The Movie: 6/10
That scared feeling crawling into the back of your mind, waiting to haunt you later, that’s insidious. A movie attempting to plant a creepy seed in the back of your mind to sprout later while you are at home alone in the dark, that’s INSIDIOUS. A young couple are being taunted by something dark and unsettling. It’s not a new concept, but scoot the main themes to the side and you’ll find some new ideas here and there. Insidious isn’t trying to be the best horror movie ever made, it just wants to freak you out, later when you least expect it. I’m not a believer in spirits and afterlife or netherworldly planes of existence. That being said, it doesn’t mean that if you make a movie that exploits a few of my little tiny fears I won’t think twice about walking down the hall in the dark.
The first part of Insidious does a fine job of making me feel uncomfortable. The sounds of the old creaky house, the innocence of the children who are obviously in harms way with all the spooky stuff happening, and enough ‘out of the corner of your eye’ sightings of odd things, all got me hooked. I was not at ease for most of the night scenes and even gasped a few times, that’s saying something. Because the ease up to some of the first action is effective, I’m in the story along with this little family. Even as we meet the ghost hunter types and some explanations of what’s happening come to light, I’m hanging on for the sake of my desire to have a fully satisfying horror flick from the 21st century. Unfortunately they introduce some comedy amidst the real horrific images and freights. The comedy interferes with the vibe that’s been set. I was pulled out of the dark attic I was willing to be afraid of and had too many chuckles at the expense of the believable but hokey experts.
I like answers to why crazy shit happens in movies. I like explanations and origins, the problem with Insidious is that the explanation gave me that “oh, that’s IT?” reaction. Then the rest of the movie, the local haunted house costumes, the over the top change from reality to a demon’s lair, going into ‘the further’, it all was a downhill slope from my tingly little fears that I had piled up. I did like the movie. It’s a fun and has enough creepy images to last me a while, however, they aren’t enough to hold it all together.
Some things hit me later and it made the story better, believe it or not. I let some of it soak in and had some “ah ha” moments, but it’s not enough to make me want to watch it again. I would recommend it to any horror fan, it definitely has enough to tickle the fearometer. I don’t believe it holds together well enough to make it memorable though. Then again, the guy pacing past the window in the dark and then right into the bedroom to terrorize the young woman, that’s an image and feeling I won’t forget anytime soon!
- Horror 101 The Exclusive Seminar – How do you make a horror movie that will get the audience hooked? Throw everything you know about ‘haunted house’, ‘possession’, and other types of horror flicks at the wall and see what sticks. This is the way the writer and director put together the story to manufacture the right balance of scares and creep factors.
- On Set With Insidious – Behind the scenes with the director.
- Insidious Entities – How do you make a modern horror movie without using CGI to fill the screen? Creating ghosts and demons with make-up, lighting, and trickery.
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
The red boy’s face and the image of a house in the background isn’t much to get my horror seeking bones excited. I wouldn’t have this as a poster. There are so many other good image opportunities through the story I’m disappointed at the missed chance at a great new horror movie iconic cover/poster. The menu is OK, just the same image from the cover with a little action going on, but not much to talk about.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The moment the credit sequence started rolling I knew this was a special looking transfer on Blu-Ray. James Wan brings us the inkyist blacks with a washed out pallet that actually adds to the creepy mood. This is a grade A transfer from Sony. Insidious was filmed digitally and looks modern but at the same time has a 70’s vibe.
Sound really plays a huge part in most horror movies and Insidious is no exception. A scene where our hero/coward is turning off the house alarm actually pierces your ears it sounds so real and sharp. The haunting score which sounds like a demon making love to a shed full of pots and pans totally creeps you out and when played LOUD will make you jump out of your seat.
I like Insidious more now than I did when we viewed it on Sunday. It’s one of those movies that will grow on you the more you think about it. It’s actually a well constructed horror film that has almost the right amount of scares to satisfy that haunted house fan in all of us.
The extras are slim and the movie only holds just enough of my good graces to warrant a recommended Rental status. So, rent it for a couple of bucks and add a few other scary movies to the evening to make it an event. Lock the doors to your house and to your dreams….mwaaahhahahahaha
Overall Score 6/10