Not since William Castle : INSIDIOUS

The bad news about James Wan's Insidious is that Patrick Wilson does not remove his shirt during the course of this film...not once

The good news about James Wan's Insidious is that it's one of the most entertaining horror films to come down the pike in a very long time.

When a couple and their three children move into a gorgeous old home, the wife (Rose Byrne), almost immediately starts noticing that items she has unpacked are going missing, and books she neatly set on to shelves are found  later scattered on the floor.  Her eldest son (Ty Simpkins) tells her that he does not like his room, and noises seem to be coming from the attic.  Nothing very dramatic here, just enough bumps in the night to set one's nerves on edge.

It's not until the son falls into a coma after a (seemingly) innocuous mishap, that things start getting metaphysical.

After an episode that includes late night rapping's at the front door and ghostly intruders wandering into bedrooms, the family, quite sensibly, cuts their losses and moves into another home.  And all is well, for a few minutes, until whatever was haunting these people has found its way to their new address.

With their son still in a coma, and the new house seemingly a welcome center for earth bound spirits, the family, in desperation contacts a medium  to set things right.  It's at this point that Insidious goes  from a creepy, spine chiller, to a balls-to-the-wall fun ride complete with wailing ghosties, astral projection, disembodied hands coming out of kitchen drawers; and a demonic being who is fond of Tiny Tim's rendition of Tip Toe through the Tulips - I am pretty sure that a kitchen sink is also featured somewhere as well.

I've already heard some folks claim that they enjoyed the film until the final quarter claiming it was too over the top for their tastes.  That's odd, becuase I found the final quarter of Insidious a hell of a lot of fun.  From Lynn Shaye's charming portrayal of the spiritualist, to Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson's much needed comic relief as the bumbling assistants, to the cavalcade of costumed creeps popping up in clothes closets, to the wacky seance complete with archaic cameras and gas masks -- this is the kind of fun stuff not seen since the time of William Castle (why weren't our seats rigged with buzzers, where were the ghost glasses, why no life insurance policy).  You see, that is the beauty of Insidious; what begins as a truly eerie suspense piece, eventually morphs into a seat-of-the-pants-thrill ride.  It's called showmanship, kids.  It's called entertainment!

Yeah, this is a rave.  I loved this film.  So get up off your asses, get a ticket, leave all expectations at the door, and strap your self in for a fun ride. 

Fun?  Remember fun?  Apparently, James Wan does.


Rowan Mayfaire said...

ooh i need to see this, sounds amazing!

Nice, CLEAR tiny tim vid too, best quality I"ve ever heard of that ditty.

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

It's funny that you mention William Castle because I said that to Wan during the Q&A. I never felt so terrified and amused since a local theater of mine decided to show House on Haunted Hill in the style of Castle. I'm really glad that you love it but I'm sure people will find something to complain about it. I think it's Wan's best movie so far.

deadlydolls said...

1. You make a fantastic point. Patrick Wilson in a movie NOT showing his chest or buttcheeks? What is the world coming to?!

2. I loved the first 2/3rds of the film. My problem wasn't with the comic relief--I actually thought that was both funny and perfectly timed to ease us down before the big finale--but with the messiness OF the finale. I just thought the film had been so tight and disciplined all through the first hour, and thus the world of the further felt ill-defined in comparison.

Toon said...

I'm sold! Will see it this week.

Chad Helder said...

The shift in pace and mood that you're describing sounds very interesting. And the mayhem sounds awesome--can't wait to see this.

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I too thought the finale was kind of flawed and silly. Even with that, I still really enjoyed INSIDIOUS. I think it was the first time in a while that I felt that a film was worth the price of admission. I couldn't believe this film was made for $800,000 or something like that. The acting was great and while some of the comic relief didn't work, I still had a great time with the film. It will definitely be on my Top 10 list at the end of the year. Great review!

Vince Liaguno said...

I absolutely hated this film. Thought the premise lacked any semblance of imagination, the episodes of haunting tedious after the first dozen bangs, slams, creaks, voices, and passing shadows, and the explanation so convoluted that it was laugh-out-loud funny. Paranormal hokiness taken to the extreme. Rose Byrne phoned in her performance, Wilson looked embarrassed that he took the gig, and Barbara Hershey lost any career ground she gained with her excellent turn in BLACK SWAN. She was wasted here. I can concede to only one point in your review: Lin Shaye was indeed excellent.

I'm truly baffled by the good notice this film is getting. Did I mention that I hated it?

Pax Romano said...


That's your opinion and you are welcome to it.

For whatever reason, I loved it - it had such a dark, forbidding start, and then it became a fun-house ride.

Does this mean you don't love me anymore? ;)

Vince Liaguno said...

Of course, I still love 'ya more than my luggage! I'm honestly baffled by how people whose opinions I genuinely respect are walking away from this film with such a different take.

Maybe I saw a different cut of the film in a parallel universe... ;-)


If'in it ain't got B. Steele or V. Price then moi sez...SHEEET!

Prospero said...

Gave this film lots of love on my own blog. Glad you liked it, too.

Anonymous said...

Loved it!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this movie. While i can understand someone not liking the last part of the movie i just adored it, it was so much fun and really scary.