Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey
In My Own Words
Well, today was an eventful day in the cinema. Firstly, I remembered why I hate going to see horror movies by myself. There is no one to take out your horror and suspense on. I have always been known for my antics in horror movies out of fear or shock. The first time I saw “Scream” with my family when I was 14, I got so shocked in the Drew Barrymore scene when the killer threw a chair through the glass door, that I shoved the choc top in my nose. True story. Just ask my Dad. Thankfully I didn’t make the same mistake today when watching “Insidious”. I went for popcorn rather than a choc top. I wish I had gone with someone else to watch this movie though so I could be scared with someone. I also was one of the only people in the cinema, so out of fear I also thought I was seeing things that resembled ghost like figures! This was far worse than watching a scary movie by myself at home because it was a much bigger and darker space!
So then there was the visitors we had in the cinema, that weren’t ghosts. They were just three teenage school students who joined in the movie halfway through. They came in with a grand entrance of making a lot of noise and sat down in front of me. They continued talking amongst the three of them before I asked them very politely to keep it down. One of the guys then turned around to me and said “Excuse me? Which film is this?”
I looked at him very suspiciously and said “Didn’t you buy a ticket?”
“Yeah, but we bought it for “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, and this isn’t it, is it?”
“Is it scary?”
As you may be able to tell, I didn’t believe this guy. I know when you are a school kid sneaking into movies seems extremely thrilling and rebellious. I don’t think it really is that exciting, and if you are going to sit through a film and talk the whole way through it, you might as well go and do so in the food court where you don’t annoy anybody. I was quite impressed with myself though, I didn’t lose my temper with them, even when they started talking on their phones. Maybe I am become more immune to people talking loudly in the cinema, although I shouldn’t have to.
These are my own words and here is my review.
Could these film makers do anything wrong? It is common for film makers who stay within their genre to become stale and have their new film compared constantly to their last one, yet when the director and writer of “Saw”, James Wan and Leigh Whannell and the producer and director of “Paranormal Activity”, Oren Peli, get together with a $1.5 million budget, you know you have a success on your hands. These film makers knew from their previous experience that a good story and script mixed with horror movie elements make a successful film. “Insidious” is different from the filmmakers past films and is not only suspenseful and creepy, but also at times quite emotional. Above all, it is enjoyable for those who like to be scared and entertaining.
Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) Lambert have just moved into their new house with their three children. Only days after they move, their eldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) goes to bed after a fall and doesn’t wake up the next morning. He seemingly falls into a coma, yet it isn’t like any other coma the doctors have ever seen. When Dalton is moved from the hospital to the family home three months after his fall, strange things start happening in the household. There are voices heard on the baby monitor, strange noises coming from the attic and Dalton’s brother, Foster (Andrew Astor) complains about Dalton walking around the house in the middle of the night, which is impossible in the state he is in. It isn’t until a family friend who also deals in paranormal activities, Elise (Lim Shaye) comes to the house that they come to understand that it isn’t the house that is haunted, it is Dalton.
“Insidious” is very well written and as a result of this, it is very suspenseful and surprising. It is perfectly played out by gaining suspense and fear as it goes on. The beginning is dedicated to the building of character so the audience can connect with them while the go through the horrors which they do. It may be a tad predictable to some people in some ways, but there is still the feeling throughout the film of not knowing how everything is going to happen. A trait of all good horror movies is to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, not knowing when something is going to happen. “Insidious” does this perfectly, with not making scary images or happenings occur on cue.
The visuals are actual really quite frightening and may well cause nightmares to some members of the audience. The editing and direction are also very good. The house and rooms in it have the perfect feel for a horror film.
There are segments of “Insidious” which are quite reminiscent of other horror films. The several shots of the house from the outside are almost like a memory of “The Amityville Horror” and although the story is completely different, there are some factors which remind you of “Poltergeist”. However, with every horror movie there will always be some things it has in common with other horror movies, as there is nothing completely new under the sun. Yet, “Insidious” has a very different script and story than any other horror movie.
Rose Byrne is perfect as the role of the mother of a sick boy who is feeling like her whole world is caving in around her. Her performance is heart breaking at times, as she really has that motherly instinct that makes her lovable and extremely likable. On the other hand, she can sure pack a good horror movie scream. Patrick Wilson is good, but he is overshadowed by Byrne. He is really brilliant in some scenes, but then in others he is quite dull. He isn’t seen as much as a father until closer to the end. The first half of the film he seems to just stroll his way through. Barbara Hershey is very good as the loving grandmother and mother. It is also interesting to note that two of the female ghostly figures in this movie, are actually men! So well done to Joseph Beshara and Philip Friedman for making us believe otherwise!
“Insidious” is one of those horror films which bypasses the blood, guts and gore and relies more on the story and ghostlier images rather than ghastly. It is a haunted house film, which isn’t to do with the house. Horror and thriller fans will enjoy it, but it isn’t for you if you like a good and peaceful night sleep.