July 25, 2011
Movie Review: Insidious
It's been a while since I have seen a paranormal movie that really took me by surprise. Normally when I see one, I set my expectations low--especially after the huge disappointment of Paranormal Activity. It was with these low expectations that I viewed Insidious recently. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with how good that movie was.
Insidious tells the story of a family that has recently moved into an old house (sound familiar?) where strange things start to happen. The mother hears strange voices on the baby monitor, the baby won't sleep, things go missing, etc. Even more disturbing, though, is that the oldest of the two sons falls into a coma the doctors cannot explain. One day while changing her comatose son's sheets, the mother finds a red hand print on the sheets, complete with claws.
Things start to go crazy from there as the paranormal activity in the house skyrockets. The family makes the difficult decision to leave the house in hopes of starting afresh. At first the new house seems fine, but then the strange activity picks up again, leading the family to reach out for help. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but the family learns that their old house was not haunted, but rather that their son is the one who is haunted. Even worse is that the son's spirit has wandered far from his body to a place called the Further, and he can't get back to his body. The body-less spirits are circling the abandoned body like sharks, eager to enter and taste life again.
What makes Insidious such a great movie? The acting is wonderful, for starters. The movie does not try to go from 0 to 60 in no time flat, like so many horror movies, choosing instead to build the tension slowly while filling you with a sense of dread about what ultimately will happen. The plot does not follow the standard Hollywood formulas, choosing instead to strike out on its own and blaze a new trail. Being original carries a certain amount of risk, but Insidious wears this uncertainty quite well. I hate watching a movie, knowing exactly what will happen next. This happens to me a lot, but Insidious went in a direction I did not see.
I will say that Insidious is not a movie for those who are easily frightened. I do not get scared easily, and Insidious did not frighten me, but the movie did have its parts I would classify as "creepy" that would have had others diving behind the couch.
Buy or rent Insidious from Amazon by clicking here.