Shortly after Josh (Patrick Wilson), Renai (Rose Byrne) and their children move into their new home, strange things begin happening around the house. After an accident, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) slips into a coma, meanwhile Renai begins to see unexplainable things around the house. Thinking the house is haunted she convinces Josh to move the family into a new home. However, it soon becomes clear that it wasn’t the house that was haunted, but their son, Dalton.
I’ve said this a few times but in case you didn’t know, I’m not a fan of horror movies. However, over the past few years, I have come around to a few sub-genres of horror films, namely supernatural horror. Mama and Insidious were the films that got me to budge on my no horror stance. Given that today is Halloween, I’ve decided to go back to one of the few horrors I’ve enjoyed (so far).
Many horror films like to rely on jump scares to get the audience’s heart pumping. Insidious employs this technique but it doesn’t use it in excess. Also, they aren’t “false” jump scares, meaning every time something is there to make you jump it’s because the thing is worth jumping at, such as a ghost or one of the demons. There isn’t anything like a door closing loudly or an object falling over to make you jump when in actuality it’s nothing to jump at.
A decent portion of the film, almost a third or more, is simply spent with the Lambert family before the antics happen. I liked this a lot because it allowed the characters to be fleshed out quickly and without interruption. So when the crap hits the fan, there is a connection with the characters and I cared more about them getting through their ordeal together and unscathed. They are a very relatable family and you may find aspects of you or your family in them.
The sound editing for Insidious greatly adds to the atmosphere. I am impressed by the score, composed by Joseph Bishara. It is eerie and creepy and just fits perfect, adding to the tense moments during the final act, as well as the intimate moments towards the beginning I mentioned before. Adding to the ambiance was the vivid colors, or rather deep reds, heavily present during the third act of the film. It gave off this uneasy feeling that fit the environment well.
If you look closely, this film is composed of several horror genres. It starts out as a haunted house film, then turns into a possession film, then into something all it’s own (or at least nothing I can classify, but as I said, my knowledge on the subject isn’t that extensive). It acts as a homage to these different types of film while trudging its own path, and doing so successfully. Rather impressive for a movie genre that can be considered saturated.
Despite my initial hesitation, I found myself enjoying Insidious. After watching this again, I’ve realized my horror survival kit doesn’t cover ghosts and demons and those are hard to outrun. So… yea. Oops. Anyway, Insidious is a fun twist on the horror genre that offers up several good (and meaningful) scares. Even if you think horror isn’t your thing, give it a try. Who knows, you may end up enjoying it like I did.
Cast & Crew
James Wan – Director
Leigh Whannell – writer
Joseph Bishara – Composer
Patrick Wilson – Josh Lambert
Rose Byrne – Renai Lambert
Ty Simpkins – Dalton Lambert
Andrew Astor – Foster Lambert
Barbera Hershey – Lorraine Lambert
Lin Shaye – Elise Rainier
Leigh Whannell – Specs
Angus Sampson – Tucker
Joseph Bishara – Lipstick-Face Demon
Philip Friedman – Old Woman
J. LaRose – Long Haired Fiend
Corbett Tuck – Nurse Adele
Heather Tocquigny – Nurse Kelly