Movie Review: Insidious

Plot: The dynamic duo behind the legendary 1st three instalments of “Saw”, the director James Wan and the screenwriter Leigh Whannel return to their indie roots, with a low-budget, horror about the haunting of an affluent couple (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) and their young children. In this story, the Lambert family move into a new house where they begin to experience unexplainable noises and shadows. When the oldest son slips into a coma after hitting his head, the activity escalates and the family moves to a new home. However this does little to stop the hauntings and they are forced to bring in outside help. The story is focused on the Lambert family, particularly father Josh (Patrick Wilson), mother Renai (Rose Byrne) and son Dalton (Ty Simpkins), and though there is no gore, the subliminal tension and creepy music score help the well-wrought tension build to climatic effect.


We thoroughly enjoyed the show. We are also proud that the director hails from Malaysia! Kuching born director James Wan struck gold when he wrote and directed the splatter horror film, Saw, in 2004. It turned out to be one of the most lucrative horror franchises in Hollywood and the sequels just keep raking in money. The 30-year-old director, is still riding the wave of horror with this next movie, Insidious. Wan’s skillful use of camera angles, which include hand-held and point-of-view shots, draws the viewer into the story. The color is heavily desaturated, making the movie almost black-and-white. There will be ample scares and shocks, which are expertly crafted so you don’t see it coming. My favourite character in the movie is played by Lin Shaye. She is the paranormal investigator, Elise Rainier and she energizes the film, when she makes her entrance .. as if the film wasn’t already electric by the time she does so. Her face is so expressive, she doesn’t have to say anything to convey the horrors that lie in the dark, just out of sight. The scene of the séance with Elise wearing bizarre head gear is creepy yet funny at the same time. She tries to make contact with the dark realm called The Further, wearing what looks like a biological warfare fighter’s mask. Hold on tight as you are transported into the world of astral travel, demons and the one who is worse than them all!

Oh, the ending is really worth the wait.  You won’t be screaming your head off, but it will keep a certain chill down your spine. Just when you think you have all the answers, you are given the final, intriguing thrust, leaving you as unsettled as when you began. For what it’s worth, though, they don’t need to make Insidious part 2, but from the last scene, I think they will!

Insidious has turned out be a box office hit . The guys behind Paranormal Activity (Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider), whose microbudgeted haunted-house follow-up Insidious is crossing the US$50 million mark globally and could double that by the time it leave theaters. That would give the indie horror picture, made for under US$1.5 million, the best cost-to-gross ratio of the year, a good measurement of profitability. Based on its performance so far, those involved with the film say Insidious should reach US$90 million globally, and probably more. Critics liked the film, and the weekend business has never dropped more than 30 percent. By contrast, the US$40 million-budgeted Scream 4 plunged 62 percent in its second weekend, and will be lucky to crack US$50 million!


Insidious will be out in Malaysian cinemas this Thursday the 20th May 2011


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