Review: Insidious (2010)

insidious movie poster

“It’s not the house that is haunted. It’s your son.”
– Elise Reiner

The Lambert family moves into a new home to start fresh. Renai (Rose Byrne) and her husband, Josh (Patrick Wilson) have new plans and ideas for their lives. Renai is to work on her music more, and Josh remains a teacher at a school. They have two sons, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) and Foster (Andrew Astor), as well as a baby. The home seems to be perfect, but Renai and Josh’s relationship seems a little strained. One night after work while they are all sitting in the family room, Dalton starts screaming after having fallen off of the unstable ladder in the attic, but he seems alright, and so they think nothing further of it. However, the next day Dalton doesn’t come down for breakfast and Josh goes to investigate only to find his son inexplicably comatose.

insidious family

“I just want things to be different in this house. I just had such a bad day. I’m scared nothing is gonna change.” – Renai Lambert

The doctors cannot help him whatsoever, and soon the family has to accept that it seems that Dalton will not be waking up anytime soon, though there is nothing wrong with him. Dalton is returned home with a hospital bed and all the equipment necessary to keep him nourished and all. Renai is becoming bitter, and as bad as it is, matters are made worse when Josh starts to “work late” all the time because he cannot deal with his home situation. Renai starts hearing strange things in the house, and is worried when Foster tells her that he wants another room seeing as it freaks him out when Dalton walks around at night. A nurse is helping Renai with Dalton one day, and after she leaves Renai discovers a bloody handprint on Dalton’s sheets, confirming her suspicions of something being wrong. Everything that can start going wrong in the house does, and Josh and Renai are at opposing ends as to what to do about it.

insidious demon

“I know someone who can help, if you’re willing to ask.” – Lorraine Lambert

The answer becomes clear when they move into a new home. The house had to be evil, had to be haunted. Their newfound hope is stamped out when Rose starts hearing and seeing things that were very much the same in the previous house in the new one. Josh seems to think she is not all together, but his mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) says that Renai is not mad, she has had bad dreams and that something dark and evil has expressed his desire of wanting Dalton’s body. Dalton is violently attacked in his bedroom and Josh relents and allows his mother to call for Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), a woman who will theoretically be able to help them with whatever is going on.  She sends a team to investigate, and they establish quickly that there is a problem. Elise figures that Dalton is an exceptional astral projector that has travelled too far into another spiritual world that she calls The Further, and that he thinks he is dreaming and does not know he is no longer with his body. The malevolent spirits want the connection between his soul and body to break so that they can take hold of it and use it for evil.

insidious dalton sleeping but wanted

“I can’t have somebody coming into our home and telling us the reason our son is in a coma is because his soul has floated off somewhere in another dimension.” – Josh Lambert

Who will go to bring Dalton back? Is anyone experienced enough to save the child? What has been going on with Dalton in this spiritual world? Will he be able to hold on long enough to not have his body infested with evil? Will the family ever go back to normality? Can Dalton wake up again and continue life, or will he forever be scarred by the events he has been involved with?

A 4/10 for Insidious. I will likely be very unpopular due to this, but I intensely disliked this movie. I enjoyed Patrick Wilson, but nothing and nobody else really after that. The movie had some stuff going for it initially, but I feel that anything and everything that Wan built up to (which was flimsy at best) was completely discarded when the family moved to the new home. The music was something that worked and then didn’t, it was inconsistent. It pushed too hard to be odd, different and to set you on edge, but it went from having chilling moments to just being too loud and annoying. The decay started slowly in the new home, them the slide began and soon after it was simply an avalanche. The plot holes, the ludicrous story, the way that too many jump scares and freaky, creepy things were trying to be squeezed into far too short a time frame. I never understood why everyone hyped so much about this one. I was really looking forward to seeing something new, something fresh, something freaky again and this is all that I got. I found it boring, constricting and incredibly predictable. It was one of the biggest let downs ever. Truly not worth the watch or the hype it generated – and how that came to be is still beyond me. I gave this movie another watch because I was told that I was far too judgemental the first time that I saw it, but watching it again I actually think I like it even less.

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32 thoughts on “Review: Insidious (2010)

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Zoe. In hindsight, when thinking of the sequel, this movie doesn’t look half-bad. I just wish they kept to the slow, melodic scares of the first-half, rather than going all full-blown and crazy at the end.

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Dan. I agree with you completely, the film started out just fine then went a little cooked and then I really just didn’t like it anymore. I have not even seen the second one seeing as I disliked this one so much. Sounds like I should just give it a skip!

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  2. Joseph@thecinemamonster says:

    ….I…I don’t know what to say. I mean, I thought we were friends, Zoe. How can you dislike Insidious? The entire segment with “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” then switching to “Nuvole Bianche” is one of the best horror scenes ever!

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  3. theipc says:

    LOL – I didn’t like this either – well – I kind of liked the first half even though it was FULL of plot holes but the last bits were just stupid and ruined everything for me. My plan is to watch the second one this week…

    you rock!

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      • theipc says:

        I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but I try and put out something new on Fridays. I’ll look tomorrow to see if there are other options (crosses fingers) but that might have to be it…. O_o

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  4. caragale says:

    Oh bummer! Sorry you didn’t care for this one, Zoe! I’m actually quite fond of this first one. But the second…well, if you didn’t like this, stay far, far away from that. Hahaha. Nice review!

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  5. Mark Walker says:

    I’m with you on this one Zoe. I know it has a fervent following but I’m not one of them. It started well but soon fell into ridiculous territory. Didn’t care much at all for it.

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  6. Dan says:

    As a fan of haunted house/paranormal movies I went into this hoping for an entertaining scare from a once talented director. What I got was a bunch of cliches and a terrible last 20 minutes. I did like elements of it but overall Insidious was average at best. I certainly have no intention of watching it again.

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    • Zoë says:

      I agree with you! I really didn’t like this and was terribly unimpressed. I tried it the second time after having told I was too harsh, but really, nothing changed!

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