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FILM REVIEW: Insidious


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From the makers of Saw and Paranormal Activity, Insidious tells the story of a family who move into a new house when strange things start happening after their son falls into a coma. Suddenly the house is besieged by all sorts of ghoulies and the family must work out how to ward off the evil spirits. Attempted terror and frights ensue.

Insidious is deceptive in that it uses absolutely nothing from the near brilliant trailer. The trailer was Paranormal Activity 3, the reality was The Demon Headmaster, the director’s cut.

On the plus side, Insidious definitely lulls you into a false sense of security. For the first half an hour you will believe that this could be something great. But shortly enough, the film descends into plain silliness. Insidious tries every trick in the book, but makes the mistake of trying to think too hard, what really scares us is simple, we don’t need it shoved down our throat.

Possibly due to the legacy of the Saw franchise, unmistakably evident in James Wan’s direction, there are moments that are genuinely startling, however in the same way the ghost train makes you jump. Ultimately the audience is left to use absolutely zero imagination. Every terribly over the top ghoul and demon is thrust into your face in glorifying HD, which left me seriously reassessing just how good last year’s Halloween costume really was.

Insidious played on most movie-goers fears excellently, kicking off about every supernatural cliché you can dread to think of, with increasingly ridiculous results. Giggling, lifeless schoolchildren run amok, Victorian corpse brides are two a penny and the main baddie, the ultimate afterlife villain seriously has a forked tongue, although the hooves, I will admit, were unexpected…

Possibly what was intended to provide some Shakespearan inspired comic relief; the most ludicrous element to Insidious has to be the inclusion of two ‘zany’ Ghostbusters. Managing to sever any glimpse of atmosphere in exchange for a few lame jokes, quite why a film intended to horrify would need such a facet is unsure, but they did tick the box – their involvement was as horrifying as it were bizarre.

Forget Insidious, more just plain Tedious.

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