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Carl the Critic: Reviews "Insidious" [Caution: Contains Plot Spoilers]

Updated on June 11, 2013

Carl the Critic: Reviews "Insidious"

Expectations/Experience: I love horror movies. I am what you call a "Horror Movie Freak," where I love to watch the same cliché stories over and over again (because let's face it aren't all horror movies the same? Isn't there always an evil force that a group of people say "Let's go check it out," and "(We)'ll be right back," only to not return? Okay, well not always but still all horror movies are the same.) But "Insidious" stands out, mainly because it's a PG-13 rated horror movie. I have seen a lot of horror films that were not scary, but had gore, graphic, bloody scenes, with the occasional some nudity and sex. But this trend came about with the Slasher films as oppose to movies like "Insidious" which is more of a psychological thriller.

STORY: The story is about a family who has just moved in to a new house. Then one day a boy, his name is Dalton, falls off a ladder had hits his head. His parents assume everything is all right until the next morning when Dalton's Dad, his name is Josh, finds him in a coma. The Doctors can't do anything, and then we jump to 3 months later and Dalton has to eat his meals through a tube up his nose. Then the mother, Renai, starts to notice strange things are happening in the house. She hears voices of people she cannot see, when she does see someone they enter into her room, and someone (or like the cliché "or something") is in the house that shouldn't be there. So then as a response, the family moves into another house but that does nothing except make things creepier. So then Renai and Josh seek the help of Elise, an old friend of Josh's mother who tells them that their son is not in a coma at all, but something even more...INSIDIOUS.

CRITIQUE: If you are a horror movie freak like me, you probably know what I am going to say about the story... It is hackneyed. This is your typical ghost story flavored with every single horror movie reference made within the past 50 years. Creepy house, creepy kids, scary dreams, Jigsaw makes an appearance in the movie for some reason, and it's just one of those ghost stories that we have all come to love. But as cliché as it is I rather enjoyed. I wasn't expecting much, but it certainly went beyond what I expected to see. The fact that it is PG-13 impresses me, because in this day and age it's hard to make a good horror film without at least an R rating, but for me "Insidious" was actually more than enough.

It was not scary as it was shocking. There is one scene where Josh's mother tells Renai and Josh about the nightmare she had and then looks up and sees the demon from her dream standing behind Josh, and that made the girls in the back scream and peed their pants.

The film seems long and slow at times but some scenes make up for it by being very creepy, but also very funny. There was one scene where Renai is playing a song on her phonograph, but then the song randomly changes to "Tip Toe Through the Tulips," while a creepy ghost child is dancing happily to it.

To be perfectly fair, the cinematography was not that impressive. The camera was hand held the entire time and most of the shots were about 20 degrees off of the main focus of the scene. One scene is the shot of the demon but he is so far to the lower left of the screen that I had to crane my neck just to get a good look at him and say "yep that's Darth Maul alright."

But the make up and costumes were my favorite part of the movie. It did what it needed to do, and it served each character well. Even though it is not perfect "Insidious," was a fun film for me, but in order to really enjoy it you have to act like you've never seen a horror movie before and truly believe in what you are seeing is real.

OVERALL: I award "Insidious" with an 8.0 out of 10, because I feel like it was a good horror film that was fun and refreshing for me to watch, but it was so clichéd and had some sloppy cinematography.

SPOILERS: Although I do not like to spoil movies for people sometimes people want to know about a movie without actually seeing it so I am going to finish telling you the story in case you don't feel like seeing it:

Dalton's spirit has the ability to leave his body as he sleeps, and visit other worlds. But now his spirit is lost, and is having a hard time trying to get back to his body. After 3 months of not being in your own body, other spirits, some of whom are deadly, vicious, and want to experience life, are trying to possess Dalton's body. The Demon character that Josh's mother saw is trying to possess Dalton's body and make him do evil things. So Elise and everyone comes together and try to get Dalton back into his body before the Demon. But then they fail, because now the Demon has captured Dalton and chained him in his room. Now it comes to Josh's attention that he too has the ability to do the same thing but when he was little he had a creepy old lady who wanted to possess him. She is revealed in every photo that is taken of him getting closer and closer until the last photo actually showed a hand. So now Josh has to go into the spirit world and retrieve his son, before either of their bodies could be possessed.

He enters the spirit world, goes back to the old house (from the beginning of the movie) and rescues Dalton, that is until the Creepy Old Lady finds Josh and tries to possess his body. Dalton makes it back to his body, and after Josh has a face off with the Creepy Old Lady he wakes up. But get ready for this because this part is the main spoiler of the whole film that officially makes it cliché. It turns out that the Creepy Old Lady actually finally possess Joshes body and this is revealed in a photograph taken by Elise who is killed shortly afterwards. Renai finds out about this and then "Josh" puts a hand on her shoulder and says, "I'm here honey." And then she turns around, she reacts, and then it cuts to black.

What about you?

If you saw "Insidious" What did you think?

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    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      I appreciate your insightful comment thatmovieguy71, and I'm glad you liked the review :)

    • profile image

      thatmovieguy71 5 years ago

      Very nice review! I just recently saw Insidious and I agree with a good portion of your review. I liked the fact that the "horror" aspect of the movie built slowly - it developed naturally. The acting was very good also. One of the main things I look for in a horror movie is the number of genuine scares. Insidious, for me, had three or four really scarey moments. I thought the scariest scene was when the female psychic looked up over Dalton's bed and sees the demon and chillingly describes his appearance to her partner.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      I appreciate your honesty, and thank you for your input.

    • profile image

      Kamal 5 years ago

      Excellent review of the movie itself but I cannot agree that it was a "good" movie. I thought it failed in many ways... It was supposed to be a Horror film... Instead they gave us a reason to sleep.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      There are things to hate about Insidious, and I can see why people may not like it. Thank you for your comment and insight Textured Ideas, I appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 6 years ago

      8 out of 10 - really? I thought Insidious was possibly the worst movie I've ever seen. I was bored to tears and I feel as if it made a complete mockery out of the concept of Astral Projection. Each to their own though eh?

      I hate the film but love your critical review, you really discussed each area carefully. You have a great writing style! Look forward to reading more from you.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      (About "Paranormal Activity 3") To be honest I've never seen the first one yet, but I have been meaning to for sometime now.

      (About "Insidious") I can understand why some people may have a hard time enjoying it but for Horror Movie Freaks such as myself will enjoy it for what it is.

      Thanks for stopping Stevennix2001.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 6 years ago

      Hmm...interesting opinion on the film. I'll definitely have to re-watch it again, as there seems to be things you pointed out in the spoiler section that I might have missed the first go around. However, I didn't really care for this movie personally, but to each their own is what I always say.

      However, I did enjoy reading your review on this movie, and be sure to keep up the good work as always. By the way, have you seen the new "Paranormal Activity" film yet?

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Thank you darlynn86 :)

    • darlynn86 profile image

      darlynn86 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Awesome movie, great review!

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      lol, thank you Cogerson.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Nice review...I most be slipping I had not even heard of this movie until I saw it opened #3 at the box office, I will probably wait until its DVD release....voted up and useful