Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Call Them As I See Them: Insidious (2011)

Horror movies are going through a rough times these days. Most of the mainstream ones that come out are either remakes or sequels and 9 times out of ten pure crap that doesn’t even put any effort into trying to scare the audience (i.e. jump scares). So when a movie comes out in the genre that at least tries comes out it is rather refreshing, and despite some flaws, that’s what Insidious is.

The movie is a typical haunted house type, a family moves into a house and when their son falls into a coma, weird/creepy things start to happen until they decide to do something about it.

The way Insidious goes about its business is a page right out of Poltergeist, right down to the science team and little old lady exorcist that shows up in the final third of the film to help save the day. At the same time, it does enough to give it something all its own, so we aren’t dealing with a blatant rip-off either.

The scares and atmosphere work, you are left with an uneasy feeling throughout the movie never knowing when something is going to pop up, where as most horror flicks, once things get quiet you can almost time when the jump scare is going to happen. With Insidious, it throws things at you when you least suspect them early on, so for the rest of the movie you are left wonder when the next scare is going to come at you.

Sure there are times when it relies entirely on a jump scare, but they aren’t as abundant as other films and are used to great effect.

Where the movie does falter though is towards the end, when they actually try to explain what is going on, when they bring in the clichéd old woman exorcist to come in and save the day. Her explanation sounds more like the ravings of some stoner/hipster that they just made up on the spot and it drives the movie to a grinding halt, forcing it to pick up steam again. This does eventually lead to some of the most intense sequences of the film, and to be honest, some of the more frightening scenes from recent memory.

Insidious is a good horror movie in a time when there just aren’t that many anymore. It is well done, inventive, and legitimately scary (kind of sad that it has to be a plus for a horror film these days to actually be scary). It is definitely worth a look for enthusiasts and casual movie goers as well, if at the least seeing what a horror movie is capable of when the filmmakers actually give a crap.

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