Wednesday, 6 April 2011



Dir: James Wan (Saw)
Cast: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Andrew Astor, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
USA, 2011

Seen: April 2, 2011 at AMC

Reason to see: Supernatural horror is always a must-see for me.

I'm always excited when a new supernatural film comes out and especially supernatural horror because those are the ones that can really creep me out. Yes, I like my horror subtle scary over slasher scary any day. When Insidious was bring promoted as "from the people who brought you Saw (re: director James Wan) and Paranormal Activity", I was excited because I loved Paranormal Activity, but hesitant with the Saw connection. Good thing I threw that hesitation to the wind as the lasting impression that carries through all three films is intensity, a good story and the fact that the filmmakers really know their audience.

I really enjoyed Insidious, and it definitely scared me and those are the two very important factors in a supernatural horror movie. The film is centred on the Lambert family, including couple Renai & Josh (Rose Byrne & Patrick Wilson) and kids, who have enough normal family drama for the audience to easily connect to, until things start to get creepy at which point you are already with them and need to just hold on for the ride. The slow transition from normal to unnerving is a great one filled with a great combination of normalcy and subtly that keeps you in in enough light to know you are going somewhere...but not sure where. The film did a great job of building the tension and playing well to the audience, bringing and old school vibe with an up to date feel. I also really enjoyed Rose Byrne's character of Renai and was particularly fond of Barbara Hershey portrayal of Josh's mother Lorraine.

I'm a big fan of less is more with supernatural films, and I felt that Insidious when it played that card it played it very well. I felt that it came through softly strong with the great story at the heart of the film, but there were also louder, brasher elements that aspect of the film in terms of the art direction and score which were the only things that I didn't love about the film. Other than that, it was completely solid. I enjoyed the story, I connected to the characters and empathized with their journeys and it certainly had some great scares. Great paranormal fun.

See also: Insidious DVD Review

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it *and* it scared me: win-win!
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of supernatural films and horror films

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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