RJ Bayley Reviews: Insidious

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Director James Wan’s 2011 supernatural Insidious is just what the filmmaker needs. After being repeatedly bludgeoned over the head with an increasingly desperate Saw series, its nice to see Wan distance himself from the carnography subgenre with the bloodless Insidious. Its crucial to note that Insidious is also pretty effective first time around, proving he can deliver the scares without the need for gory flesh-tearing.

It’s not absolutely nerve shredding for the seasoned horror fan. However it was a wonderful experience to sit in a cinema full of people regularly screaming at something that didn’t contain stomach churning violence. Its horror done the old fashioned way and its great to see audiences react to it with said suggested horror.

To be fair to it, the film does contain some legitimately creepy moments. They mostly centre on the very relatable scenario of the home invasion. Its done very well, achieving the right tone for shots of open doors and the sounds of footsteps to be as menacing as Wan wants them to be.

Patrick Wilson also continues to prove why he’s the most criminally underused actor in Hollywood and is a convincing and likeable lead. He’s also allowed to show off a few more emotions than he was later in Wan’s subsequent The Conjuring.

Unfortunately those home invasion sections are the only really creepy moments of the movie, and this decidedly old fashioned piece is…well, decidedly old fashioned. An awful lot of ideas we’ve seen before are trotted out, but if you’ve already seen the classic demon chillers like The Exorcist, The Omen and many more, the majority of this film holds nothing new.

Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Simpson) are fun, but once the film turns into an exorcism film its easy to predict every step and scare.

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