Directed by: James Wan
Produced by: Jason Blum, Oren Peli,
and Steven Schneider
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne,
and Barbara Hershey
Released: April 1, 2011
First off, let me start by stating something obvious. I’m a huge horror movie fan. I even studied horror films in University. I’ve watched them since I was a wee lad, and have developed a thick callous on my sensitivity to gore and terror. But the chink in my armour is ghost stories and hauntings. This style of horror film still manages to give me goose bumps and have me turning on every light in every room in the house after watching them. Essentially, I transform from Mr. Man to plucked poultry. With that said, Insidious was frighteningly good. I saw it for the first time last night and I loved it. Although they can be terribly frightening, and there are a few exceptions, ghost films and hauntings don’t usually produce films with high body counts. However, the jumps and jolts more than make up for it. Plus there’s the added bonus, of continuously looking over your shoulder and hesitating to walk into a dark room. James Wan put together a very good possession movie. The director is very quickly becoming a contemporary horror master by helming such pictures as Saw, as well as Dead Silence, continuing with Insidious, and last summer’s hit The Conjuring and it seems as though he’s barely hitting his stride.
Insidious tells the tale of a young boy named Dalton who is mysteriously thrust into a coma soon after moving into a new home with his family. Scary and supernatural events begin unfolding to his family. As the battle for his soul wages, Dalton’s parents seek help from paranormal medium Elise (Lin Shaye) and her team to help save their son. Rose Byrne is exceptional as terrified mother Renai, and she does a superb job of depicting a mother unraveling. Patrick Wilson turns out another great performance in a horror film as family patriarch Josh, and is quickly becoming one of my favorite horror actors of this era. Barbara Hershey has a small role as Josh’s mother Lorraine in the movie, and the one who encourages the two parents to contact the medium. It seems that Lorraine has had to take advantage of Elise’s talents at some point in the past herself. Having her in the movie is a great nod to The Entity, a 1983 film starring Hershey in the lead role of a woman struggling to survive in a haunted home.
Insidious has a lot of good frights, and a musical score that puts your nerves right on cue to jump through your skin. The spirits and demons are creepy, and the shadows become just as menacing as the wraiths hiding within them. It’s no surprise that the movie produced a sequel as it was quite good, and I am looking forward to seeing the next installment.
4 shakey quivering cowering thumbs out of 5!