Apr 30 2011 By Chris Severs
The best way to judge a good horror movie is when you go to bed that night.
If the last thing you think about before you turn off the lights is what you think you saw, what you don’t want to believe, then the movie has done it’s job.
This is how I judged Insidious, the latest offering from Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell.
The story opens with a textbook American family moving in to a new house. Before too long, tragedy strikes and one of the children is in an accident, falling in to a coma, but this is just the start of the trouble.
From here on in mum Rose Byrne (Get him to the Greek) and dad Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) are plagued by spooky occurrences and things that go bump in the night before they become convinced that the house is haunted.
What unravels is a classic battle between good and evil, as supernatural forces converge around the tormented family as they attempt to rescue their ‘lost’ child.
Director Wan may not have been working with the biggest budget for this film but the imagination that has gone in to each fright is worth applauding.
This film, unlike many others in the horror genre, doesn’t rely on gore to shock you. Instead, classic Hollywood suspense is enough to have the viewer gripping the side of their seat tightly. You may never look at baby monitors the same again.
As the story progresses, and more unfolds about the hauntings, the type of scare you’re faced with begins to change.
What starts off as a Poltergeist-style movie eventually loses its edge as the mystery is lost, partly because what terrifies you at the start is revealed, and nothing scares people like the unknown.
Ultimately, Insidious is an imaginative horror with clever directing. While it takes on plenty of horror movie conventions, it doesn’t play in to them.
The viewer is kept guessing throughout and, if like me, even after the film.
As I mentioned at the start, a good horror flick should have you checking under the bed before you sleep and Wan achieved this with aplomb.
Those seeking a psychological frightfest do not need to look much further than Insidious. Wan has managed to create an original film from a tired genre that is well worth a watch, just remember to sleep with a light on.