Danny-This my friends, is a film for sure. I had some reservations about watching this one because of things that I had heard about it. My sisters went to see it in theaters and they both said they hated it. Which normally shouldn’t mean anything because my family are Philistines for the most part when it comes to film. If I could only say one thing about this movie is that I thought it was scary as shit. Luckily I have a blog about movies so I can say a lot more. This first thing I noticed about this movie was the score. It is a throwback to the horror films of days past. It is heavy on squeaking strings which are extremely effective in a horror score. Interestingly enough I read an article about a scientific study of music and sound that said that the screeching sound actually stimulates the fear centers in our brain. This is because it mimics the sound of a person or animal in distress. (see: rabbit being slowly killed by a fox.) This score definitely does its job in creating a fearful atmosphere.
This movie can really be split into two different parts. The first 2/3’s of the movie are pretty conventional. Not to say it isn’t scary because it is. There are a ton of great visual scares in this part of the movie. The cool thing is that these scares defy the convention. I am a person that can 9 times outta 10 know which the direction the visual scare is coming from. This comes from years of seeing the same type of shot be set up in the same way. Insidious however is really hard to read in that way. This left me jumping out of my seat every few minutes. This movie has some of the most startling scares I have ever seen. The last time I had a start like that was during Canadian indie horror masterpiece End of the Line which almost made me drop my brand new laptop. The second part of this movie is when it gets well weird.
With out giving too much away the second part is a huge shift from convention. The second part of this movie was a lot like what you see when you take about 12 Benadryl at once. It is also not unlike many of my nightmares. When this shift happened I was left with the thought that I couldn’t believe that I was watching a mainstream horror film. It had the feel of something that you’d see in an Indie horror film. I hate to say this, but the reason you can tell the difference is because the vast majority of mainstream horror films are for lack of a better word dumb. They use the same old tired plots and scares over and over and the mainstream horror audience (teenage girls) eat the shit up. This is probably why a lot of people that typically go to see mainstream horror films (my sisters) hated it. It turns out this movie did start out as an Indie horror film and was picked up by the same people that did the exact same thing with Paranormal Activity. That really explains a lot.
All that being said I really recommend this film. Really good and really scary. I proudly give it a 9/10
Joe-Insidious is a really weird and off the wall movie. It’s scary, funny, and goes all over the place in the third act. Personally, I thought it was fantastic. Insidious opens in a very conventional way with a family moving into a new house that appears to be, and is, haunted. The family itself is a very normal, middle class family. Josh (Patrick Wilson) is a teacher and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) is a stay at home mom who looks after their two children, Dalton and Elise (Ty Simpkins and Lin Shaye). Strange things happen and Dalton ends up going into a sort of coma. No one can wake him up and no one is sure what is going on with him. The supernatural sightings and occurrences increase and finally the family gives up and moves into a different home. This is where the film really starts to have fun with horror conventions. One of the film’s taglines says, “it’s not the house that is haunted” and that’s true. It’s Dalton, the little boy, who is haunted.
This creates a whole sub-genre within the haunted house trope where they basically replace the house with a child. It’s a really creative little twist and it sets in motion the rest of the movie, which is really scary. The spirits/demons that haunt the boy vary in shape and appearance, but one thing is pretty much guaranteed…they’ll all scare you. From a little ghost boy who wants to play hide and seek all the way up to an evil demon who wants to devour the child’s soul. James Wan does a fantastic job at creating tension and surprising you with where the scare is gonna come from. One scene in particular nearly made me jump up out of my chair. The score, as Danny said, does a great job at creating this tension. It goes from shrill violin shrieks to subtle ambient movements, but both add to the atmosphere of the film in their own way. Which, by the way, Insidious nails. The atmosphere is all old school horror with lots of low key lighting, fog, and lots of shadows. Again, it adds so much to the film’s look.
I don’t want to give away anything about the final third of the film. Just know it’s gonna get crazy and go off the rails. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though. Insidious is a great, low budget horror film that will scare you and always keep you on your toes. Definitely give it a watch.
Watch it here on Netflix Instant Play. http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Insidious/70142542?trkid=2361637