Monday Movie Favorite Feature : Insidious

Sometimes, if you can believe it (sarcasm) we don’t get time on the weekends to watch a new movie. When that happens, I decided that on Mondays I would do a “favorite feature” meaning a movie I’ve seen once or twice (or, you know, nine times) to share with you all.

Today’s Favorite Feature is actually a relatively new film and another horror movie. Today I’ll be talking about Insidious.

Okay so for one, it’s got a creepy ass poster. I mentioned before that little kids + horror movies = trauma and terror and it’s true. Look at Children of the Corn. Poltergeist. Village of the Damned. The Omen. Hannah Montana. Terrifying. There’s something about putting children in sinister situations that chills us to our marrow and Insidious is no exception.

Insidious focuses on a family of five; a mom and dad, two sons and a baby daughter. They’ve just moved into a new house and are in the midst of the chaos of unpacking and settling in. Dad works as a teacher and mom stays at home with the children. She notices some books she’s unpacked and put away suddenly have fallen on the floor. As an audience member you’re all like OH SNAP, POLTERGEISTS. But mom blames one of the kids, who insists that he didn’t do it. One evening while most of the family is playing downstairs Dalton, one of the sons, goes exploring in the attic. He takes a fall from a ladder and sees something that causes him to start screaming. His parents rush to him and to their relief, he is fine. The next morning they try to wake Dalton but he is unresponsive. They take him to the hospital where a doctor tells them that he’s kind of in a coma, but kind of not because his body and brain responses aren’t consistent with a coma. Weeks pass with no change in Dalton and the family brings him home. Dad starts putting in long hours at work and mom begins seeing and hearing things in the house that terrify her. A voice on the baby monitor. Shadows and figures.  After one particular scare she insists that something’s wrong with the house and begs her husband to leave. To mom’s relief they do move, and put their ghostly problems behind them.. Or so she thinks. It turns out that the terrifying things haunting their family followed them to the new house. Something is drawn to Dalton, something horrifying and insidious and as it so happens, the scariest parts of the story are yet to come.

Insidious is by far one of my favorite horror films. It has a very old-school, classic horror story vibe. It is very nerve-wracking and scary without resorting to cheap scares and gore. The camera angles and soundtrack create endless tension, making you feel like at any moment something horrible is going to happen but sometimes, the scariest things are the things you only catch from the corner of your eye. The imagery in the film is so creepy and so unnerving, you are on edge the entire time you’re watching. The story seems like one you’ve heard a hundred times before; haunted house, haunted family, so on and so forth but just when you think you have Insidious figured out it grabs you and turns you around and you find yourself facing a whole new concept that hasn’t really been done before in a horror film. I’m not going to give it away because I hate spoilers but it’s a good twist without being outrageous or ridiculous.

From the moment the title of the film comes on the screen to the ending credits, Insidious creates tension and unease that grabs hold of you and is unrelentingly scary.

Rating (out of five *****):
I give Insidious all ***** stars. I am a sucker for a good scary film, particularly ones that give me the chills without having to get gory and bloody. Insidious gives you that cold feeling in the pit of your stomach and stays with you even after the movie has ended, and I love that in a horror film.

Suggestions for Related Viewing:
If you’ve seen Insidious already and are looking for a movie with a similar style and feel, try The Haunting. Not the 1999 version, because that was a piece of crap. Rent the 1963 version directed by Robert Wise. That is to date one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen.

If you’ve seen Insidious, what did you think? Love it? Hate it? Pee your pants? It’s okay if you did, most of the people reading this blog have bladder control issues anyway after being pregnant.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this week’s Favorite Feature!