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95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary as hell... then not...
Not many films scare me these days. Mostly it's all gore or cheap shocks. But gut-churning scares are something of a rarity. Insidious, the new film from Saw director, James Wan, has chills and creeps a-plenty, with the obligatory jump-out-of-your-seat shocks thrown in for good measure.

Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) have three kids, two...
Published on 16 July 2011 by Mr. S. Johnson

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, rehashed Poltergeist clone
How the makers of 'Poltergeist' haven't sued the makers of 'Insidious' is a mystery nearly as big as why James Wan is entrusted with directing them. This is ridiculously similar with the exception perhaps of the best element of the former, the Indian burial ground backdrop, omitted with instead a much lamer 'astral projection' novelty insertion instead.
It's not at...
Published 4 months ago by All of them Witches


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95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary as hell... then not..., 16 July 2011
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
Not many films scare me these days. Mostly it's all gore or cheap shocks. But gut-churning scares are something of a rarity. Insidious, the new film from Saw director, James Wan, has chills and creeps a-plenty, with the obligatory jump-out-of-your-seat shocks thrown in for good measure.

Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) have three kids, two young boys and a baby girl. Soon after moving into a new house, weird stuff starts happening: strange noises, glimpses of figures, the usual. When Rose is attacked by a spectral figure and their son, Dalton, ends up in a coma-that's-not-really-a-coma, they decide to move house again.

Obviously this doesn't help and Josh's mum (Barbara Hershey) calls in a psychic, Elise, and her team to help. Turns out it's not the houses that were haunted, but Dalton. You see, the young scamp can astral project himself to a place Elise calls The Further. Unfortunately, he's strayed too far and got lost, unable to find his way back to his body, which is now an empty vessel attracting spirits and demons like flies around... you know.

Luckily, the ability to project astrally is genetic (hard science!), so Josh has to go in and bring back his son before the big bad can get his literal claws into him.

Doesn't sound too scary, does it? Actually sounds a bit like a rip-off of Poltergeist. Yeah, well, it is a bit. But it's a flippin' scary one!

From the outset, you are peering into dark corners, wondering if you saw something there. Was that a face at the window? Did somebody walk by that open door just then? There's plenty of that and all's well and good while that's going on. It's when the astral projection sub-plot arrives that things go a bit awry.

The movie is terrifying right until Josh enters his astral state and then it all gets a bit Twilight Zone. Sure, there are some scares to be had and the demon is petrifying to look at (kind of like Darth Maul on a really bad day), but it all seems removed from the main body of the film, as though they came up short in the writing and had to add another fifteen pages to pad it out. As I said, a bit too much like Poltergeist.

Apart from that, however, I really, really enjoyed Insidious and I don't mind telling you, it did creep me out so much that I contemplated leaving the landing light on (I didn't in the end and every tiny sound in the house suddenly became amplified a zillion percent!). One of the producers of the film was Oren Peli, he of Paranormal Activity fame, and there was more than a hint of that film in Insidious.

By the way, watch the film and try to guess the budget... I'll wait here until you get back.... Done that? Not bad, eh? Anyway, did you guess the budget? Me neither, but apparently, the budget for Insidious was a paltry $1.5million. A million and a half bucks!! That wouldn't pay for the bowls of M&Ms on a big studio picture. For that alone, I am willing to cut the film a whole bunch of slack and recommend it to anybody who wants the willies scaring out of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, rehashed Poltergeist clone, 3 Sept. 2014
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
How the makers of 'Poltergeist' haven't sued the makers of 'Insidious' is a mystery nearly as big as why James Wan is entrusted with directing them. This is ridiculously similar with the exception perhaps of the best element of the former, the Indian burial ground backdrop, omitted with instead a much lamer 'astral projection' novelty insertion instead.
It's not at all scary though that is very subjective as I find very few things scary these days; there is some success with creating mood and characterisation but it has all been seen and done before much better.
If you've seen Poltergeist then you've seen all the elements here done much better, if you haven't seen it then go and see it instead of this. I think these sort of films are for people born in the 1980's onwards, just a rehash of ideas and themes for people who haven't had the benefit of existing when some modicum of originality existed.
The first half of the film was done okay it just lurched towards daftness for the last third or so. Hated that really naff phrase 'the further' to describe the spooky ghost parallel universe world type thing where some guy in a homemade halloween outfit grinds his nails.
The extras mainly seemed to consist of Wan expressing how innovative Insidious is due to its Out of the body experience element without having the artistic integrity to at least quote Poltergeist as an inspiration for the rest of it. Performances were fine, mostly. Some creepyness sure but very average all round.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'A TRULY CHILLING TALE', 12 Sept. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Insidious [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Must admit i had read a mixed bag of reviews at the time of it's cinema release, therefore was unsure of what to expect.
However, i have to say this was one of the most chilling and tense films i've seen in recent years, it did run out of steam a little toward the end sadly, but, it's worth a watch at the very least.
The story tells of a family who's son had fallen, seemingly into a coma after the fall.
When unexplained things start to happen around the home along with images of persons not really there 'Renai' persuades her husband to move home, which they do, however the problems they experienced in the old house are still with them.
they call in a team that specialise in strange happenings, but the answers they are getting are not what they want to hear.
Somehow the problem is within their son who remains in a coma, they are being told he's not in a coma but in another world, alive, but his concious being is being threatened.......can they bring him back with help. ?
Maybe watching it early, if you are a little nervous, just so you can watch something after that's ''nice'' .....just to avoid ''nightmares''
This was a pretty decent watch, however the follow-up, for me, at least, fell well short of expectation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's 4 Stars for 'Insidious'....just! (with slight spolier in 'The Fors'), 30 May 2011
By 
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
I've started writing this review about six times because I still can't quite make up my mind about this latest offering.

With the obvious 'Saw' and 'Paranormal Activity' connections, 'Insidious' had a lot to live up to. I'm going to try and give you the pros and cons and let you make your mind up. Why? Because I can't decide whether this is cheesy rubbish or actually a refreshing return to good, old-fashioned tension (non-blood and guts) horror. This will be quite cathartic for me and hopefully of interest to you!

The 'Fors'....

* For all that this smacks of another creepy kid movie, it is different to most. There are elements of 'Poltergeist' Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] but in the main has found it's niche in an otherwise crowded sub-genre.

* I like the fact that 'Insidious' steers away from 'Paranormal Activity' in that for all the jumpy bits and great tension, it does go beyond that (especially in the last half an hour) and plunges into Stephen King-esque fantasy horror. The two main characters find themselves in another dimension, fending off ghouls that are trying to inhabit the little boy's body; something that you wouldn't have expected during the first hour.

* Generally, nothing is wrong with the story, character development and acting

The 'Againsts'....

* The 'ghosts' aren't scary at all and they are all full-bodied (as opposed to apparitions). At times it looked a bit like an A-Level drama play

* There is the odd cringe-worthy moment in the script!

* The pair of ghost hunters are meant to add some comic relief. Unfortunately this wasn't needed, came across as annoying and detracted from the high tension levels

* 'Lazy' scares! There are jumpy bits, but I found myself jumping more at the 'silence followed by a booming sound effect' more than I did the scene itself.

* I haven't really thought about 'Insidious' since!

All in all, I say that 'Insidious' is pretty good, but has too many flaws to be classed as a 'great' horror film. That said, it is definitely worth a look and is both entertaining and enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insidiously spooky, 11 Jan. 2015
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
A family moves into a new home, and spooky things start happening. Eventually they realize the truth -- they are being haunted by a malevolent supernatural force.

It's a plot so common that it has become a cliche, but there is still some creative juice to be squeezed from it -- and in "Insidious," it scares the pants off you. James Wan (the guy who gave us the original "Saw" and "Dead Silence") crafts a slow, eerie drift through a ghostly nightmare, which is only flawed because sometimes it feels like he's throwing every single scary thing imaginable into it.

Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) have just moved into a lovely new house with their three children, and everything seems fine.... until their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma, and the doctors don't know why. Then weird things start happening -- Dalton's brother reveals that Dalton sleepwalks through the house every night, faces appear in the windows, and a mysterious specter attacks Renai.

So they do the sensible thing: move to a new house. But then Josh's mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) spots a horrifying figure lurking near Dalton's body, and they realize that whatever was haunting them before has followed them.

So Lorraine calls in an old psychic friend, Elise (Lin Shaye); Josh believes that she's just a fraud, but she soon shows that she can detect the Darth Maul-looking creature that is haunting Dalton. It turns out that Dalton's soul is lost in a spiritual in-between zone that Elise calls The Further -- and if they don't save him soon, something terrible will steal his body.

In a lot of ways, "Insidious" reminds me of "Poltergeist" -- a family, a new home, a terrifying ghostly presence that is stalking a gifted child, and a parent who is forced to go into an "in between" death dimension. And like "Poltergeist," this movie takes well-worn ghost story cliches and makes them scary once more... just by doing them really well.

Even before the spooky stuff begins, director James Wan gives the movie an eerie atmosphere. Every scene is full of pale grey light, with lots of empty shadowy rooms and sudden bursts of loud wild sound (including "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," which is terrifying enough). And he gives you the feeling that something is lurking in the corner just out of sight -- something cold and hungry, something utterly merciless. Even worse, it's not alone.

Gradually, Wan builds up a sense of building horror, throwing in glimpses of dead-faced men, gas masks, and finally a venture into the Further itself. This is basically everything that James Wan finds terrifying -- a hellish, eerie dimension filled with the grinning puppet-like dead, victrolas piping eerie music, and a demon who looks like a Darth Maul minotaur. It doesn't sound scary, but it will have you clawing the arms of your chair.

The only problem with the Further is... well, it feels like Wan flung every single scary thing he could come up with into the Further, without much of a plan. It's wildly effective on a visceral level, but it leaves you wondering how some parts of it (the laughing kid, for instance) gel together with Darth Maul Demon.

Sympathetic characters in horror movies are about as common as frogs who can do algebra, so it's refreshing that... well, pretty much everybody in this movie is likable. While Josh seems insensitive at times, it's gradually revealed that there's a reason why he shies away from all things supernatural, and Patrick Wilson really gives a powerful, intense performance as a guy desperate to save his son, yet resistant to what could save him.

Byrne is at the other end of the spectrum -- Renai is crumbling slowly under the constant onslaught of specters and scares, and Byrne captures her raw terror for her family. Shaye and Hershey give solid performances as well... and my only complaint is that the baby is ALWAYS crying.

With excellent direction and a very talented cast, "Insidious" is a haunting ghost story that builds up to visceral, nightmarish terror -- and while the horror seems random sometimes, it's still very effective.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly scary horror film!, 9 Oct. 2011
By 
C. Fletcher - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Insidious [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Nowadays I often watch horror films claiming to be the scariest film yet blah blah blah when they're really just tame and add nothing to the genre. Once again I watched Insidious with same casual expectations, however this time I was pleasantly surprised. Insidious is a horror that does not simply reel off every cliche and idea one by one until the end credits, oh no. In this film, there is a real feeling of dread and terror as each new scene approaches. There will always be people that say something isn't scary (usually because they are too vain or embarrassed to admit such a thing), and many will say it about this movie. In this case they would be wrong to do so, and this film does not deserve to be thrown in with the usual mountain of over hyped pap that is available. This film is scary. Very scary. At times I found myself sitting with my jaws agape because some of the shocks & scares just hit the spot so brilliantly. I won't go into detail about the story or characters - you don't need to know any of these details - just go into it with an open mind and sit back & enjoy. Very highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent horror yarn but nothing special, 3 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
Insidious may be a 15 certificate in the UK, but you can't help but remember that the film went through over in the US as a PG 13. Horror sometimes just isn't horror. Insidious is not original and there is no blood. There are a few very good jump out scenes and the first 30 minutes are quite superb. But soon after it all falls apart, and simply becomes uninteresting. The two bungling paranormal dudes, hoof around too much and take that element of horror out of the picture, hence the low certification rating. Still uneasy at times, but the real fault lies with our two main characters, Barabra Hershey and Patrick Wilson, there just too wooden. Lin Shaye, a horror veteran of sorts has the face for a good horror film, and she is very good. The film just lumbers on for about 20 minutes too long- redemmed somewhat by a good ending. But Insidious wants to make us jump every five minutes, and most of those scenes go down like a lead balloon. Certaintly not a bad film, but nothing special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 13 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this DVD had me very scared and on the edge of my seat which is what I want from a horror film
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary stuff, 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
If you like to get scared, watch this but just don't watch it alone! One of the best I would rate that I have seen in a few years!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK nothing great, 23 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Insidious [DVD] (DVD)
The film was enjoyable as long as you don't critique it for a potential OSCAR award! The budget wasn't very high which is shown in the last 30 mins or so but on the whole it was a fresh take on the supernatural genre and I did enjoy it, maybe wouldn't watch it again for a while as there were a few frustrating parts but definitely not the worst film ever made.

Would have really benefited from a higher budget and there was a few scary parts.
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Insidious [DVD] by James Wan (DVD - 2011)
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