks up and describes what it looks like and I really found that creepy, I imagined the thing looking at her and that just really got me.
Okay let’s move onto the visuals. The special effects and physical props were generally very good, and I liked the independent film style because they were forced to keep most of the goolies out of the light and keep them in the shadows, of course that didn’t happen throughout but I normally get scared or creeped out by what I can’t see rather than what they can show me. As for the rest of the visuals it was manly low budget effects as you would expect out of a horror film of this kind, but I don’t really think it takes very much at all in terms of effects to scare people. The effects that got me the most in the film were simple things like the bloody hand print in the bed sheets and the dark figure that keeps appearing in the corner of the characters eyes. On the negative side though, 12A, one death, I prefer more death and blood in my horror films. However considering those constraints including budget it does very well and I can’t imagine an eight year old taking it very well if you took them to see this at the cinema, so in that respect they did very well and bring on the sequel.
Must Watch Trailer:
The best reviews I found would be these “Saw creators Whannell and Wan return with a horror movie creepy enough to borrow under your skin.” Kim Newman. That’s a very disturbing way to describe this film. Also we have “For all its creaky-old-dark-house cliches, Insidious is a fun ghost-train ride, full of truly terrifying moments. But once it’s over, it’s forgotten.” David Michael Brown. Yeah it is good but I can imagine this film getting forgotten pretty soon after viewing, maybe the sequel will deliver something more lasting. And lastly “While the third act descends into silliness, for the most part this is a superbly crafted and genuinely scary flick that borrows brilliantly from horror classics.” Matthew Pejkovic. The film had some good old school scares but it’s very true that the third act descends into madness and loses my attention. My favourite scene would have to be when that guy goes around the house taking pictures completely confident that there will be nothing to find but then there’s those two ghosts and he freaks out, more funny than anything else but I loved it.