31 Days of Horror Movie: Insidious (2010; PG-13; 103 min)

I have been wanting to see this movie since it was first released in theaters as it looked like my kind of horror movie: some ghosts, some paranormal stuff, some haunted houses, some great scares. And I wasn’t disappointed…with the first half of the movie, that is! I’ll get to the second half in a minute.

Insidious opens with Josh and Renai, who have just moved into a new house with their two sons and baby daughter (who, by the way, cries constantly in the beginning of the movie and will drive you kind of crazy). Renai tells Josh, “I just want things to be different in this house.” Now, that is the first and last reference to the fact that something needs to be different and that’s why they moved, unless there’s some prequel or something accidentally left off of my DVD.

Right away, the couple’s oldest son Dalton falls in the attic and slips into a coma. Three months later, he is brought home to lay in bed for almost the rest of the movie (that’s some foreshadowing for you…you’re welcome). Renai begins to hear nicely creepy, whispery voices over the baby monitor, then sees figures around the house, etc. and each time the experience intensifies until she convinces Josh the house is haunted and they must move again. Now mind you, this is AFTER their other son says he is scared and doesn’t want to sleep in the same room as Dalton anymore because, he explains, “I don’t like when he walks around at night.” They just seem to ignore that tidbit. Nevertheless, this is the part of the movie I loved, because it was sufficiently, yes, CREEPY!

The second half of the movie showed promise, but became too silly to believe (see, I like to believe in the goings-on in horror movies as that’s what scares me – the possibility they could happen to me). The family moves to a new home, but when things are still weird (and trust me on this, you will never hear Tiptoe Through the Tulips again and not freak out), they call in a medium-type woman, friend of Josh’s mother, to help them rid their house of these malevolent entities and save their son. Okay so far.

But here’s where Insidious goes way off course, bordering on slapstick at times. Turns out the medium and her sidekicks believe Dalton is in The Further, and they have a plan to bring him back using a gas mask with an elephant trunk, a viewfinder toy, and lots of flashlights and cameras. Huh? The rest of the movie is spent in this fashion, with an admittedly fun twist at the very end, but it can’t be saved from its own foolishness. Too bad, ’cause I really liked the first half.

  • Top Scare: In the baby’s room
  • Heartbeats: 4 out of five (first half); 2 out of 5 (last half)
  • Gore Factor: 1 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 3 1/4 out of 5
  • Recommended for: Mature 13’s and up

3 responses to “31 Days of Horror Movie: Insidious (2010; PG-13; 103 min)

  1. This also sounds like the kind of movie I used to love to watch – I can’t do it anymore because my old heart can’t take it. But it does remind me to ask you if you’re seen The Others? Or how about The Changeling (with George C. Scott)?

  2. I loved The Others…not sure if I’ve seen the Changeling. I’ll have to add it to my list!

  3. After watching The Others, I couldn’t stop thinking about every detail for weeks! brrr…in a good way. ;D

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