I like horror movies a lot. But I prefer the ones without all the disgusting overkill of blood, gore & guts spilling around all over the place. That is just gross. But I like a good scare. Insidious promised to give me that and so I though Paranormal Activity + Saw, should be good! Insidious is a psychological horror film written by Leigh Whannell (who wrote Saw), directed by James Wan, and co-produced by Oren Peli and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye and Barbara Hershey. How well did this movie fare against the current fare of horror movies? Let’s find out.
We see a darkened room with a small boy sleeping on a bed and a scary old woman lurking in the background. Cut to present day and we have Renai and Josh Lambert who have just moved into a new house with their 3 kids – young boys Dalton, Foster and baby daughter. While going through some old photos of Renai as a kid, Dalton asks why there aren’t any pic of his father as a boy. Renai answers that he was probably very camera shy as a child. A few nights later Dalton sees something that scares him and falls down a ladder while in the attic. Although he appears to be fine, he falls into a coma the next day and at the hospital the doctors cannot explain it. After 3 months, Dalton is moved home where he can be monitored while still in a coma.
Soon after that disturbing events happen at the house. Foster is scared to sleep in the room next to his brother. Renai soon believes that the house is haunted after she sees scary figures and other unexplainable things that even Josh can’t deny. They move to a new house but more scary things happen there. Scared they have Josh’s mother Lorraine contact a friend, Elise Reiner, who deals with paranormal activities. She arrives with her associates Specs & Tucker and asks to go around the house. In Dalton’s room she sees a figure and describes it to Specs who shows the Lamberts a drawing of a black figure with a red face and dark hollow eyes on the ceiling of Dalton’s room. Josh is skeptical but relents when he see a similar drawing that Dalton did a few days before he fell into a coma. Elise explains that the house is not haunted but that rather Dalton is! She tells them that as the ability to astral project while sleeping and that he has been doing it since he was very young.
Apparently Dalton wasn’t scared as he believes that he was dreaming but he traveled further into other worlds and is now lost in a land called ‘The Further’, which is a place for tormented souls of the dead. While the souls crave another chance at life, there are also demons that want to want to possess Dalton’s body to cause malice. They run a session to contact Dalton’s spirit but also run into the demon and 3 other spirits who want Dalton’s body. After the session Elisse & Lorraine reveal that Josh had the same ability as a child and during his astral projection he was terrorized by an evil spirit during his childhood. Lorraine shows them a few photos of Josh as a child with a shadowy old woman coming closer & closer to him in each photo. This explains why there were no photos of his childhood and why Josh hates being photographed. Lorraine had called Elise to help Josh fight the spirit but Josh forgot about it as young children tend to do. Elise suggests that Josh try to use his ability to find and help return Dalton’s soul.
Josh does so and goes to the Further and finds his son’s spirit, who is a prisoner of the red faced demon. Josh frees Dalton and the two flee back to the house. On the way Josh sees the old lady and confronts her, telling her to leave him alone. Moments later, Josh and Dalton both awaken, just as all the spirits vanish. A starving Dalton is taken to the kitchen by Lorraine and Renai as he eats solid food for the first time in months. Elise’s team are packing their equipment in their van, while in the living room Elise senses something wrong with Josh. She quickly snaps a photo of him and he goes into a rage and chokes her to death. When Renai comes to the living room, she finds only the camera there and is shocked to see a Polaroid of the old woman, meaning she has possessed Josh. As Renai looks at the photo in despair, Josh comes from behind and places his hand on her shoulder as Renai gasps.
Cool movie, quite scary in places although the red faced demon looked more than ridiculous when we finally see him. Lin Shaye as Elise is great as is the beautiful Rose Bryne. Good for some scares. 8 outta 10!