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After moving into a new home, Josh and his wife Renai face terrifying tribulations when their son Dalton falls into a coma and his body begins to attract evil forces from a mysterious dimension. When the family decides to move houses again to leave the evil spirits behind, they realize their problems are just beginning. The general haunted house movie has become old. Why not just leave the damn house and the problems are solved? Well, Insidious patches up that plot hole by the fact that the house isn't haunted. The first half of the film offers great suspense that keeps its viewers on the edge of their seats. It reminds me s;ightly of old school horror due to the slower pacing. Time is spent on the characters and building tension. Throughout the entire movie, there are certainly moments that send chills up and down your spine. Unfortunately, the second half isn't as good as the first half. Some of the fast paced scenes in the final act of the film begin feeling repetitive. I'm not saying that the third act doesn't have some eerie moments, it certainly does, but the same tension being built from the beginning doesn't hold. The ending is a bit strange, but it works. This is a film that isn't afraid to have an unhappy ending. For those expecting a lot of jump scares will find themselves prepared for what isn't there. Luckily, there isn't any loud sting sound and something moving quickly across the screen. Insidious focuses mainly on being creepy and using its visuals and subtle elements to crawl under the audience's skin.
The downfall of many horror films is the acting. Some of the actors attempting to express fear come off as creating a parody of themselves. Regarding Insidious, the entire cast gives suitable performances. There isn't anything here that will make your jaw drop, but it's decent enough. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, and others work together fairly well. Barbara Hershey even has a small role. Once again, the acting seems to become a tad rocky towards the last bit of the film. The performances may not be fantastic, but there isn't any bad acting that will distract from the movie.
When it comes to the look of Insidious, it triumphs. James Wan is excellent behind the camera and brings the film to life well. The entire atmosphere of the movie is creepy. Everything from the spirits to the houses. Once the audience is shown the other dimension, this is where most of the eye candy is shown. I'm not talking just about CGI. All of the sets are absolutely excellent. The spirits are freaky without attempting to make them look menacing with CGI. From some of the sounds they make, such as whistling and crying, to just the expressions on their faces. There are some truly memorable spirits shown such as the old woman with the candle. The evil spirits in Insidious stand above most supernatural movies I have seen recently.
By the trailers, many moviegoers expected Insidious to be a terrifying thrill ride. I didn't find it to be as scary as some said it was. It's an eerie film that has some memorable scenes. The first half of the movie is very well executed, but the second half drags it down. The whole of the two parts create a film that's somewhere in between. Not great, but not bad. It's definitely worth seeing. The movie mainly relies on being chilling and getting under the audience's skin rather than just trying to make the viewers jump. This works heavily in the movie's advantage. Insidious begins great but loses some steam towards the final act of the film. The ending works, but may not please all audiences. My final verdict is that the film is adequate, but not anything groundbreaking. Opinions on this one are sure to vary, so it's worth watching to see what you think.