I’ve never been a huge fan of possession films; since The Exorcist, it seems they haven’t changed much; all the one’s I’ve watched followed the same predictable pattern: girl gets possessed, does bad things, priests called, demon cast out. We got it. Good always wins – and that’s cool. But can we change up the formula, just a bit?
Yes. Yes we can. Insidious isn’t your average ghostly problem flick. Its darker, scarier and more creative than those crappier-by-the-year knock offs Hollywood loves to pump out. This movie has it all: great writing, amazing sets, plenty of spooks, a spine-tingling score and some damn fine acting.
Rose Byrne (Ellen Parsons, Damages) is phenomenal as Renai Lambert, the slowly-going-out-of-her-mind mother to comatose Dalton (Ty Simpkins) who knows there’s something not kosher happening in her new house. Not that her husband (Patrick Wilson) is ready to believe her.
But hubby’s disbelief doesn’t make the baddies any less dangerous. While Dalton continues his coma-time, things keep getting weirder and weirder to the point the whole family hightails it out of the (OMG amazing) house and takes up new residence. Since when are horror movie characters so damn smart? They tried running away from the terrifying things out to get them.
Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t the house that was haunted. Oops.
Byrne (whose been at the top of my kick ass actors list since she went face-to-face with Glenn Close) and Simpkins (this is the performance that turned me into a fan) are the standouts in an amazing cast; Wilson, as the desperate-to-save-his-family man, does an amazing job as Josh tries to reconcile his non-belief status with his determination to save his family; Lin Shaye, as the psychic Elise Rainier, is put through the ringer as she attempts (and eventually succeeds) to contact the other side; Barbara Hershey, as Lorraine Lambert, is terrific as the knows-more-than-she-lets on worried grandma. Even young Andrew Astor does a fine job as Dalton’s baby brother, Foster.
Honestly, after seeing that cast, do you need any more reasons to watch? The films the best spooker since Linda Blair went full on twist and way underrated. So do yourself a favor and watch it now. Then make sure to check out Insidious: Chapter 2; the sequel continues the terrifying take of the Lamberts and is easily the equal of its predecessor.