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Insidious (2011)

It's not the House thats Haunted.

Starring:

Andrew Astor

Angus Sampson

Leigh Whannell

Lin Shaye

Patrick Wilson

Rose Byrne

Ty Simpkins

Directed by:

James Wan

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 15

Country: United States

Insidious is the horror creation from the brains behind love-’em-or-hate-’em franchises Saw and Paranormal Activity, however, this new venture will probably not be so divisive.

The Lambert family move into a new house and the youngest child Dalton (Simpkins) soon begins to claim that his room scares him and strange goings-on start to happen. Mum and Dad, Renai and Josh (Byrne and Wilson) don’t believe him until Dalton falls into a coma after an accident and Renai begins to see visions. Standard stuff so far. They move house to get away from it all but the supernatural but it turns out that it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s their son. Josh then resolves to go inside a dreamworld to try and get Dalton out of his coma.

Insidious is a tale of two halves. The first half makes a decent, if not original and spectacular, attempt at ramping up the tension but then James Wan goes and blows it with a second half of ridiculous and cheaply done revelations. Most of the scares in psychological horror films come about from the lack of knowledge about the supernatural threat and the mystery surrounding it. Showing all in its second-rate, cut-price glory, Insidious undoes any good work from the build-up and looks and feels embarrassing.

Insidious feels a little tongue-in-cheek which yet again subtracts from the apparent scariness of the tale. God only knows how Wilson and Byrne manage to keep a straight face as they talk about ‘astrotraveling’ and the like. In the end, there is a lack of real pant-wetting scary moments and an adequate final twist will leave you with better feelings about the movie than you should come away with.

It's Got: Awful dialogue, stars who do their best, the devil from Futurama

It Needs: More scares, more secrecy, a more believable plot

Alternatives:

Paranormal Activity, The Exorcist, The Omen

Summary

The guys behind Saw and Paranormal Activity have got together and produced a slightly embarrassing attempt at horror that’s going to get viewers sniggering, not cowering, behind their sofas.

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