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Insidious
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
Insidious DVD Review. James Wan and Leigh Whannell take this to new heights with Insidious, by gleefully tugging us along from one hair-raising fright to the next. The villains don’t quite stand up to the scrutiny of full HD, but this film will still take its toll on your nerves.
Rating:
3.75

Feature 7.5
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 7.5

Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification
: M15+

7.5


Insidios

Insidious- what a great name for a horror movie. Its a word that really fires up the imagination, by making you think of concealed threats and the type of evil that creeps up on you from behind. Thats exactly the kind of environment that creative horror duo Leigh Whannell and James Wan are trying to build with this film. 

The Lambert family have just moved into a new home.  The place is elegant and charming, in an old-world kind of way. It has old maps hanging on the walls, dark wooden balustrades and an attic with lots of shadowy corners, just begging to be explored. When young Dalton (Ty Simpkins) does exactly that, he hurts himself by falling off a rotten ladder. He looks to be fine one moment, but then he lapses into a coma that will drag on for months. As if that isnt harrowing enough for his parents and brother, strange occurrences soon interrupt their lives. There are invisible home invasions, demonic faces being to appear, and mother Renai (Rose Byrne) hears voices through her baby monitor. Thinking the house is haunted, Renai convinces husband Josh (Patrick Wilson) to move to a new house. But rather than settle down, the strange happenings begin to intensify. Now driven to breaking point, the couple enlist the help of psychic medium Elise (Lyn Shaye) to try to break the supernatural hold over their son.  

Insidious is best described as a traditional horror film- its all about crash-and-bang scares, creepy violin strings and orchestral explosions. Cupboard doors fly open, characters have wrestling matches with possessed door handles, and monsters lurk in every corner. 

For the most part the camera work is absolutely top notch. Both of the houses used as locations in this film have loads of character, and are utilised to the fullest with some great shots- when the characters are running through those darkened hallways, youll be craning your neck to see around that shadowy corner behind them- its goosebump-inducing stuff. It starts off slow but then the scares keep rolling in, one after another, and there are some genuine frights to be had. 

Its a movie that does everything in its power to make you jump. One great example is the séance scene, in which flashbulbs randomly explode with a loud bang. 

Unfortunately the second half of the movie, rather than picking up the tension, eases off on the fright factor. The monsters and ghosts start to be revealed in full HD glory, and its then that you stop being terrified and realise that its just a guy in make-up. Even with some great costumes and lighting effects, the monster is never going to be as frightening in a full body shot- hes much more effective as a half seen threat in the corner of your eye. 

And towards the end of the film the crash-bang tactics start to wear thin- when a character opens a drawer you know full well that theres going to be a ghostly hand inside, and it starts to feel like a cheap trick.  

Video and Audio: 

There’s nothing quite like hearing the feet of ghostly children thump across your lounge room to get the heart going. The visuals are also impeccable, but of course the downside to that is that you sometimes see too much for it to be scary. 

Special Features: 

This is really one long feature, but it’s broken into three parts: Horror 101, On set with Insidious and Insidious entities. In each episode Wan and Whannell talk about the conventions of horror movies, the inspiration for this film, and the work that went into the costumes and sets. 

Closing Comments: 

Alfred Hitchcock once said that “there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” James Wan and Leigh Whannell take this to new heights with Insidious, by gleefully tugging us along from one hair-raising fright to the next. The villains don’t quite stand up to the scrutiny of full HD, but this film will still take its toll on your nerves.






 
 



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