WRETCHED REVIEWS: INSIDIOUS (2011)
Starring Rose Byrne, Patrick Watson and Lin Shaye
Directed by James Wan
Directed by Leigh Whannell
The fact that Insidious is the most profitable film of 2011 is heartening for those of us who appreciate original horror. This comeback from directing-writing team James Wan and Leigh Whannell – the minds behind the original Saw – is a clever twist on the well-worn haunted house genre, one which eschews the gore and degradation into which their franchise property fell.
Byrne and Watson star as young parents Josh and Renai whose son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a mysterious coma after their new house shows signs of haunting – except it’s not a coma and it’s not necessarily the house that’s haunted. Enter Elise (Shaye), a paranormal investigator who susses out the real reason behind their son’s malady, leading Josh and Renai into an alternate world filled with ghosts and demons.
It would criminal to say more about Leigh Whannell’s clever screenplay if you have not seen the film yet. Suffice it to say that the movie holds up on a second viewing and is best seen in pitch blackness with the volume turned up, as Wan and Whannell have a fondness for building tension via jump scares that pay off and chilling sound design.
The Insidious DVD includes a few well-done featurettes, including looks at the film’s demons and ghosts (“Insidious Entities”); a fun making-of; and “Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar,” which explores the film’s origins and place within horror history.