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DVD: Insidious

Posted on the 12 July 2011 by Cinefilles @cinefilles
DVD: InsidiousPhoto: amazon.ca
Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey. Directed by James Wan. 103 minutes. 14A
I watch horror films in hopes of getting scared. And in the past 10 years, I've been scared twice. The first time, it was Signs in 2002, which you might say wasn't a horror but if you were as afraid of aliens as I am then you'd understand. The second time was Insidious. I was afraid to be alone in the house. I was afraid to turn the lights off at night. I was afraid of shadows in dark corners. And just when the fear was fading off, I watched it again.
Insidious isn't about the creepy kid on the poster and DVD cover at all, so please do not like that image dissuade you. This is not akin to Case 39 or The Omen at all. However, I can't tell you exactly what this film is about, because that's all part of the fun. But this is what I will tell you. Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson) have just moved into a new house but everything just seems a bit odd (Renai's books get pulled off shelves, she hears noises in the attic). And when their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) ends up in an unexplained coma, the oddities heighten into terror.
What really adds to the creepiness of the strange going-ons in the house is what I call the did-I-just-see-that effect. When Renai is out in the garden one day, she catches a dark shadowy figure through the window, dancing in her hallway. But when she runs to the next window, it's vanished. Kind of like when you're home alone and you think you see a shadow in the corner of your eye but when you take a closer look, there's nothing there. But maybe there was.
Rose Byrne in the lead is also very believable as a concerned but terrified mother who's desperately trying to convince her husband that some seriously scary stuff is going down when he's at work. (She's also been the every-genre actress lately. See: Bridesmaids and X-Men: First Class.)
But I must let you know, in order to be scared, you need to invest some belief. You need to be willing to second guess spooky shadows and jump at the creaks and cracks. If not, then you'll be able to sleep soundly at night. In the dark. Alone at home. And there's just no fun in that. A-

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