Monday, May 16, 2011

Insidious [ Movie Review] ★★★1/2

The Pitch

James Wan and Leigh Whannell first burst into the Hollywood scene with the original Saw movie. That low budget "torture porn" became a surprisingly hit and went on to spawn six sequels. Their next collaboration as director / writer didn't fare that well as Dead Silence received mostly negative reviews and was a box office bomb . Insidious would mark their third collaboration and even though it poaching on the overused haunted house / possessed kid elements, this movie might just mark a return to form for them.

Beside the Saw franchise creators, Oren Peli, the guy who wrote and directed the latest horror box office phenomenon Paranormal Activity would be performing producer duties for Insidious. Can the creators of the two highly successful horror franchises come together to create another horror hit or perhaps another horror franchise?

Looking at Insidious US box office collection, this $1.5 million movie went on to earn a gross revenue of $51,681,000 (as of May 15th). That's around the ball park of the first Saw box office collection. Does a healthy box office collection equate to a good horror movie? Read on to find out...

The Plot

The Lambert family just moved into their new house. Things appeared to be normal until the night when Dalton heard noises in the attic and decided to investigate. He had a fall while trying to turn on the light. His cries caused his parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne ) to rush up the attic.

The next day, Josh tried to walk Dalton for school but Dalton was unresponsive. The panic stricken parents rushed Dalton to the hospital where the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with him. Dalton remained in the unexplained coma and the parents decided to bring him home. That when the spooky eerie stuff started to escalate. Renai had enough of these paranormal activities and wanted to move out of the house. Feeling helpless with the chain of events, Josh agreed but the haunting kept taunting Renai.

Josh's mother (Barbara Hershey) believed that the haunting that Renai encountered were true and introduced her friend Elise (Lin Shaye) who specialized in supernatural exorcism to them. Elise and her team went into Dalton's room and she quickly identify a red face demon who was watching over Dalton comatose body.

Sensing the direness of the situation, Elise revealed the truth behind Dalton's unnatural coma and attempted to rescue Dalton's spirit before it's too late. But the demon turned out to be too powerful for Elise to handle. Running out of options, Elise revealed a past that Josh had forgotten and seek his cooperation to attempt a dangerous rescue mission for his son .

The Perspective

Insidious started out in a slow and mundane fashion. It might be a bit of wait but when the haunting escalate, it's one heck of a scary ride that don't stop till the end. The spooky moments are well set up that it kept me on the edge of my seats and some scenes stood out for it's eeriness.

The revelation of what happened to Dalton and Josh past was a refreshing change from the usual horror flicks. While it's a bit of stretch, the filmmaker made it work for Insidious. Personally I also enjoyed Lin Shaye's performance as the exorcist and the "inventive" exorcism.

But there might be complaints on how unoriginal Insidious was and to a degree, it's true. There are traces of Poltergeist, The Exorcist and Paranormal Activities but personally, the film was such an entertaining ride that comparison of the similarities came only as an afterthought and it didn't diminish the enjoyment of watching Insidious.

If it's anything, it was the ending that was a bit of a let down. Personally I felt that they tried to be too smart for the audience and while it's chilling, it contradicts a couple of things that were set up during the movie.  Otherwise, it's a good o' school horror school with plenty of scary moments. Insidious comes highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment