INSIDIOUS (2010) Reviews and overview

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Insidious is a 2010 American-Canadian independent psychological horror film written by Leigh Whannell, directed by James Wan (Saw).

The story centers on a couple whose son inexplicably enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension who want to inhabit his body, in order to live once again.

The film took $97,009,150 at the worldwide box office on a budget of $1.5 million.

The movie stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey (The Entity).

Plot:
In the opening credits, a dark house is seen with shadowy figures lurking in the background.

In the present day, Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) have recently moved into a new house with their three children. One morning, Renai looks through a family photo album with her son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), who asks why there are no pictures of Josh when he was a child. Renai reasons that he has always been camera shy.

One day, Dalton hears something in the attic and goes to investigate. He sees something that scares him and falls when the attic ladder breaks. The next day, Dalton does not awaken from sleep. Renai and Josh rush him to the hospital where the doctors say he is in an unexplained coma.

Three months later, Dalton is moved home, still in a coma. Shortly after, disturbing events begin to occur. Renai believes the house is haunted when she begins to see and hear other people in the house. She confronts Josh about the events and the family soon moves to another house. In the new house, increasingly violent and supernatural events occur again. Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), contacts a friend, Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), who deals with paranormal activities. The family, Elise, and her team go into Dalton’s room. There, Elise sees and describes a figure to one of her two assistants, who draws a black figure with a red face and dark hollow eyes on the ceiling…

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Reviews:

“The reasons you won’t slip into a snooze is that Wilson and Byrne play it for real and Wan and witty screenwriter Leigh Whannell work you over like pros. In a multiplex ready to sucker punch us with wimpy kids and animated swill about Easter bunnies that hop-hop-hop, Insidious thinks we’ll be better served by a scare flick that can fry nerves and tickle funny bones in high style. I sure was.” Rolling Stone

Insidious is an affectionate visit to the Haunted House Movie, a genre that seems classic in contrast to Queasy-Cam gorefests. It depends on characters, atmosphere, sneaky happenings and mounting dread. This one is not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they’re expecting.” RogerEbert.com

“The suddenly frenetic action is matched by a riot of visual references to Japanese horror, Wes Craven and David Lynch, but the strongest analogue for the second half of Insidious is one that the filmmakers probably weren’t trying for: it feels like a less poetic version of an M. Night Shyamalan fairy tale.” The New York Times

“It is from a filmmaker that I want to respect but have a hard time doing so due to the poor decisions he consistently makes … but shows many signs of maturity on his part. However, he manages to stumble in the last act and hard at that, nearly ruining the otherwise solid genre effort that he has created here. With all of that in mind, Insidious is still not a bad film. It is too much fun to shrug it off entirely…” The Liberal Dead

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