Because Insidious scared mine off of me. Yes, yes, I know that there has been some debate over whether or not Insidious is a good scary movie or not. I live on the side of fence that declares it fine but flawed.
The word “insidious” is defined as lying in wait, watching for an opportunity to ensnare or entrap. That describes this film to some degree, as it’s a gradual build to full horror.
Renai (Rose Byrne, ditching the fatigues from 28 Weeks Later) and Josh (Patrick Wilson) are a loving, if frazzled couple who’ve just moved into a new home. Renai is especially overwhelmed, dealing with her two young sons and their baby daughter. Things slowly seem to be odd about the house. Doors open and close, there are strange noises, and a baby-monitor proves to be the link to another dimension. This culminates with their son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), having an accident in the attic and then slipping into an inexplicable coma. The paranormal activity amps up from here. Renai and her other son, Foster, start to see grey-tinged ghosts walking through the house. This first half of the movie is severely creepy. The ghosts are always glimpsed very quickly and they look like they came out of some daguerreotype.
Renai convinces Josh to movie but the haunting follows them. Renai seeks help from a priest and then Josh’s mom, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) tells her to contact Elise (Lin Shaye), a psychic and her bumbling, goofy paranormal team. And this is where the movie breaks down. That seems to be the consensus of what I’ve read online about Insidious. There’s an overly convoluted pseudoscientific explanation for the haunting and Dalton’s coma. Why can’t things just be unexplained in these movies? And we see way too much of the world that Elise calls “The Further.” Plus, it’s shameful how underutilized Rose Byrne is. By the last third of the movie her role consists mostly of crying.
However, there are still some scary moments. I’m particularly fond of the two girls who are dressed in white and “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” is a creepy song, even before it was in this movie. Plus, there’s a scene full of marionettes and creepy dolls and everyone knows what a sucker I am for that.
I think the good parts of this movie outweigh the missteps. The music is quite creepy, lots of string-instruments and what sounds like snapping high-tension wires. One scene that I thought was quite effective is when Renai is listening to instrumental music on a record and it suddenly becomes the aforementioned “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”
I saw this in the theater, because someone else paid for me and I’m currently in Pennsylvania where the ticket prices are way cheaper than they are in NY/NJ. So I recommend this movie, but you may want to wait until it’s out on DVD and watch it alone and in the dark.
In an off-topic note, I’m visiting my mom. She has cable so I’m gorging myself on t.v. I’ve found these two terrifying shows on Animal Planet. One is called “Monster In Me” and it’s about people infected with rare parasites. “Infested!” is about people whose houses become infested with terrifying animals. I was severely freaked out by the house infested by hobo spiders. These shows are scary nonfiction and if you’re into that like I am then you should give them a shot.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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