Movie Plot – Insidious: A family tries to prevent evil spirits from locking up their comatose child in a realm called The Further.
Director: James Wan
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Andrew Astor, Lin Shaye
A Worthy Horror Film
All those interchangeable horror movies sometimes get pretty tiring. Often they are uninspiring chop and saw parties. But then, once in a while, a horror film comes along that actually works; a long roller coaster ride that doesn’t slow down or make a stop anywhere. James Wan’s Insidious is a horror that is well worth the effort.
Wan is known as the mastermind behind Saw, the first installment in the now completely derailed and milked-out horror series. The Malaysian director had nothing to do with the ever-diminishing quality of the sequels, but did little of interest after that immense success. Until he released Insidious. In a classic-looking horror, he steadily ratchets up the tension.
There doesn’t seem to be much going on in the opening scene. A little boy is asleep and the camera swings through the house. The scratchy strings in the soundtrack, however, make it clear that something is wrong here
Insidious then zooms in on a family that has just moved into a new house where crazy things quickly happen. Books are suddenly on the floor, a box has been moved, you know the drill. And then son Dalton doesn’t wake up anymore, slips into a kind of coma. Doctors are puzzled. Months go by, while the couple seems to be more and more plagued by invisible forces. What exactly is going on is perhaps best not revealed, but it makes for some memorable sequences, including a bizarre seance with a medium wearing a gas mask with a vacuum cleaner hose.
The real power of Insidious is not so much in the story, although there are some nice inventions in it, but in the way Wan manages to make the film increasingly scary. The atonal soundtrack contributes well to this, but it is mainly the perfectly timed scare moments with which he terrorizes the viewer.
It hardly requires any special effects; just imagine a macabre face suddenly appearing behind someone in the middle of a conversation. Insidious is fairly conventional in its set-up, but still manages to regularly frighten the viewer. Old-fashioned creeping with this very entertaining ghost film.
It took me 11 years to see this film for the first time. Now I did see The Conjuring before and actually expected Insidious to be scarier. Still, I keep finding the first Conjuring scarier, but that depends from person to person of course.
Insidious has a lot of really intense moments that scare you, and then grab you. It doesn’t consist entirely of “make you jump” scenes, which it does have, but scenes of genuine horror.