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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Insidious

Insidious (2011)
Genre: Horror
Format: DVD
Director: James Wan

When it comes to horror movies, nothing is more insidious than poor execution and even poorer story concept so it is quite fitting that this movie is called Insidious. The screenwriter/actor Leigh Whannel is back in an attempt to write something better than the first three Saw movies and failed miserably. To be fair, he did okay with Dead Silence... at least for the second half of the movie. A note to James Wan - you don't have to direct everything that Whannel writes. It's time to fly solo, my friend.

Insidious is a confused mess of ideas that never really takes off because it wants to be so many things. Is it a tale of a haunted house? Is it a superhero story? Is it a ghost story? Is it science fiction? Is it a dark fantasy? Is it a spiritual exploration? Heck if I know. Is it a bad movie? Oh yes it is. Basically, a little boy went into a coma after falling down a broken ladder. The doctor was not able to explain to his parents the cause of his comatose state - perhaps a concussion maybe doc? - and it was later revealed that it had something to do with the separation between the body and the soul. Oh brother. The film takes on this theme very seriously and that is all and well if not for the extremely uneven pacing and betrayed potentials. The first half of the movie was filled with a thick atmosphere of dread and there were definitely some truly horrifying moments when you get to see little fragments of spiritual beings manifesting themselves on screen. The second half of the movie went all out crazy with showing us what it means to be on the other side of the veil beyond the physical realm, a place that makes little to no sense even according to the film's own established rules. A note to Whannel - if you ran out of ideas midway while writing a screenplay, perhaps its best to start fresh with a new one.

If Wan and Whannel really wanted to make more money, here's an idea for them: Why not team up to make more Saw films? It feels a bit empty this year now that the Saw films have been discontinued. Since the sequels have been very, very successful, it seems like a good place for the duo to go back to. Then again, perhaps the franchise should be revived by more capable hands. The two out of five rating is for Lin Shaye flat-out stealing the show as a medium in what is definitely one of the worst horror movies ever made.

RATING: 2 out of 5

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