Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: "Insidious" Scarier Than Darth Sidious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 59 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Insidious (2011)
Running time: 103 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for thematic material, violence, terror and frightening images, and brief strong language
WRITER: Leigh Whannell
PRODUCERS: Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider
CINEMATOGRAPHERS: David M. Brewer (D.o.P.) and John R. Leonetti (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Kirk M. Morri and James Wan
COMPOSER: Joseph Bishara


Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, and Andrew Astor

Insidious is a 2011 supernatural horror film from the people behind films like Saw and Paranormal Activity. This film was a surprise hit during this past spring, and some reviews compared it favorably to The Exorcist. Actually, Insidious only shares a few ideas and elements with the classic, 1973 Oscar-winning horror movie. I would say that it is more similar to the 1982 hit, Poltergeist. On its own, Insidious is a superb scary movie that can occasionally freeze your blood.

The story focuses on young parents, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne), and, as the film begins, they are moving into a new house with their three children. Their eldest child, a son named Dalton (Ty Simpkins), falls into a coma, and then, weird things begin to happen. The house is filled with noises, voices, and occasionally, the appearance of strange figures.

In a desperate move to escape the madness, Josh and Renai move the family to a new home, but the supernatural events follow them and increase in intensity and in violence. Then, Josh’s mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), and her friend, Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), arrive with something shocking to tell the couple about the horror.

To put it simply, Insidious works because the creators know that scary movies do not have to scare audiences with blood, gore, loud noises, or monsters jumping out of the closet. Although Insidious does have some ghostly beings in the closet, the film relies on a chilly atmosphere to scare. The atmospherics make viewers anticipate ethereal frights and also those sneaky happenings that will make their skin crawl.  Joseph Bishara's edgy score will also have some skin crawling.

The film also depends on its characters, and while they aren’t great, they do their part to make this movie work. Elise, Specs (Leigh Whannell), and Tucker (Angus Sampson) are funny and seem like they stepped out of The X-Files.

Insidious falls apart a little in the second half, and the ending is a little predictable. However, the ending is done in such a way that it, like the rest of the film, will stay on your mind for a few days. I heartily recommend Insidious for those who enjoy horror movies about supernatural possession and evil spirits.

7 of 10

Thursday, July 14, 2011


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