Insidious (2011) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Insidious (2011)

Directed by James Wan

Patrick Wilson
Rose Byrne
Barbara Hershey
Lin Shaye

Running time: 103 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Insidious is a 2011 American supernatural horror film. Written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, the film features Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Barbara Hershey in starring roles. The story centers on a couple whose son inexplicably enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension.

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For my Halloween Horror Fest, I’ve mostly chosen to watch films that I’ve seen reviewed by bloggers I follow here at WordPress. At some point I’d like to do something where I take recommendations from people on films I should watch & review but I worry that I’d not like some of them and wouldn’t want to hurt those people’s feelings. I mean, I feel bad for not liking Insidious even though it was entirely my decision to watch it after reading these reviews on these great blogs:

Insidious reviewed by Celluloid Junkie HERE and an Insidious 2 review from Silver Screen Serenade HERE

So I’m sorry I wasn’t crazy about Insidious but those are two awesome blogs that all of you should follow! There’s also a (potential?) November blogathon at Silver Screen Serenade if enough people would like to join in. It would be called NOOOOvember and you’d get the chance to vent about a movie that really could and should have been good but ended up a huge disappointment. Anyone interested should check out her post HERE. 🙂

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My Opinion On Insidious:

I can’t say I really liked the look of this one when it was out but, after being impressed by James Wan’s The Conjuring (my review HERE if you’re bothered), I decided that maybe I should check out Insidious after all.

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Things do start out fairly promising in Insidious. A nice young family with two young sons and a baby move into a new house (Ha! I know I know – they all start that way, don’t they?). Pretty soon things go bump in the night and stuff gets weird and, naturally, the husband is often away at work in the evenings. So all your basic supernatural scary movie stuff is there at the beginning. I didn’t have a problem with any of this – it was all a bit cliche and predictable but I kind of like that with these kind of movies anyway. And they still manage to make me jump even when I KNOW something is coming. I still jumped when the red dude/beast/evil devil person thing was suddenly behind Patrick Wilson even though I’ve seen that image a million times as it’s all over the Internet! So I don’t think this is much of a spoiler – Here you go:

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Anyway, it was all going along fine and the little kid ghost thingy dancing around to Tiptoe Through The Tulips (which has always been a creepy song) was a bit unsettling but then the movie took a turn for the worse. This is where modern horror movies & I part ways. Seeing TOO MUCH of the scary thing(s) just isn’t scary to me. I’m always much more frightened by the unknown and the things that we don’t see as the imagination is a powerful thing. Plus, I just don’t find a silly looking Darth Maul scary.

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And I do love supernatural stories but you have to do things just right to get the audience to buy into the story. You see, the kid in the coma is actually stuck in this mysterious place called “The Further” and demons or whatever are trying to possess his body or something? Okaaaaay. Well, that’s fine – I can handle these sorts of stories. Hell, I love me some Stephen King and the first few seasons of Supernatural. But it just didn’t work for me in Insidious. I think it didn’t help that I didn’t really like Lin Shaye (sorry Lin Shaye fans!) as the “medium” type woman (or whatever she was called) who tries to help the parents save their comatose child from The Further. She has nothing on the lady in Poltergeist. And then the movie really goes downhill once we enter The Further – The people (dead people/demons/whatever) standing around and making funny faces were just silly and then we had that stupid Darth Maul dude dancing around like an idiot. And then we get the typical “we’re leaving this open for a sequel!” stupid ending. Meh.

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Insidious starts out as your standard “predictable but fun” supernatural story with some decent eeriness and a couple of things that should make you jump. The family are sweet enough so that you like them plus they don’t do TOO many stupid things like those in horror movies always do. But then the movie turns into a pretty silly mess, especially once we enter “The Further”. Disappointing – Especially when watching this after The Conjuring, which is far superior.

My Rating: 5/10

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27 thoughts on “Insidious (2011) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

  1. I haven’t seen this. Modern horror kind of doesn’t work for me in much the same way it doesn’t seem to work for you. Lol!

  2. I agree. Insidious is one half a great movie, one fourth an average one and one fourth a silly spoof that feels entirely out of place.

    It’s just too bad the second wasn’t even as good as the first. 😉

  3. I’m so happy to have found someone else who wasn’t floored by this movie – I didn’t find it scary at all, and for some reason I just don’t think Patrick Wilson belongs in horror.

    • I’m glad people are agreeing with me so far! Thought I’d be alone in not thinking this was great. 🙂 And, yeah – I’m not sure that Patrick Wilson is a good fit for stuff like this.

  4. I agree with you 100% – this movie started off OK – but a little dodgy – and then that thing made me jump and the kid dancing around was cool. Then he goes into the further and it got STOOPID. STOOP-ID.

  5. Gets a bit silly by the end, but it still stayed a little creepy for the time being, which is more than I can say for some of these other horror flicks. Good review.

  6. Then ending to this movie really brought the experience down for me. I hated it because of this. I hate when movies do that to me :]

  7. Aww I’m sorry you didn’t like it! It does get pretty bizarre/silly toward the end, but for better or worse, I still like it overall. Thanks for the multiple shout-outs! Come one, come all to NOOOOvember! 🙂

    • You’re welcome! 🙂 And that’s okay – I still don’t think it’s the worst horror movie ever and I WAS liking it okay at first. Just disappointed by the end plus the fact that I enjoyed The Conjuring so much.

  8. I must admit I was not enamoured with this film when I saw it, and I mean people were hyping it up and all, so I was hoping I would get a great film but it just didn’t work out that well.

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