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My first thoughts before watching this film was that since it is created by the minds of Saw and Paranormal Activity that it would be a decent horror film, which it was. The director of the first Saw film, James Wan, directed this film and the writer from the first Saw film wrote this film as well so it's not a bad duo to have in charge of this movie. The premise is simple, it follows a family of five who just recently moved into a new house. The oldest child, Dalton, in the family shortly after moving in the house has an accident in the attic and falls from a ladder but is seemingly fine from the fall. The next day the father, Josh, goes to wake up Dalton and finds him in a coma. No doctor can explain why their child is in a coma and Dalton's brother tells his mother, Renai, that at night he is scared because he sees Dalton walking around the house. A few nights pass and every night Renai becomes increasingly scared as she hears creepy noises and sees incredibly disturbing things within the house. They eventually get some help from paranormal experts who reveal to them that it isn't the house that's haunted, it's Daulton. Daulton's spirit is trapped in another dimension called the Further, a dimension filled with malevolent entities that is now trying to possess Daulton. This revelation would have meant so much more to the film if it wasn't in the trailer and it really is a shame because it would be that much more enjoyable and that much more suspenseful. The other problem with this movie is the music, it is so frequently over the top it makes the movie itself almost feel that it isn't taking itself seriously. Due to this it's almost as if it is trying to make a joke out of some of the scarier parts.
The acting in this film could have been much better. Rose Byrne does a good job of being the worried parent trying to keep everything together but she doesn't seem to generally care. It also doesn't help that she constantly looks dead throughout the movie. Patrick Wilson never seemed to really care throughout the movie, now granted his character was the one that didn't believe in paranormal occurrences and such but he was just to flat. Lin Shaye does a very good job with her character despite having limited screen time as she is introduced a little over half way through the movie. When her character comes into the fray is when the movie really begins to hit it's stride.
Goofy Scary Scene
Anyone thinking this movie would be more like Paranormal Activity should know that it is nothing like it, its much more like Poltergeist. It is simply a more comedic horror film due to the tone, music and some of the events later in the movie. Poltergeist is however, a much better horror film than this one but, Insidious is still a decent horror movie and better than most that have come out recently.
This movie could have been so much better if it didn't spoiler the big revelation about the son being possessed and if the background music wasn't so cheesy and overbearing. It also suffered for having some ridiculous scenes towards the end that almost completely ruined the film. The acting also could have been better but it still manages to be a decent horror movie. Would I recommend it to everyone? Probably not, I'd just tell you to watch Poltergeist or Paranormal Activity. So your best to just go ahead and watch one of those two.