[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B00GNXOO2I][/pullquote] The poster might as well say ˜Roll up, roll up and come see the miraculous rebirth of Hammer Horror.’ Insidious, starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson is about as old school a horror as it’s possible to get without being completely overblown. Even then it treads the line very carefully and allows itself to squeeze in every horror clichÃ© in the book. From the scary old woman at the start to the possessed child, the haunted house, the scary kid, the demon, the dream sequence and the horror slasher, Insidious crams in 60 years of horror lore into 2 hours and it makes no excuses along the way. The film-makers have avoided going for subtlety, which is evident from the honking opening music on the credits and retro type-face title, to the ˜as obvious as the baby monitor on the piano’ twists, everything is played for shocks or laughs.
Insidious tells the story of a couple Josh (Wilson) and Renai (a thoroughly unlikable Byrne) whose young son Dalton(who comes up with these names?) has an accident in the creepy attic and slips into a coma. The couple then begin to notice strange things happening in their house and the wife becomes convinced that it is haunted. At no point is it possible for you to believe in the plot or the less-than-convincing characters, but as any lover of horror will tell you, that really doesn’t matter. People don’t go on a rollercoaster for the flimsy plots that accompany them, they go for the adrenaline rush and the scares and this is where Insidious delivers in spades.
Insidious takes about half an hour to give you the first scare, but that’s enough time to build up the tension to a suitable level that when the sharp violin chord plays you are on high alert looking for the shock and it’s so good that it sets your heart racing and all of a sudden you’re engulfed in the fear. It’s also such a big scare that in the back of your mind you can’t help but think that’s as good as it gets, unfortunately for those feint of heart, there is at least another 5 individual scares dotted throughout Insidious. It leaves in such a confused state that by the time the spiritual helpers appear on the scene you’re so desperate for a laugh that even the preposterous becomes sublime, a sort of safety net in amongst the madness.
So hat’s off to everyone involved in Insidious, you clearly had a version for a commercial horror and you stuck to it, making sure to pepper it with genuine frights along the way. It’s by-the-numbers horror fare, but don’t let the silly exposition and overly long introduction fool you, this is a fairground attraction of a film and it is seriously fun.