HT Schuyler: Insidious Review

Posted: April 25, 2011 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews

Rated 14A for extremely frightening scenes, brief language and mild violence.

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

Directed by: James Wan.

Insidious is  written and directed by SAW creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell, is produced by Oren Peli (the director of 2009’s most overrated yet still good haunted house film Paranormal Activity), and is said to be a lot like Poltergeist. Those three factors should make this movie one of the best horror films in years, so, the only question left is…is it?

The movie has a really retro vibe to it, which I love, playing older style scary music and an old fashioned opening credits scene, the movie opens on a terrifying note, and never lets up. Where I found Paranormal Activity failed Insidious exceeded, you take a normal family, in a normal house, and scary stuff starts happening. Paranormal Activity did do this, but you had to wait about an hour into the film before some actually scary happened. In this, they don’t waste a single opportunity, and any chance they get to scare the hell out of you they take, and they don’t pull any punches on the horror. Acting ranges from good to mediocre, Patrick Wilson is good as always, Rose Byrne does the job, and everyone else is a mixed bag. The two comic relief characters (Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell), are likable and funny, but can get annoying at times, but you can look past them, as most of the time they’re just standing in the background. Lin Shaye is a little annoying, but she gets better as the movie goes on. Overall acting is mediocre, but it really doesn’t matter because the high points of the film isn’t the acting, it’s the scares.

The Good:

The highest praise I can give a horror film is this: It’s actually scary. I’ve seen tons and tons of horror films, and only about 10 are actually halfway scary, this film, is terrifying. That being said, most of the scares are jump scares. If you’ve seen a couple horror films, you’ll be aware that the most annoying thing a horror film can do is have jump scares as it’s main scare factor, but, most of the jump scares here, are good. James Wan found a way to reinvent jump scares, they can be as subtle as the back of a child’s head in the bottom corner of the screen, or as extreme as a red demon face behind one of the characters. Every jump scare is well thought out, executed brilliantly, and very, very effective. The story is pretty original, having lots of twists and turns, and the characters in the film act the way normal people would, which is rare in horror films. This film does everything modern horror movies do wrong, and does it right. It also feels like a combination of some of my favorite horror movies, The Shining, Poltergeist and even James Wan’s previous horror, Dead Silence. It took all the best elements of those films, and put it into one terrifying product. So, this movie has an original story, good effects, amazing scares and a shocking conclusion. Also, most horror films take about 30 mins to set everything up before it gets scary, but not here, it’s scary from start to finish, it wastes no time.

Also, keep an eye out for a strange yet awesome cameo from Billy the Puppet.

The Bad:

There are very few flaws in this movie, the only ones I can really think of I can’t say without spoiling the movie, but let’s just say it gets pretty ridiculous towards the end, with one small scene in particular feeling out of place. For a movie like this, you are not suppose to look into it to much, your suppose to follow the rules the film provides, and not ask questions. If your willing to just sit back and be scared, you’ll have a great time.

In Conclusion:

I can’t praise this film enough, it reinvents horror in a way I’ve never seen before, and proves that horror movies haven’t lost it, and can still be scary. This movie plays tribute to classics from the past, while becoming a classic itself. James Wan and Leigh Whannell should be proud, they’ve created a terrifyingly unique experience that needs to be seen to be believed. It really is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in years, a must see.


  1. pgcooper1939 says:

    Damn, that good huh? I’m really looking forward to it now.

  2. moviegeek says:

    WOW! I’m really looking forward to see this one now…
    I am getting more and more disilluded about movies, especially thrillers and horrors lately…

  3. Roflcopter says:

    Sounds like a good movie; I’ll watch it as soon as I can

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