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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Insidious - A Meandering Jaunt into the Supernatural

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Released 09-14-2010

Watched 07-04-2023

Reviewed 07-10-2023

Watched on MAX Buy or Rent Now

"The reason I knew to call Elise in this situation, the reason I know her so well, is because I called her myself once, years ago, to help you"

Every 4th of July, my family diverges from the traditional fanfare of fireworks and barbecues, instead turning to the immersive world of cinema for our celebration. This year, we embarked on a thrilling journey into the realm of the supernatural, spending the day watching the first four installments of the Insidious movie franchise.

Insidious, directed by James Wan and released in 2010, aimed to breathe new life into the horror genre. The film is anchored by strong performances from Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as concerned parents trying to protect their family from a sinister presence haunting their home. While the film has its moments, it’s hampered by a plodding first act and a lack of the visceral frights usually associated with the horror genre.

One of the most apparent aspects of Insidious is how slow-paced the first part of the movie feels. For a horror film, it takes its time building the setting and relationships. While in some movies this might be appreciated for character development, here it feels like it drags on for too long without any significant scares or tension. The audience, eagerly awaiting to be thrilled, is instead met with a series of mundane household scenes and subtle insinuations of the supernatural. The balance between story development and fear-inducing content could have been better modulated in this segment.

Another aspect where Insidious misses the mark is in its ability to shock. As a PG-13-rated movie, it understandably tries to be accessible to a broader audience, including teenagers. However, this compromises its potency in the horror department. Where other R-rated horror films can resort to blood, gore, and intense scares to get the adrenaline pumping, Insidious has to make do with more subdued fright tactics. Although there are a few jump scares, they are not enough to satiate the appetite of a hardcore horror aficionado.

On the brighter side, Insidious does score points for its atmosphere and creative use of sound. The eerie background score and occasional moments of silence are effectively utilized to create an unsettling ambiance. Moreover, the latter part of the film picks up the pace and has a more engaging storyline as it delves deeper into the supernatural elements.

In conclusion, Insidious is a mixed bag. While the slow-burning first part may put off some viewers, those who stick around might find themselves immersed in the ghostly aura that pervades the second half of the film. However, if you’re looking for an intense, shock-inducing horror experience, the PG-13 rating means Insidious might not fully scratch that itch. It's an accessible horror film that is more suited to those who prefer a lighter touch of the supernatural.

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