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Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) are a happily married couple with three young children who have moved into their idyllic new suburban home. When tragedy strikes their young son, Josh and Renai begin to experience things in the house that are beyond explanation. Before long, their lives are turned upside down by demonic forces, hell-bent on terrorising their very existence. Forced to seek help and protect their family, they learn the terrifying truth…… it’s not the house that’s haunted but something far worse…
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It’s hardly worth going into detail regarding the plot, as I’m reasonably smug that I’ve summed it up sufficiently in my opening paragraph. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play the mum and dad. Yup, they’re happy, successful and have three children. They play the parts well from everyday doting parents to disbelieving and supernaturally-harassed protagonists and they do nothing to make you not want to root for them. Especially when one of their children slips into an unusual coma and his housebound ever after. But that’s when the haunting begins...
Instead of being sucked into the TV-dimension, he’s stuck in another afterlife and spirits want to get into our world via him. Those dastardly spirits (including one that looks like Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace – so it’s nice to see the poor Sith Lord can still get work after that depressing inclusion into the sci-fi franchise) follow the family from house to house until the mandatory local paranormal expert is called in to sort the spooks out.
Cue the resolution. I won’t spoil it as sometimes the family wins and sometimes they get horribly murdered and it ends on a downer, but, once again, the resolution follows. Like I say, this is ‘horror by the numbers’ but it’s good enough to watch. If you’re a horror fan then you’ve probably seen better, but that’s because you’ve probably got classic horror films among your DVD collection. However, you probably won’t see many – recent – horror films that create a creepy/tense atmosphere. Give it a go.
1 disc. Feature running time: 98 mins., Audio: Dolby digital 5.1, Widescreen version 16:9.
Region 2. Subtitles for the Hard of hearing (feature only).
* 'Horror 101: The exclusive seminar': a 10:01 mins. documentary about the story, concepts and ideas that led up to the making of the film.
* 'On set with Insidious': a 07:54 mins. behind-the-scenes featurette.
* 'Insidious entities': a 06:16 mins. featurette about the creepy and unnatural characters of this first chapter.
The film provides an interesting twist to the Haunted Houses genre. Made on a very low budget (some 1.5 million dollars) the film proved successful as a terrifying entertainment despite some limitations and clichéd patterns of the script. Astral projection is indeed a pretty much new and interesting concept in horror cinema and the film exploits this in a crafty and scary way, in my view. There are also a couple of truly creepy characters, specially the old woman in black who will surely become an unforgettably memory for anybody who sees this film.
If you like this one I urge you to check out "Insidious: Chapter 2" immediately.