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BD Review: Another Look at James Wan’s ‘Insidious’

This past summer Bloody Disgusting caught the world premiere screening of Saw co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Insidious (review here) and loved it.

In the film starring Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, and Barbara Hershey, a young family makes the terrifying discovery that the body of their comatose boy has become a magnet for malevolent entities, while his consciousness lies trapped in the dark and insidious realm known as The Further.

New BD stringer Lianne Spiderbaby was also on hand and asked if she could submit her thoughts on the Poltergeist-esque thriller, which you’ll find by reading beyond the break. Also note that the version that we saw will be vastly different than what you see in theaters on April 1st as Wan went back for some hefty additional photography.
James Wan’s Insidious
By. Lianne Spiderbaby

There are not enough words to express how much I loved this film. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Insidious is frightening, creepy, disturbing, unsettling, engaging, and exhilarating. I had no idea what to expect, and the film blew my mind. Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell have created one of the most unique and passionate horror films this year, all on a relatively low budget. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Insidious takes another turn, and you are left in the dark again, to fend off gruesome ghosts along with protagonists, Josh (Patrick Wilson), and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne).

At first, the plot seems relatively simple, and quite familiar: a family moves into a new home and weird things start to happen. Books fly off the shelves, belongings go missing, voices are heard on the baby monitor, and doors open and close on their own. Josh and Renai’s young son, Dalton, falls off of a ladder and bangs his head, later slipping into a coma; or so the doctors believe. After several months, Dalton does not wake up, and that’s when the ghosts start to appear around the house.

Until this day, I have always thought that the scariest films allow their audiences to come up with the worst-case scenario all on their own. Meaning, the less we see of the ghost/demon/witch/monster, the scarier. Think Blair Witch Project. However, in Insidious, we see ghosts galore, and every single one of them is horrifying, and diverse. Renai and Josh do everything they can to get their son Dalton back, which includes a trip into a realm called The Further.

After several years of brutal remakes, Insidious gives genre fans a reason to love modern horror films again. The film was free of cheesy gimmicks, though it does include some humor, which only serves to lighten the mood for a few mere minutes. Influences are present, (Poltergeist, The Exorcist, even Silence Of The Lambs) but not copied. It helps that the film is cast perfectly, as Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson are flawless. Insidious takes place in an extremely visual space, if the acting is not believable, the whole film and its fear factor could easily fall apart. Both Wilson and Byrne owned it, depicting genuine fear and anxiety.

If the film is well received in theatres (which, I suspect it will be) Insidious will likely continue in sequels, as did Wan’s previous film, Saw. Insidious keeps the audience guessing right up until it’s finale – it’s unpredictable and wonderfully original. Wan has proven himself to be a horror master, and I’m just as excited for his next project as I am about Insidious. I wrote Wan personally to thank him for this great contribution to the genre (and for the nightmares I will have tonight and probably all of next week), and I’d like to thank him again –

Thank you, James Wan, from the bottom of our horror-ified hearts.

Follow Lianne Spiderbaby on Twitter @liannemac
And read her blog



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