Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Insidious Wants To Scare The (Expletive Deleted) Out Of You

The Nateflix Review of Insidious
By Nate Hensley

Every once in a while a low budget horror movie comes along that blows the roof off. For little money, it delivers big time scares. It satisfies audiences, gets good word of mouth, makes a ton of money, and ends up spawning tons of sequels and/or rip offs. If a filmmaker makes one of these movies in a lifetime, it’s a rare feat.

For someone to do it twice, it’s almost unheard of.

Director James Wan and writer/actor Leigh Whannell did it in 2004 with the original Saw, which jump-started a wave of ultra-violent horror movies. And now they have done it again, with a very different kind of horror movie, with Insidious.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as Your Average Horror Movie Couple, where they are happy and relatively carefree until about 5 minutes after the opening credits. He teaches school, she writes music and tends the three generic yet likeable young ‘uns. One day, their son falls into an inexplicable coma. Medical science is at a loss, and tell the couple to just tend to the vegetative boy until they run out of money.

It’s at this point creepy, inexplicable, supernatural things start to happen. And that’s all you’re getting from me, folks – to tell you any more would only risk spoiling the scares. And in a movie like this, that would take away all the fun.

This is a scary movie. It doesn’t carefully craft a deep and touching backstory. It doesn’t fully develop the characters and 3-dimensional human beings. It doesn’t try to deliver funny one-liners or memorable dialogue. All it does is, to quote a person more clever than I, “delivers more jumps than 101st Airborne Divison, and more creeps than a Steve Buscemi filmography.”

For a horror fanatic like me, it was a breath of fresh air. And so I’ll put it bluntly – for anyone out there who likes scary movies, get your hands on Insidious. Some people don’t like horror (I call these people “wimps”) and that’s fine. But for the rest of us? This is a movie to put on your list.

Saw pushed the envelope. Insidious goes the opposite direction – it goes back to horror fundamentals and shows you can do scary without having to be extreme. It presents a slightly different twist on the haunted house premise, and doesn’t care about anything else other than scaring the *expletive deleted* out of you. Which is all a good horror movie really needs to do.

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