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Insidious – review

Insidious

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Horror films came on the scene, and were done to death and become shells over their former selves.  Then there was a resurgence, and the same thing.  This has been going on over and over since pretty much the invention of film.  Horror films have copied one another, and Insidious is pretty much one gigantic copy of about a dozen horror films.

From the beginning of the film you can tell that you’re not going to be getting anything mind-blowing here.  The film opens as a re-hashed Amityville Horror.  A family moves in to a house, and spooky shit starts happening everywhere.  Noises, loud sounds, doors closing and opening by themselves, apparitions appearing and disappearing…yawn.  The film then tries to take a little turn as one of the two sons in the family mysteriously goes into a coma.  Soon after the mother, Renai (Rose Byrne), who continues to see things, insists that the family move out of the home.  She believes it is possessed.  The father, Josh (Patrick Wilson), agrees to move his family, but it seems that the move doesn’t help at all those spooky and erie things keep on happening.

Let switch gears and steal from Poltergeist and The Exorcist as we realize that perhaps it is the son Dalton that is possessed.  We learn this from an old family friend and cleric, Elise, played by Lin Shaye (Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary).  Elise brings in her tech savvy geek-squad to help rid the boy of his demonic possession, and Josh’s mother (Barbara Hershey) begins to see all these spooky things as well, and perhaps has an answer to why.

Now, the film kind of just trundles along up until now.  Yes there are some spooky scenes and frightening images that will make you jump out of your seat in the theater, but that’s about it.  I will say the last 20-30 minutes of the film is actually quite interesting, but it borders on laughable and ridiculous at times.

There are some interesting themes that are kicking about in the film as well, but never really fully explored or tapped in to.  Dalton has night terrors, and the explanation of those terrors is an interesting concept, and it’s one that I thought should have echoed throughout the entire film and been the main focus.  I remember as a child having night terrors, and according to my parents I used to yell out in my sleep.  I’m sure many people can remember a time in their childhood where something like this may have happened to them, so you can relate to that idea.  That is something that would have made the film a lot more realistic and scary to me.

Another huge issue I had with the film is that it’s trying so hard to scare you with some of the images on screen, but then odd little bits of humor are thrust at you making you realize that this is just another half-ass horror film.  Yawn…rent it…maybe.

Grade: C