Over the past few years, we’ve become accustomed to various types of dead Japanese boys and women, creepy demonic children, and dangerous post-apocalyptic bandits in horror flicks, but in Insidious, we are introduced to one of the original entities that started it all: spirits of the living dead. James Wan – director and writer of the original Saw - takes two steps forward in his storytelling and pays homage to the masters of horror by conveniently using old-fashioned sound effects and cinematography to make this film a possible instant classic.
Viewing the trailer will give you the perception of the overdone scary movie plot: Boy is normal. Boy becomes possessed. Boy’s mom is concerned while boy’s dad denies any problems until the peak of film. Boy shows signs of demonic behavior. Boy and family fight off the evil. Boy is cured … or is he?
Wan distances himself away from that overdone plot and surprises the viewers with a twisted premise that hasn’t been seen in a long time while steering away from modern effects [NOTE: CGI is used in the film but not excessively as we see in several modern films i.e.: Legion (2010), Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and I Am Legend (2007) ], instead borrowing camera movements and relying on sound effects that date back to films such as The Haunting (1963). To further note, it is, in fact, the sound effects in the film that make Wan’s work a masterpiece; without the heavy use of dramatic strings and percussion instruments, it wouldn’t have lived up to any expectations and most likely would’ve been a bomb at the box office. Shot with a Red One MX camera, the film – however – steers away from traditional filming. Rather, use of the video camera gives the entire film a very realistic style, thus making it seem as if you’re with the characters physically the entire venture.
On the contrary, if you’re not familiar with Wan’s style, you may be turned off as the topic matter can seem a bit ridiculous. Insidious doesn’t revolve around Dalton – the boy who is under possession – but around the subject matter: astral projection (to leave your body physically without taking your physical body with you). Although the horror flick is enjoyable, there are – at times – where the plot seems to stray away from the point of the film. As well, for those who are familiar with Wan’s style, just know that – if you’ve seen Dead Silence - the ending will be an intriguing one that may take you aback.
Overall, the film wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the greatest horror flick of all time. But because of Wan’s directing, the unique cinematography, and throwbacks to classics, it made the film fun to watch, especially if you’re looking for a good scare! The CGI characters are intimidating in their own way, and no doubt are they the creepiest faces you’ll ever see in a scary movie (something you’ll notice with all of Wan’s films)!
This film runs 100 minutes and is Rated PG-13.