REVIEW: Insidious

Nowadays in the modern generation of cinema, the quantity of films within the horror genre is rapidly increasing (and some are led into being converted 3D), but they are either incredibly cheesy films with a very poor story, lack of character development and rather lame screenplay and direction or they just blow you away in terror and you just love from start to finish. However, as far as Insidious is concerned, the theatrical trailer featured a few references similar to previous horror films that we have seen in the past. So, as a result, there were still high expectations, although it was either going to be loved or hated. Quite frankly, as predicted it manages to be psychologically terrifying to watch, tons of suspense and most importantly: as we have seen in horror films with lots of violence, violence isn’t all what horrors or thrillers are really about.

Admittedly, there are so many similarities that Insidious has with other horror films (specifically Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist and The Exorcist) but it manages to still convert into a whole new story that honours the references, backgrounds and production of those specific films. This is coming from one who absolutely loves horror films; Insidious amazingly manages to terrify so much that lead into literally jumping out of seat, leaning closer to the TV screen and becomes very thought-provoking afterwards. In almost every single aspect of the film, there were familiar references that were used from horror films from the past i.e.Paranormal Activity, The Exorcist and Poltergeist, and there are a few twists and turns in store for you.

Patrick Wilson; perhaps the only well-known Hollywood actor in Insidious from the cast portrays husband and father Josh Lambert who’s trying to protect his family from the demons within the house. He delivers a satisfactory performance and he should appear in more horrors or thrillers in the future. His on-screen wife Renai, portrayed by Rose Byrne, really is this typical hopeless young woman caught in a rather ugly and sticky situation where she is absolutely terrified out of her mind. Although that those kinds of characters are the icing on the cake for horror films, Byrne’s performance expresses that but in a slightly similar way to Shelley Duvall in The Shining by Stanley Kubrick. So, her role overall wasn’t entirely great but was at least satisfactory to endure throughout the 103 minute duration of the film.

At only 10 years old, Ty Simpkins has already been in major Hollywood films such as War Of The Worlds, Little Children and Revolutionary Road, but this time goes on to portray a very different character: completely innocent victim in a coma trapped by a mysterious realm dominated by demons. Although, he isn’t involved in the film very often, he gives a performance to remember as Dalton. Barbara Hershey who recently made a name for herself in Black Swan but who gained huge acclaim and acceptance within the horror genre after her terrifying role in The Entity appears as Josh Lambert’s mother, Lorraine and delivers a very moving and genuine performance. Lin Shaye portrays the psychic Elise Reiner who attempts to help Dalton break free from the demons that are in the house. Her role resembled Max Von Sydow’s role in The Exorcist as Father Lankester Merrin, who in turn aids a young girl from demons.

Everyone will feel familiarised with James Wan as director, who is the co-creator of the famous Saw franchise, and for this reason there were expectations and hints that there was going to be lots of gore and violence in Insidious. However, Wan perhaps goes down a slightly different road this time and concentrates more on the supernatural dialogue than the violence and as a result, exposes a new side of filmmaking within the horror/thriller genre. On the other side is Leigh Whannell who co-created the Saw series with Wan and wrote a few screenplays, reunites once more with Wan and writes a very eerie and spooky screenplay that isn’t only hard to watch on occasions, but is incredibly fun to watch too due to the gripping entertainment that it beholds for its audience. As well as screenwriter, Whannell even makes an supporting appearance in the film as well.

Overall, Insidious is a truly terrifying and really fun horror film that will keep you on the edge of your seat; even for those who aren’t sensitive when it comes to horrors. It is almost like a mixture of Paranormal Activity, The Exorcist and Poltergeist from story down to characters and manages to pull off great references from three films in three different eras of cinema. It’s perhaps not one of the greatest films of 2011, but it is most certainly one that needn’t be missed and should consider checking out!

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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