INSIDIOUS: Review x2…..

I wrote up a couple reviews for the movie Insidious.  The one I will be posting on my website is going to be the spoiler-ific version, which should be read with caution for those who have not seen the movie yet.  For those that have, feel free to read every word and react, comment, discuss all you want.  Those who have not yet seen Insidious I encourage you to instead review my non-spoiler version, which over at AlteredRealitiesRadio website, where I write up weekly horror review for the lovely ladies(Robin & Julie)! That version can be found HERE!   Now onto the spoiler-heavy review:

INSIDIOUS (2011)

Directed by: James Wan (Saw, Dead Silence)

MPAA Rating/Running Time: PG-13, 103 mins

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins

If you’ve read some of my other work, you know that I don’t frequent the movie theater very much these days. Let alone a horror movie, let alone even further a PG-13 rated horror movie. Between my own collection, whatever comes on the ridiculous amount of premium movie channels I subscribe to(why I still do I’m not sure) and Netflix, I am bound to find much better content for the horror genre elsewhere other than big chain American theater chains. Sometimes, however, a movie comes along that gets critical praise along with praise from the masses and then even on top of that praise from my own short list of “trusted sources” (you know who you are, or actually probably not) Today’s review happens to be the latest which fits into this category. INSIDIOUS {spoilers below: BEWARE}

The story picks up as a young couple and their three kids have just moved into a new home. In fact they are so yet to be settled in, much remains packed in boxes. We soon learn when the family is flipping through an old photo album that kids’ father Josh played by Patrick Wilson, has always been camera shy, hence there being no photos of him around. The next day one of the sons, Dalton hears some creaking noises coming from the attic and goes to explore. He falls off a ladder but doesn’t seem to be hurt much. Hearing voices coming from the corner he turns to look and starts screaming. The following morning Dalton does not wake up and is deemed by doctors to be in a coma, with no explanation as to how or why. Three months later, after no change in his condition, he is brought home to care for. From here more strange events continue to happen. Renai, played by Rose Byrne keeps seeing what she thinks are ghosts and is even attacked by one. A bloody handprint appears on Dalton’s bed sheets unexplained. At his point, Josh is convinced enough to pack up and move.

The move does little to ease the situation; on the contrary it actually makes things worse. The supernatural events start to increase and become even more violent. Josh’s mother shows up for comfort and immediately believe Renai’s account of what is going on. Knowing she doesn’t have the power to do anything about it, she contacts a “friend” Elise Reiner played by Lin Shaye who is an expert in dealing with paranormal activity. Along with Elise, comes her not quite bumbling assistants duo, Spec & Tucker played by Leigh Whannell & Angus Sampson respectively. They provided some uneasy smirks without being over the top. They were a good mix to the atmosphere without taking the viewer out of the situation. They did a pretty good job of finding the right balance in trying to be funny without forgetting the fact that in the current situation they should actually be pretty terrified too!

We find out through a couple visits from Elise that Dalton has the gift to astral project aka travel outside of his own body using his “spirit body” He is indeed so talented at this, that without the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing, he has managed to wander to far off eventually into what Elise refers to as “The Further” which is another realm of tortured sprits and even demons who try to trick people who astral project so they can steal their physical body which will give them life. When the first attempt to get Dalton’s spirit back to his body, which was a pretty cool scene, we are told that the gift to astral project is something handed down through genetics. Yes, Josh as a child could astral project. The flashes of freaky dreams we see every time in the movie when Josh goes to sleep are indeed glimpses at what he visited as a child, including the evil spooky woman at the very beginning of the movie. That woman got so close to stealing Josh’s physical body in fact that she started showing up in any photo that was taken of Josh, so his mother decided to stop taking photos of him, and hide all the photos already taken in hopes of repressing all memory of her and of the ability to astral project.

The finale involves Josh having to do some astral projecting of himself in order to go get Dalton out of the spirit world and bring him back to his physical body before any of the evil spirits/demons find Dalton’s body first. The “spirit realm” and “Further” were effective for the most part. Definitely creepy, with the fear of the unknown from the characters really reflecting on the viewer’s own unknown of what was behind the door and around the corners. The way the finale is setup, you figure there is going to be one of three ways the movie will end. I will spare spoiling the very end for you because I think most people will guess wrong, but come close as I did…..Am I right? Be Honest!

I really dug the score of this film as well as the opening credit sequence. The screechy sound effects that pierced my eardrums as the title screen flashes on the screen sort of remind me of Drag Me to Hell’s throwback style, and that is a good thing. Missing from this movie was the annoying generic rock music found in a lot of theatrical horror movies nowadays. So that is a huge positive. There is kind of a major plot point revealed in the trailer, which I am guessing was done as a selling point for the movie. You see, one of the quotes repeated over and over again in tv spots and ads was “From the makers of Paranormal Activity” which also happened to be a haunted house film. Yes, I suppose that is the elephant in the room here folks. This movie does have a lot of similarities to Paranormal Activity. I am a fan of that movie. It’s a polarizing flick, no doubt. It is either loved or hated. However, regardless of your thoughts, I feel Insidious is everything Paranormal Activity is not, which is not to suggest that is a good or bad thing from where I stand on the issue, but that is more a message to those who did not like it and are on the fence about seeing Insidious because of it.

James Wan is building quite the horror genre resume in his young career. Directing SAW, and producing just about every sequel in the franchise (More on SAW from me soon….*hint*) Not to mention, creating the infamous Billy the Puppet that is probably the most recognizable character in the current era of the horror genre besides maybe the Scream Mask (Victory Crowley could get there, but more eyes need to see him) he also wrote and directed Dead Silence, which wasn’t very good but hey, everyone has a hiccup, right?

INSIDIOUS had a creepy atmosphere, good acting, a good story and an acceptable finale. Plus the film managed to do all this with a PG-13 rating. This movie will never be considered a classic, and it could merely be getting more love than it deserves simply because of the poor state of American theatrical horror is in right now, but ya know what I was entertained and felt I got my money’s worth and sometimes that is all you can ask for, right?

INSIDIOUS Rating: Four Creepy Creeping Demon faces out of Five!

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4 responses to “INSIDIOUS: Review x2…..

  1. Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a honest price?

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  2. Pingback: Dexter Season 6 confirms three new characters! | Evil Episodes Podcast

  3. Great movie. Haven’t been scared like this for quite some time.

  4. Amanda Gallardo

    I loved the review. This moving was super creepy and I agree with the 4 out of 5 skulls.

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