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It's a simple story about a young family--Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) and their three small children--settling into a new home. Again following classical form, there's a presence in the house that either doesn't want them there, or needs them to stay for the evilest possible reasons. When 8-year-old Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into an unexplained coma after a spooky encounter in the attic, Renai starts seeing the above-mentioned figures lurking around the house, sometimes none too subtly. Though the goings-on are unexplainable, no one acts crazy and Josh believes that his wife's bizarre encounters are real. Like any sensible people who believe they've taken up residence in a haunted house, they move. But the spookiness moves with them and the menace gets worse as months pass and Dalton remains unconscious without reasonable medical cause. Since things can't stay unexplained forever, the plot begins to intrude, especially when a geeky pair of paranormal investigators (Angus Sampson and writer Leigh Whannell) provide some slightly out-of-kilter comic relief. Fortunately their boss (Lin Shaye) is a bona fide psychic who's all business, and she determines that the ghosts, or demons, or whatever they are want Dalton, not the house or its other inhabitants. As the explanations continue, it's revealed that the little boy has the gift of astral projection and his spirit has left his body without really knowing it's gone. If he doesn't come back soon he'll be lost forever, taken by the strongest of the creepy phantoms, a blood-red fiend who provides the most terrifying moments of half-glimpsed horror. It turns out that Dalton inherited his gift from Dad, who has repressed his own childhood encounters with out-of-body flight, but must revisit the dark limbo where all the specters lurk in order to reunite his son's body and soul.
All this narrative sometimes gets in the way of the sinister unknowns that started the story, but there are still plenty of frights to maintain a consistently disturbing tone (and without a drop of blood or gore). Wan and Whannell preserve the less-is-more strategy to fine effect, honoring the legacy of a timeless horror style while ably stamping it with their own unique imprimatur. Whether or not you have a personal history of nightmares, there are plenty of willies to go around in the eerie confines of Insidious--an apt title for a movie whose ideas and images invade the mind with scary and spectral imagination. --Ted Fry
On Set With Insidious
Top Customer Reviews
After a family of five moves into a new home, it takes little time to realize something is wrong. Items move, doors close. When one child falls into a coma and the mother hears what sounds like Vin Diesel growling in some Gaelic dialect over the baby monitor, it's time to move despite the fact the father is a disbeliever. Unlike the Jefferson's, moving on up doesn't work for this family and the frights return like ghost herpes.
While creative license was necessary to move the story along, the astral plane concept is not completely embraceable. Nonetheless, the rest of the movie hits on all cylinders. Visually there isn't a lot, but what is presented works very effectively. All the scare techniques (e.g. eerie noises, well chosen music accompaniment, quiet-to-loud shocks, quick reveal scares) are expertly crafted and executed. Epic timing on more than one occasion. None of the actors really stand out, and a few (a Ghostbusters reproduction) were somewhat silly, but Lin Shaye must be recognized for her interesting performance as a medium who ties the entire movie into a sleep-stealing knot.
Impressed from beginning to end by this movie, I applaud the return to old fashioned, suspenseful horror that doesn't need a teenage sacrifice in a brothel, hostel, or abandoned building. Not saying I dislike those, but Insidious is good for the change of pace. The second half of the film is much slower than the terrifying first half, but if you've recently asked yourself, "Whatever happened to the slow build up?" Watch this in a dark theater with a great speaker system. Guaranteed thrills.
The music. If the music doesn't creep you out, you may not be alive at all. Screeching and wailing violins...all placed in just the right parts of the film. Not since Goldsmith's 'Alien' score has there been such a perfect horror soundtrack. And even the 'Tiny Tim' song strangely works just right.
The old lady in the window and the other 'spirits'. The old lady in the window is absolute nightmare fuel. That is the kind of ghost that kept me up at night as a child. There are a variety of menacing characters about as well. At least one of them is sure to get to you.
The story. The story is very creative and original. The story does explain just about everything that happens...which I found very refreshing. The actors played their roles well, and the film has a good flow to it. The film feels very polished and not hurried at all.
Buy this movie! Rent it! Watch it alone in the dark or with someone else during the day. Whatever you have do!!! See it! I wanted to go right back into the theater when it was over and watch it again! I even pre-ordered it as soon as I got home!!! All hail INSIDIOUS!
My younger friend is jaded, you know, so he didn't like the malevolent creeps - but I thought they were great. For this particular movie, I think it needs an audience, in the theater, with the sound turned up nice and high.
The booms, fwomps, swooshes and other ambient noises help carry this movie into Horror-Land (except for the home alarm. Be ready to cover your ears. It's only briefly annoying, though).
I thought the analogy to a roller coaster ride or a Haunted House ride was appropriate. It certainly has it's moments, I tell you.
The second half got into Ghostbusters territory a little bit but the main characters - Dad, Mom, Grandother, two sons, and a baby girl that's a bit of a cryer - took their roles seriously, played them straight, and really pulled you into the story.
When the ersatz Ghostbusters show up, there's a bit of corny explaining but soon it's back into Scares-ville. The denouement and wrap-up isn't jumpy as the first half, but it's still weird enough to keep your attention.
"Insidious" is a crowd-pleaser - if you have crowd around you that loves to scream (and laugh afterwards, because the tension builds and builds and really gets to you so much that after a scare, it's hilarious).
I liked "Insidious" - a lot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is terrifying. Im giving it a one star because after I watched this movie, I had a panic attack and I thought I was going to hell along with the constant images of that... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Jacob Lopiccolo
Great ending but could have done more with the story from the get go.Published 8 days ago by Red Badge
Expected more from this 3 movie series.
Barely scarey. I give it a 5 out of 10
I've been a horror movie fan since the early 90's. I'm now 33 years old. This film scared me... I saw "The Exorcist" when I was 11, I grew up with the Jason and Freddy... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Charles E. Haid
Y'know? This is a good movie. The sequals were entertaining as well.Published 11 days ago by wanderingwordeye
This was pretty good! Not cheesy or raunchy. Not particularly scary, but interesting enough for me.Published 12 days ago by DB
so good can\t stop watching this movie over and over it is a must have in any horror collectionPublished 16 days ago by MissMadamKitty