I finally got around to checking out James Wan’s “Insidious” and I have to say I was extremely impressed. I’m the type of person who can like a modern horror movie for what it is without having to compare it to what horror “used to be”. Sure, I still don’t find a lot of todays horror movies as scary or creepy as movies in the past, but this one held it’s own.
You may remember James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannell from a small movie called “SAW”. Wan directed it while Whannell wrote and played the part of Adam, the other guy that was locked up in the bathroom with the “Robin Hood Men in Tights” guy. Since “SAW” the two have put together a few movies, “Dead Silence”, “Death Sentence” and now, with the help of Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), the duo came back with “Insidious”. “Insidious” takes on the haunted house genre of horror movies and personally I think it does extremely well. The movie doesn’t rely on music and sound effects to set the mood and bring the creep factor to the forefront. The camera angles that Wan chooses to use are unique and refreshing. I like seeing different techniques tried when it comes to the actual making of the film there are a few scenes in this flick that stuck out in a good way. One of those particular scenes is at the very beginning, showing the lamp in the bedroom as it floats down and through the hallway, another is the shot of Dalton’s bedroom from above the ceiling fan. I don’t know why, but seeing the action take place through the spinning blades of the fan made the scene that much more captivating.
I will say though that the first 2 acts of the movie were much creepier than the 3rd act. Once the paranormal investigators showed up (which include Whannell as an actor), the movie started to get away from me. I get that they were trying to lighten the mood a little bit with the bumbling investigators, but it almost took me out of the story for a while. I’ll admit that I fell right back into it though when the actual seance started, that was pretty creepy, but the 3rd act as a whole was a little weak. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole, because obviously I did, it’s just not what I really expected to happen. Everything seemed so grounded through the first 2 acts and then all of a sudden we’re thrown for a loop when things begin to resolve. Everything else about the movie was good though, the acting, production value, dialogue… all pretty solid. Even the effects were good, it was just that slight misstep at the end that took me out of it for a bit.
If you’re looking for a pretty good recent horror movie then I would definitely suggest checking out “Insidious”. I think Wan and Whannell are a great team and I’ve seen/own everything they’ve ever put out since the original “SAW”, so I can’t wait to see what else these guys have up their sleeves.