Saturday, January 6, 2018

Movie Review: Insidious

"It's not the house that's haunted." A great line from the film that shows how this horror story differentiates from the typical fare that hits theaters. The setup is familiar. A family moves into a new house where things go bump in the night and strange sounds come from the dark rooms. Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) struggles to take care of her three children while these occurrences terrify her. Her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson) has a shadowed past with no pictures of him as a child though he seems disinterested and skeptical of Renai's claims of hauntings. When their oldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls and bumps his head, he falls into a coma that has no medical explanation. His inert state increases the sightings of ghosts and they do not go away even after Renai convinces Josh to move houses. 

 Josh's mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) relates a terrible dream of a demon who is after Dalton and she calls in a specialist. Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) arrive first to investigate the haunting and their tools pick up on some serious paranormal activity. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) comes in to explain the concept of the Further. After a botched seance, Elise and Lorraine explain Josh's past and how that ties into Dalton's ability to astral project into the Further. An old woman had been stalking Josh as a child and appeared in spooky photographs behind him growing steadily closer. Elise had to stage an intervention to stop him from walking into the Further but now they need him to go back to that place to help save Dalton.

Under Elise's hypnosis, Josh separates his consciousness from his body and proceeds into the mist-filled Further. He enters a replica of their house where creepy specters roam. Gruesome murders play out as statuesque ghosts stalk Josh. He comes to a red door but is attacked by one of the more sinister entities. He uses the power of his life to push the monster away and move into the demon's lair. The demon prepares his tools and puppets while listening to a disturbing tune. Josh frees Dalton and they flee into the darkness. Back in the house with the group of awake members, Specs sees a hand shoot out of the drawer. The ghosts pursue Tucker and the others as they try to take Josh and Dalton's bodies for their own evil purposes. 

The demon pursues Dalton while Josh stays behind to confront the horrifying old lady that had pursued him since childhood. Josh and Dalton wake up to find their family around them. Dalton recovers from his long slumber in the coma as Elise suspects something strange about Josh. She snaps a photo of him to reveal the old woman. Renai rushes in to find Elise's dead body and a photo of the woman just as Josh puts his hand on her shoulder setting it up for a scary sequel.

Insidious is one of my favorite horror movies from James Wan and Leigh Whannell who have been involved with other great scary films. The frightening ghosts are used for chilling scares and the music of Joseph Bishara sets the mood. Insidious sets up a sequel quite while even as it ends with a classic surprise horror twist of something terrible happening to let the viewers know the horror is far from defeated. Insidious does a great job shocking me and Rose Byrne as the central terrified figure works well with her talent. Patrick Wilson is almost always fun on screen and Ty Simpkins is a promising young talent going on to bigger blockbuster films. I"m looking forward to seeing this series continue. 

No comments:

Post a Comment