Customer Reviews: Insidious
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on July 15, 2011
this is not a review per se (because i won't describe the plot or actors--you can search that on your own) but wanted to say this is a scary movie! not the stupid hollywood kind where a bunch of teens are knocked off one by one but a very quality, well-made horror movie with lots of spooky atmosphere (what producers and directors seem to miss every time and that's what makes a scary movie). It has a haunted house, demon possession, astral progection, talented adult actors who aren't having sex and kissing all the time, and most of all the foggy spooky atmosphere that makes it scary. i have loved horror since the 60's and haven't seen too many good ones that really scare me except The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs and some lesser known films. I actually had to turn all the lights on in the house after seeing this movie and i'm an old guy! Highly Recommended! Please make more like this one and stop with the teenagers being slashed BS. Thanks for reading!
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VINE VOICEon May 12, 2011
I know I'll get butchered by some for the title, but the tension in this film was stupendous. At all the right times, in all the right places, the scares and thrills are there. Sure, it's a hodge-podge of Poltergeist, Exorcist and Paranormal Activity, but each aspect of those movies is accentuated to produce a genuinely frightening combination.

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.
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on July 13, 2011
I saw this in a theater when it came out...I went to a late show, and there were only a couple of others in the theater. What an experience! Scared out of my mind and intrigued at the same time. I consider myself kind of a horror/sci-fi connoisseur, and in my opinion, this is an instant classic that will be a favorite for the rest of my life.

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!
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on April 8, 2011
Very atmospheric, old-school '70's-ish first half is very effective. Gets almost unbearably tense at a nice pace with scary noises and a great plucky, screechy (real!) violin soundtrack.

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.
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VINE VOICEon July 11, 2012
The Lamberts are a typical young couple with three small children who have just moved into a beautiful new home. However, one of their little boys immediately becomes injured and falls into an apparent coma. Soon after, the family finds itself suffering from strange and terrifying occurrences. After the family moves in search of some peace, the events continue to occur. Mother-in-law is consulted and help is brought in, revealing a dark and insidious secret from Mr. Lambert's childhood that could be the key to saving his family today.

Wow, what can I say about this movie?! When I saw it in theaters last year, I was blown away. It was EXCELLENT, and I don't say that lightly. A throwback to the great, supernatural horror films like Amityville, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Entity, Rosemary's Baby, and The Shining, "Insidious" is a truly fascinating and scary film! In fact, it instantly and easily became one of my favorite horror films from the first time I saw it. If you're looking for proof that recent horror films aren't all bad, I've got three masterpieces for you, and this is one of them. The other two are "Cabin in the Woods" and "The Mist", but I digress.

A fine cast (including "The Entity" star Barbara Hershey) , some plot qualities we've never seen before, and some truly scary music and imagery make this film a cut above the rest, and I highly recommend it. Don't listen to nay-sayers who describe the ending as too open or the film's demon as too Darth Maul-esque. There is nothing but win here. The demon is freaky and the Tip Toe Through the Tulips scene, ugh! Try getting that song and its creepiness out of your head after seeing this for the first time! I only hope the upcoming "Sinister" is this good!

Now, the Blu-Ray bonus features are a bit underwhelming. There are 3 behind the scenes featurettes, that's pretty much it. They are good, but this film deserved so much more. However, if you love horror films, this movie belongs on your shelf, so I guess they get away with it this time. "Insidious" is a film you'll love introducing new people to all the time! Just don't watch it alone!
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on July 22, 2011
CREEPY AS HELL!!!!! Best horror film I have seen in a LONG time. The movie gave me the creeps and my first viewing of the DVD was in the afternoon!! It's good to see a movie come out with all of the creepiness and none of the gore. I rank it up there with The Sixth Sense and Ghost Story. I honestly wasn't expecting much with a PG13 rating, but I was very pleased---loved all of the spooks popping up here and there. A must-see that is destined to be a classic!!!!
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on July 14, 2011
I haven't been spooked out by a horror movie in a very long time. I will have to buy this one eventually. It is in my top 5 scariest movies of all time. Great haunted/possession movie with good acting, script and directing.
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on July 16, 2011
I found this to be a sort of updated Poltergeist. While not a true reboot, it does have some of the same mix. A small child caught up in an unknown "otherworld", 2 parents and 2 siblings left to deal, a trio of experts to help the family out, and in the end a parent goes in to retrieve the child.
Now I'm sure others will question my analogy, but it's how I saw things.
As for the movie, it has a nice spooky element to it that sets the pace all the way through. Small things at first leading up to many more unexplained happenings. The scares were not in your face, although there were a few well placed got ya moments! Overall I enjoyed this movie and consider it one of the better horror movies to come out in recent years. I will be buying the blu ray version as it does have a few special features not on the DVD.
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on February 19, 2012
A film like "Insidious" makes it look easier than it is for most filmmakers. It's, at its core, an old-school ghost story done with such modern flair . . .from everything to writing, acting, casting, score, cinematography, sound, and special effects, that it leaves me to wonder why more filmmakers can't make horror films this superbly. I am a jaded horror fan. Horror fans are like drug addicts...we keep chasing the cherry high. "Insidious" by description sounds like a story we have seen a thousand times. Young couple buys first house, nice kids, lots of high hopes for the future, all of which is wrecked by a pesky haunting. "Insidious" takes these tired ingredients and gives them more than a has set a new bar for this sub-genre. Patrick Wilson (Little Children, Hard Candy) and the lovely Rose Byrne (TV's "Damages", "Get Him to the Greek", "Knowing") star as the young, idealistic couple, Josh and Raneigh, who find themselves plunged into a nightmare when they come to believe their house is haunted and means them harm as their 7 year old son ends up in an unexplained coma after a ghost encounter. Josh's mother (played by the aging ever gracefully Barbara Hershey) brings in a psychic to investigate (another cliche), but what again, sets this apart is the panache brought to the character by Lin Shaye, a terrific character and stage actress. She believes Dalton (the little boy) is a gifted astral-projector who has ventured too far away from his body. I won't explain more so as not to spoil the twists, but the ensuing action is as terrifying as movies get. Director James Wan, who cut his teeth on the original "Saw", infuses the films with energy, tension and unbearable suspense. My heart was pounding through most of the film. Did I mention there is a rather terrifying demon lurking about the house?

"Insidious" was made on a shoestring budget of only $1 million. You would never know it in looking at the value per dollar on the screen. First-rate actors, superb art direction and special effects, it looks like a $40 million film. This gave Wan tremendous freedom to make the movie he wanted to make and the results are truly unnerving. The movie has an uncommon intelligence...this is a couple that actually talks to each other and believes each other, where lesser movies hang the plot on this communication not happening. I especially liked the fact that after a few incidents at their first home, they move. This usually harkens the end of the film. Instead, to the sickening realization of our characters and we the audience, the ghosts follow them, as it is not the house which is haunted, but the boy. The characters make logical decisions making them easy to indetify with and enormously likable. It helps to have actors of Wilson and Byrne's caliber. I was riveted to this film, and if you're a fan of ghost stories, especially those which rely on atmosphere, story and suspense over blood and guts, you will be richly rewarded and long haunted even after the credits roll. This is superior film, well worth purchasing. I recommend the Bluray version strongly to see the nuanced details in the art direction and the perfect replication of the original photography. Extras are light, which is disappointing, but the film more than makes up for it.

*Also available on Netflix streaming.
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on November 14, 2011
As a horror fan, I always look for something that is genuinely scary (not something that turns out to be ridiculous). As many others have pointed out, Insidious is one such authentic horror movie that has all the elements of classic horror and no nonsense. Here is a summary what it has-
Texture-Perfect texture and tone for a horror. Dark, at times foggy atmosphere, quiet house, spooky attic, you name it, and the movie has it all.
Acting- Realistic characters, not extremists (believer female v/s non-believer male). Everyone has played their role well.
Music- One of the best for horrors. perfect timing, well-balanced highs and lows, and cool jolts.
Story- Very conceivable story. Everything has been explained in the movie, so you don't end up in saying WT* at the end. Of all the horror movies I have seen so far, this is the first time I have seen this concept and I liked it(its not just a haunted house or a possessed body). The script supports the story well.
The director has kept everything so cohesively,that the movie neither loses its grip, nor gets boring anywhere. Wonderful flow from beginning to end!
There is only one drawback I felt. The fact that the evil creatures show up in the second half of the movie slightly dilutes the overall creeepy effect. I am sure it would have been a lot more spooky if they would have adapted the Paranormal activity style (where the fear originates mainly through your imagination, not because of a scary face). I think in today's era, with so much awareness about filmmaking and advanced technology in general, its obvious for everyone to imagine that the 'ghosts' are none but artists with appropriate makeup. Hence, shadows can scare you more than the actual guy standing right in front of you. That's the only point where the movie drops a little.
However, considering the fact that the crew has managed to create an authentic horror flick using all the classical elements (minus all the nonsense that is generally seen in today's movies), Insidious deserves a big applaud. It's not easy to scare people living in 2011 with the old school elements of 70's, but this movie does it, and does it in an excellent way, without compromising on any of the vital elements of a horror flick. Although I like innovations like paranormal activity, I still like to see the classical (and genuine horror). Of all the movies I have seen recently, Insidious is definitely an instant classic of the genre. If you are a horror fan, this has to be in your collection.
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