The trailer for Insidious had me hooked. I wasn't bothered that it was rated PG-13, because although rare there are some Horror movies that succeeded with that rating. The Ring (2002), The Sixth Sense (1999), and one of my favorites Poltergeist (1982) and actually rated PG are among the best! As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to figure out why Paranormal Activity was rated R, other than just to evade the stigma of being PG-13, though enjoyable enough, there was nothing worthy of an R rating in the movie.
That said, Insidious succeeds in being fun, scary, and getting the audience to scream. The influence of the team behind Paranormal Activity is heavily present along with the tense atmosphere that James Wan is known for. It includes some light comedic moments at just the right times to break the tension. There are parts of Insidious that pay homage to The Shining, and (bordering on straight-up remake/re-imaginning) Poltergeist. One criticism I have is that I can't remember any of the characters names. All the greats have you remembering the main characters names. Even though I can't remember the names, I still had fun.
(Read the spoiler filled part after the jump!)
**SPOILER ALERT: Some of this could be gleamed from the trailer, but be warned anyway**
My Random Thoughts on the Movie
This lead in is really slow, long and drawn out. [After seeing the end] I really appreciate the beginning now because it allowed time for tension to be built up. In John Carpenter's The Thing nothing happened for the first 30 mins. The Shining was a slow burner too. Both movies used that to build up to great endings. Unlike "The Happening" that used a slow burn to build up to mad trees. This movie's ending was somewhat satisfying, so the slow lead in worked for me.
Who wears matching pajamas with their mom? Seriously the son and the mother had on the same pjs.
I like how they actually moved, because in most haunted house movies the idiots stay in the house.
The Darth Maul Demon, at first glance in the preview, he looked a little hokey, but they used him effectively, and I give them credit for making me jump out of my seat using music, pacing and quick glimpses of a guy in body paint.
The witch looks a lot like Mary Shaw from Dead Silence. It was like they said, "Well we paid a lot for this costume. Let's use it again."
*SUPER SPOILER ALERT, as in you better have already watched the movie before reading!*
The little boy ghost dancing to Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" was hysterical!
"The Further" is a really dumb name. Seriously you couldn't come up with a better name for it than that?
When the dad went to "the further" to get his son (I already told you I never picked up on their names) I kept thinking all they need is a rope and a tennis ball.
When his wife was yelling "Follow my voice!", I was thinking, "Carol Ann (see that's a name you can remember!) follow the light! Come into the light!"
For some reason the whole sequence with the father in the house in "the further" reminded me of an episode of Tales From the Darkside. Mostly the scene with the twins and their 1950's nuclear family.
The twins in the hallway? Who didn't expect them to say, "Come play with us Danny!" (See that, another memorable name!)
James Wan and the Paranormal Activity people have some serious daddy issues. In this movie and in Paranormal Activity 2 the dads are unlikeable and doomed not to make it to the end.
Update: Also when Darth Maul Demon was crawling on the wall he reminded me of the Jeepers Creeper.
I forgot to add that the scene with Darth Maul Demon in his lair reminded me of Evil Dead 2.
....and what is James Wan's fascination with puppets?
...and Oh look it's the Jigsaw puppet drawn on the board! Nice little touch there.
This movie even made some people cry!
Most and Least Anticipated Horror Movies of 2012-2013
Continue to "Sinister" - Movie Review