‘Insidious’ is scary good

Joseph Mandelbaum

“Insidious” is a 2011 horror film directed by James Wan. The film is a near masterpiece of the chilling with incredibly well-constructed tension. It stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne.

The plot begins with Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) having moved into a new house with their three children, two young boys and a baby. They seem to have the picture perfect life until their oldest child falls while climbing up a ladder in the attic. This begins the films premise with the child remaining in an medically unexplained coma.

After a series of disturbing supernatural events the parents decide to move houses but discover the supernatural force seems to follow them where they go. This leads them to question Josh’s past as a child and discover that their house isn’t haunted but rather their son is. Astral projection, ghosts, and demons all play into why the child is still within the coma.

The film is written and directed by Leigh Whannell and James Wan respectively, the team most well known for creating the first Saw film. This film though is completely different in that it maintains a PG-13 rating compared to Saw’s R rating for having no sex, nudity, little to no language, and very little blood. It’s plot also concerns itself with the supernatural as opposed to Saw’s comparatively more grounded premise.

The movie is by far one of the scariest of recent years with the writing, acting, pacing, and directing all working to build a feeling of sheer terror. With it’s jump scares to compliment the general atmosphere and mystery of the plot, the movie works, building a dread rather than relying on the grotesque. Its eeriness and suspenseful scenes make the film very creepy and chilling.

Due to the films critical and commercial success it has also spawned a sequel released last September If there is to be any detraction, though, it is that the last half dips slightly in quality compared to the first. All together the film is truly scary due to the well constructed nature of the plot and the excellent pacing of director James Wan.