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"Insidious" {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Roxanne Romero
Studio: Film District
Genre:
Horror
Release Date:
July 12, 2011
Special Features:

Featurettes

Review:

Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) is a musician, and a stay-at-home mother of two boys and a baby girl. "Insidious" opens as she sits with her oldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), looking over unpacked photo albums. They are surrounded by boxes and it's clear that this family just moved into the dark, spacious home. Everything seems to be slowly coming together for them. But when Dalton falls off a ladder in the attic, things soon change. Though he was fine the night before, when his father, Josh (Patrick Wilson) tries to wake him in the morning for school, he discovers Dalton has fallen into a coma. The doctors are unable to explain why. Months pass and Dalton shows no change. The family agrees to move him home and then things get really weird. As Renai struggles to work on her music, she breaks into tears. And that's when she hears it: a voice on the baby monitor. It keeps saying the same things over and over, getting steadily louder until it yells, startling her. Over the next few weeks, more and more strange things happen. Alarms trip in the middle of the night, scary noises, bloody handprints and even entities appear. Panicked, Renai begs Josh to move their family. He agrees and for awhile, things seem good. Renai puts some music on the record player to accompany her house cleaning, and as she takes the trash to the curb, the music changes. Glancing in the window, she sees a young shadow boy dancing to "Tip-toe Thru the Tulips with Me". After speaking with her mother in law and a member of the church, Renai and Josh begin to realize that it isn't their house that was haunted. It's their son. And it's going to take all the have to save him from a fire-faced demon and all the entities surrounding him.***

"Insidious" is not like any horror movie released in the past few years. Director James Wan and Writer Leigh Whannell (both previously collaborated on Saw) bring classic horror elements together, eliminating the gore factor and upping the suspense to really bring this film home. It's like these men have a telepathic ability to invade your nightmares from the age of six, then they used them as tools to make you so scared you want to cry. But, it's the brilliant use of sound effects that really elevates "Insidious". Unlike most films where you can feel the music leading you into the scares, "Insidious" stays quiet until the exact moment, then hits you with the screeching violin or the sound of cracking ice as the demon pops into the screen or we see a creepy doll-like ghosts. The pacing of this film starts a little slow, but suddenly you realize that as the tension builds up in your body, you have goosebumps on your arms and you don't know why. The scares sneak up on you, playing on your psyche, and then they deliver with a sweet, simplicity that pulls to mind classics like "Psycho".*** ---

Special Features:

In a slightly disappointing move, "Insidious" only has three featurettes, all of which are far too short to really stick with you. The first extra is "Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar", which is your basic discussion with Writer Leigh Whannell and Director James Wan where they discuss the different elements that came together to make "Insidious". "On Set with 'Insidious'" follows the cast and crew as they talk about some of the experiences of filming a horror film in such small locations and what they did to make the children on set comfortable. It was actually quite endearing to see the ways Director James Wan and Patrick Wilson bonded with Ty Simpkins, the young boy who played Dalton, and I would have loved to see more. The real gem of the three is "Insidious Entities", an in-depth look at the creation of the various ethereal entities that plague the Lamberts. From the ghosts trapped in time to the red-faced demon, Wan and Whannell explain them all, even offering little tidbits that someone watching may have not picked up. ---

Final Words:

"Insidious" will get into your head, making you nearly nauseous from fear, and afraid to turn off the lights because you never know what might be lurking in that corner behind the door. But that's why we watch horror movies! So grab a blanket, and be ready to hide behind it. "Insidious" is far too good a chill to pass up.

 

 
 
 
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