Rated PG-13 102 min. 2011

James Wan’s Insidious is an improbable concoction in that it manages to have it both ways. It’s undeniably overheated and ridiculous in its attempts to make the viewer jump with shock cuts and loud blasts of music. But at the same time, the approach not only works on the viewer’s nerves, but it makes you unprepared for its moments of intense creepiness. Yes, it’s wildly derivative, plucking things with abandon from other movies. And it’s not always wise in this regard, but it invariably puts some quirky personal spins on the things it borrows, in turn creating one of the most enjoyably eccentric horror movies in quite some time.


is more than a little bit like an old spook house ride at an amusement park. The film is a fairly basic haunted house story. It has the wisdom to start slowly and build its atmosphere of dread in the creepy old house that Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) have just moved into with their three children. In fact, the early portions of the film slightly resemble a far more stylish take on the Paranormal Activity approach. As the story progresses, their oldest child, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), suffers a fall while exploring — being drawn to — the attic and slips into something like a coma that the doctors are powerless to explain the next day. It’s creepy, scary, unpretentious fun.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Whannell

Producer: Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Angus Sampson, Ty Simpkins, Andrew Astor, J. LaRose, Derick Alexander, Johnny Yong Bosch and Josh Feldman



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