Its marketing materials
gloriously proclaim that Insidious
comes “from the makers of Paranormal Activity and Saw,”
which is certainly true. Director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell
introduced us to the soap-operatic torture porn of the Saw world, while producer Oren Peli gave birth to the Paranormal phenomenon, so the combination of talents and visions
promises to be, well, quite insidious,
right? The short answer is hell yes.
This story about a couple
(Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) running from haunted house to haunted house
with their three young children trying to escape whatever they believe is
following them leaves a lasting chill, without torturing us too much with
excessive gore or multiple camera angles replaying the same scenes..
Insidious also blends horror convention (stupid white people doing and saying stupid things) with humor (Whannell has a bit part as a member of the spirit-busting team that takes on the case, and he and Angus Sampson proceed to Laurel and Hardy their way through the final third of the movie to great effect). What prevents this from catapulting to more hallowed status is the simple fact that the film reveals its slim shadies too soon because there’s the chance that once the more experienced moviegoer has caught a glimpse or two, the freaks might not be so freaking insidious after all. Grade: B
Opens April 1. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.