Friday, May 13, 2011

Insidious 2/5
Starring: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson

Directed by: James Wan

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their son in a supernatural realm called The Further.

I held off torrenting this because it recieved a decent reception from critics. It's hard to come by horror movies that actually do well on a wider scale like that, so i thought it'd be worth my while to check this out on the big screen. Plus, the trailer was impressive. I wish it could have lived up to my expectations though based on the reviews i had read, sadly, it didn't.

Insidious stars off really well. Right from the opening credits, you feel like you're in for something creepy and interesting. The entire first half of the film is executed perfectly, with some nice slow pacing and a few genuinely creepy scares. I did jump a couple times, and i was loving the sense of dread growing throughout the story. Once the film starts heading into the second half of the story however, we lose all sense of tension and scares, and start watching a completely different movie all together.
The movie takes a dramatic turn, and goes from being a slow burning haunted house thriller, to an over the top demon fantasy adventure. At first i was surprised by the sudden switch in tone, but thought maybe the film would take more of a horror fantasy route, similar to Poltergeist [which is a great movie]. I certainly loved the introduction of the demon character, and seeing it appear behind people and in dreams was rather startling.
Sadly, an hints at Insidious being Poltergesit 2.0 were quickly washed away once we enter the realm of 'The Further'.

At that point in the movie, everything was an over the top mess. The story change wasn't the problem, i accepted the fact that we were heading in more of a fantasy direction, but the director seemed to lose any sense of what he was actually trying to do at this point and it all started feeling disjointed and uneven.
A whole group of new and unintentionally hilarious spirits were introduced into the story, and rather than being exciting or creepy, it was all just silly and almost like a horror parody. The spirits looked like extras from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video, it was hard to take any of it seriously. The demon they perfectly presented as a ghastly figure in the first half of the film, all of a sudden became some sort of ridiculous cheesy movie monster, at one point it even sat at a sewing machine making clothes for string puppets [don't ask]. It was all over the place.

It was frusturating watching Insidious because it showed a lot of potential. There are some great things in the movie, but it all gets so muddled by the end, that i was laughing rather than feeling scared at anything i was seeing. The casting is good, and some of the creature design was nicely done, especially with the demon. Some of the creature design howeverwas just way too cheesy, and the movie didn't know what the hell it wanted to be. At one point we are even introduced to 2 ghost hunters, who for whatever reason were meant to provide some un-needed comic relief, it just didn't fit the tone of the movie at all.

If you want an entertaining horror fantasy that knows how to mix atmosphere with over the top visuals, watch Poltergeist. Insidious however is a wasted opportunity filled with great ideas that sadly don't know what direction to go in.

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