There’s a common qualifier that goes along with seeing most low budget movies, especially low budget horror movies and that’s the old adage that “it was really good for a low budget movie”. It’s a way of saying a movie was OK, but it could have been better if they had spent more money on an actual sound person or had they actually paid someone to edit it instead of letting the only guy they know that has the software to do it for a copy of the DVD. It’s not an adage I particularly buy into as I try to judge each movie on it’s own merit but “Insidious” is definitely a movie that some people are either praising or damning based solely on the budget. I say without a doubt, this is one of the creepiest movies I’ve seen in a long time compared to any movie of any budget.
Insidious is a ghost story, pure and simple. It’s the story of an average family who begins to experience supernatural occurrences shortly after their son is injured and left in an unresponsive, coma like state.It starts with a few bumps in the attic, a creepy door opening on it’s own, and some incredible tension and runs with it. Before long the family is experiencing full blown apparitions who are not even trying to hide the fact that they are there. They want you to see them and they want you to be scared. After speaking with a ghost expert of sorts it becomes apparent what the ghost’s really want and that is to inhabit the body of the child in the coma. I could tell you more but than might spoil what I felt was an awesome roller coaster ride of scares and surprises.
One of the complaints that I have heard from people regarding this movie is actually one of the things that I feel they did better than 90 percent of horror movies out there and that is the use of the jump scare. You know, that part of the movie when it gets really quiet and the tension is high and your on the edge of your seat when suddenly some spooky music blares out right as a cat jumps out of a trash can. In “Insidious” there are plenty of scenes that do that very thing only there are no cats jumping out in this move. Every scare is genuine, never letting you off the hook once they have you on it.
The cast is solid, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are both believable as parents put in a terrible situation, trying with all their might just to keep it together for the sake of their children. My two favorite characters were Specs and Tucker played by Leigh Whannel and Angus Sampson as part of a team of ghost experts who investigate the house. They were the “comic relief” portion of the movie, raising the spirits just enough that when the next scare hit it was all the more impactful.
Is is a perfect movie? Of course not. The CGI ghosts were shoddy at times, the kid actors were a bit stiff and I don’t know if it was just my theater but the image was terribly dark which at times made it hard to see everything that was going. If your looking for a movie to keep you up at night and make you think than this is the movie for you. Check out “Insidious” this weekend and have a good scare, you just might like it…