A couple, Renai and Josh Lambert, and their three kids have just moved into their new house. Strange things start to happen such as books falling onto the floor, sounds emanating from the attic, and voices being heard on the baby monitor, then young Josh falls into an unexplained coma. After a bloody handprint is found on Josh’s bedsheet and Renai is attacked by a scary man, they decide to move to another house. However, the evil seems to have followed them there………..
Quite similar to Poltergeist in both structure and events, Insidious is nonetheless the scariest horror movie I’ve seen in ages, and certainly beats both Paranormal Activity movies for terrifying the crap out of you. It’s one of those films where you almost long for the slow, talky bits, because the rest of it is so intense-the trouble is, there are precious few slow, talky bits here! It opens with a really spooky sequence, scored with really spooky strings sliding upwards, involving a room, someone moving outside and a creepy old lady sitting in the darkness, and this puts you on edge already! After this, there’s little build up, with frightening things happening already, and initially these are of the subtle kind, but get so numerous that I personally was nervous every time someone opened a door or went into a room. There are incredibly scary moments involving a baby monitor and one of the greatest “boo” moments I’ve ever seen, though director James Wan is a little too fond of using a loud musical chord during a jump scare-I’d hoped he would have been above such lazy stuff. Still, matters are incredibly tense till about half way through when the plot brings in some paranormal investigators and a psychic. The scares lessen for a bit and some don’t quite work, but a descent into ‘The Further’ is nicely done by just using fog and a variation on the main house, while the climax employs incredibly freaky ghosts which I can’t get out of my head [though the main demon reminded me too much of Darth Maul for my liking]. Overall this is a cracking horror movie, packed with frightening scenes and images [watch out for the creepiest use of photographs since Ringu!], and also pretty well acted and written. There is some nice humour in it too, though it’s the brilliantly employed terror that will stay with you, and I personally found it a truly intense experience. Unfortunately, I also have a feeling I’ll have trouble getting to sleep tonight!