What She said:
‘Tis the season—the season to indulge in a myriad of horror
movies in an attempt to keep myself from sleeping at night.
Unfortunately, I won’t be losing any sleep over Insidious,
an overly drawn out haunt flick that borrows a bit too much from
other films and fails to thrill in its final act.
Insidious tells the story of a family who recently moved
into a new house to find themselves harassed by ghostly
spirits. It starts innocently enough, a few slamming doors,
some moved books, but the situation quickly escalates into scary
figures running around and demons making appearances. Oh
yeah, and the eldest child falls into a coma in the midst of all
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as Josh and Renai
Lambert. She is some sort of musician, and he is a school
teacher. Josh can’t handle all that is happening to his
family, and so he just hides at work while his wife braves the
spirits alone for much of the movie. She’s sort of a whiny
supermom. She has a baby, a young child, and another one
that’s stuck in homecare in a coma. Josh totally neglects his
family, and doesn’t even believe Renai when she explains all that
has been happening. Seemingly to shut her up, he moves them
out of the haunted house and into a rental home. But the
spirits follow. Cue Josh’s mom, played by Barbara Hershey, a
revelation about Josh’s past, and a hodge podge team of paranormal
experts led by a goofy psychic.
What starts as a legitimately suspenseful horror movie, quickly
turns into an overcomplicated parody of itself. Some awkward
humor, a contrived plot explanation, and a completely underwhelming
conclusion ruined this one for me. The movie seemed like it
wanted to be a basic haunt-fest, but halfway through took a
divergent path that was a bit nonsensical and very
uninteresting. And yes, it is possible to show too
much. The suspense of the early part of the film lies in the
mysterious figures lurking in the shadows. Once the overly
painted faces of the evil spirits are exposed, it’s really no longer
So much promise, but alas, not as good as I would have hoped.
Thumbs only about a quarter of the way up, and that’s because
the beginning wasn’t too bad.
What he said:
Insidious is the story of a family who’s looking to
start over. It’s implied that they’ve had some issues in the past
and we are seeing them at a point in their lives where they are
looking to wipe the slate clean. Flawed characters and new
beginnings are not all that uncommon in the horror genre, though we
find out so little about their past, mentioning them bordered on
There are parts of this movie that seem like a blatant
ripoff of Poltergeist. In particular, when the
movie’s finale begins to resolve itself. At times, it really felt
like elements of the script were bordering on plagiarism.
Interestingly enough, the imitation wasn’t what bothered me. The
execution of this final act are where I think things started to
For a healthy chunk of the movie, I was intrigued. I’d say a
good two-thirds of this movie is a fun ghost story that kept me on
the edge of my seat. There are so many bad horror movies out
there, that when you come across a good one, you get excited. But
towards the end, it really started to spiral out of control. The
visuals weren’t scary, but instead kind of goofy; which is death
for a horror movie.
It wasn’t a bad movie, but I will say that it is a good thing it
ended when it did. This was a perfect example of “less is more”.
The very second they started to fully reveal what was going on, the
movie started going down. Fortunately for the film, that was about
75% of the way through.
Rating: Thumbs half up. This movie review was
written for your reading pleasure on October 17,