A family begins to experience strange occurrences in their new home in this supernatural horror film. Soon after, their son falls into a coma and the episodes intensify. Like the greatest scare fests, Director James Wan wisely highlights creepiness and mood over outright gore. Rather surprising since he was also responsible for directing the original “torture porn” movie Saw. Novel twist on the haunted house film is an extremely convincing, old fashioned throwback to the classic ghost stories of the past. Yes the second half bears more than a passing resemblance to Poltergeist, but it builds suspense so effectively, you’ll forgive the theft.

So what makes this film so good?  Let’s start with the truly unsettling score. All screeching violins and discordant piano tones, its menacing feel creates a sonic aura of dread. The script is distinguished too.  For example, very early on in the story, as soon as bizarre things start to happen in their home, the family actually moves out of the house. Finally!  It’s nice to see someone behave intelligently in a film like this.  And most important of all, the narrative is intensely scary.  It earns its chills honestly, mining real fear out of seemingly simple things: a pair of shoes sticking out of some curtains, a shadowy figure outside the window, unidentifiable voices whispering through the baby monitor. The filmmakers realize that what’s most disturbing isn’t a face that bites your head off, it’s a visage that malevolently stares at you directly from beyond the darkness.  Even after you notice the figure, it continues to stare at you, unblinking and unconcerned by your presence.  It’s the kind of feeling that will cause you to jump many times throughout the picture.

8 Responses to “Insidious”

  1. magnolia12883 Says:

    Couldn’t possibly agree MORE! 🙂 This was a very good PG-13 horror film that I think I actually enjoyed more than my rating originally conveyed. Glad to see you enjoyed it too! Very scary!


  2. magnolia12883 Says:

    P.S. “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” was a little creepy to begin with before this movie changed my perception of it forever!!!


  3. This was SCARY! The hairs on my arms tingled and I had to brace myself many times. A lot of fun.


  4. Nice review, Mark! I didn’t want to see this at first, but then the great reviews started pouring in hehe…


  5. Markus Robinson Says:

    Great review!!!!!!!!!!! I jumped a number of times thoughout. Insidious is a welcome throwback to a time where being scared at the movies didn’t mean you had to be grossed out as well.


  6. This was a really good movie, and you wrote a great review.


  7. Just gave this a third watch last night and finally wrote a review:


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