Newest Review: ... suggests that they seek spiritual help after a visit from the local Priest fails to quell the general spookiness and malaise g... more
"About as subtle as a fart at a séance"
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: Well made
Disadvantages: Cliche with a twist
Star of note - Barbara Hershey
Genre - Horror
County - USA
Certificate - 15
Run Time - 103 minutes
Blockbusters - £2.00 per night
Amazon - £4.75p DVD (£7.45p Blue Ray)
Insidious: Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner, intended to entrap, beguiling but harmful; alluring...
So 'Insidious', from the creators of the rather excellent horror film 'Saw', messrs Leigh Whannell and James Wan, a demon possession flick with a twist, the unexpected what made Saw so clever and original and what we hoped would drop kick this one above the staid norm in a tired genre.
The boys are not going for that level of intrigue and gruesome this time around and simply want to update a standard in the genre, that of the young child taken over by a malevolent spirit. Horror is all about cliché and there are plenty here but there is nothing wrong with that as its part of the fun. Every horror director will know their audience - that of date flick kids and genre fans and have to box tick all those clichés the punters are expecting. The producer and director can then choose to have big pressure from the studio with a Halloween release and so expected accompanying big takings and construct your film around that release, or stick out the film you really wanted to make at another time of the year and have it go up against the romcoms and summer blockbusters, all those who don't like that particular cliché coming to see your movie the plan. This one was released on Aprils Fools Day in the US.
Patrick Wilson ... Josh Lambert
Rose Byrne ... Renai Lambert
Ty Simpkins ... Dalton Lambert
Barbara Hershey ... Lorraine Lambert
Andrew Astor ... Foster Lambert
Lin Shaye ... Elise Rainier
Leigh Whannell ... Specs
Angus Sampson ... Tucker
The Daltons have just moved into a spacious suburban house in a swanky Boston neighborhood, dad Josh (Patrick Wilson) in a good job and mum Renai (Rose Byrne) a homemaker to 8-year-old Dalton (Ty Simpkins) and baby Foster (Andrew Astor). But there is something not quite right about the house and when dad is at work doing all hours to make the mortgage the thumps, bangs and creeks begin, one of those bumps being little Daltons head when he has a tumble in the creepy attic space.
After that he doesn't quite feel right and starts to see things in his room, Renai, too, freaked out and swearing to Josh that she, too, has seen an a shadowy intruder in the house. After a few sleepless nights of this Josh comes around to his wife's paranoia and succumbs to her demands and they move house again.
But whatever the malevolent force is, it's not haunting the house but little Dalton, soon up to its old tricks and frights in their new home, the anxiety and fear confounded when Dalton slips into an inexplicable coma.
Three months later Dalton is still comatose and the visions of the intruders and spooky events increasing, meaning mom calls in the priest and then the ghostbusters, the latter suggested by Renai's clairvoyant mum ( Barbara Hershey). But the biggest clue to the disturbance is something strange about the families past in that there are no family photographs of dad Josh or little Dalton. The demon apparitions are getting stronger as the boy's coma deepens and so they have to figure out how to wake him and send his possessor back to where it came from.
Well folks I'm afraid it's a run of the mill demon pick, effective because it has been buffed and shined in all the right places with a decent budget. The parents at their wits end, the vulnerable kid being possessed and the priest called in are nothing new, of course, the Poltergeist ending straight from Spielberg's classic. I was seriously hoping the creators of Saw, the best American horror film in 30 years (which is not saying much), could do better. But the Americans love their horror movies and for its $13Million it did $100 Million back as the young couples turned out to cuddle up and chew their nails in the comfy multiplexes. Again, as long as you pack those clichés in they will come out in their droves, why the genre has become so stale.
Barbara Hershey turning up raised an eyebrow, especially as she looked like she had just stepped off the set of Dynasty, seriously big hair and make-up. Oscar nominated back in 1996 for a Portrait of a Lady, her faced is as stretched as her career. She was a pretty good actress but doing horror movies means your Hollywood tombstone is being chipped out by a stonemason soon after. Everyone else on show felt like they knew they were in a B-movie and the plot and dialogue pretty perfunctory. It was almost as if the director's reputation got the better of him and he saw something that just wasn't there in this poor script.
The film really drags by half-way and the set up takes forever as the director and writing team don't quite know how dumb to treat their audience and how many clues to offer to the big twist. The casting is obvious and quickly gives away the villain and you just wait tapping your fingers for your suspicious to be confirmed. Throw in the screeching violin and Cello to make you jump and the cliché is complete.
Imdb.com - 6.7/10.0 (77, 875 votes)
Metacritc.com - 52% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com - 66% critic's approval rating
Daily Telegraph - 'Plays out in such a high, trilling key of baroque anxiety it's both jumpy and ludicrous'.
Film4 -'Like the ghouls and ghosties confronted by its characters, Insidious overstays its welcome'.
The Times -' An engagingly unassuming presentation of an effective yet disappointingly derivative shocker'.
Herald & Sun - Insidious is happy enough with elevating your breathing pattern every now and then, as opposed to choking you outright with one shock after another.
Empire magazine - 'For all its creaky-old-dark-house clichés, Insidious is a fun ghost-train ride, full of truly terrifying moments. But once it's over, it's forgotten'.
The Sun - 'Is this reminding you of anything? Like, say 97.2% of any horror movies ever made?
= = = = = Special Features = = = = = =
- Horror: The Exclusive Seminar -
The director talks about his film and horror credentials.
- Behind the Scenes -
More of the above as the twist is 'bigged up' as clever when I'm sure it's been in many a superior Hammer Horror.
- Insidious Entities -
Special effects and make up stuff...
- On set with Insidious -
More of the above.
= = = = = = = = = = =
Summary: Cliche with a twist