Insidious by James Wan

Insidious ★☆☆☆☆
Directed by James Wan
2010 / 103 Minutes

The Setup: A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. (From IMDB)




Damn Rose Byrne.  I remember seeing you for the first time almost ten years ago in that movie The Rage in Placid Lake with Ben Lee.  You’re super fine and all, even though you look alarmingly like Natalie Portman most of the time.  Also, you’re pretty awesome as Ellen in DirectTV’s Damages.  There’s no question you can act the turtleneck sweater off of anyone, but girl, what Hell were you thinking?  Those footie pajamas and that hair make you look like Weird Al Yankovic!


Insidious is an utterly non-scary, laughable entry into the ghost-horror genre.  Think Paranormal Activity, but with named actors, a larger budget, and lose the documentary feel.  It’s a movie that was obviously made as a quick cash grab in a hot genre.  Throw another spooky supernatural movie at the audience, it’s what they crave!

The story goes a little something like this: a couple moves into a house only to discover it’s haunted.  Their son ends up in some type of coma that medical science is at a loss to explain.  Mom and dad discover, with the help of a psychic that the kid’s soul is trapped on the astral plane and that souls of the damned are circling his physical body in an attempt to take it over in his absence.  UGH.

Here’s the thing, this movie could have been scary, but instead, when it brings us to the astral plane, it decides to show us the same landscape we’ve already seen in the real world for the entire movie (the interior of two houses, exciting stuff), only with lots and lots of fog and wax mannequins.  Apparently this wondrous and dangerous place where souls can travel as light as air and utilize to visit in on any location on Earth in the blink of an eye must be traversed by walking from place to place.  C’mon!  Then why did young Dalton draw pictures of himself flying around?  Why would anyone ever bother attempting to project themselves there?  I for one would prefer to have regular dream sleep where the possibility of crazy stuff happening at least exists then have to travel to an exact replica of the world I just fell asleep in.

There are two big bads in the movie.  One is a decrepit grandma, the other is guy who looks like Darth Maul, but has hooves, preposterous hooves, for feet.  That, combined with Rose Byrne’s Weird Al impersonation and the description of the astral plane I just dropped on you should tell you just about all you need to know, but if you need more then also consider yourself forewarned that James Wan of Dead Silence fame directed this terrible piece of cinema.

If you’re a fan of horrible movies that make no sense and leave you wondering why you wasted your time in the first place then you can’t go wrong here.  There’s absolutely nothing to love about this film except the end credits which signal that after a long journey this disappointing train wreck of a feature has at long last reached the station and all passengers riding are finally free to disembark.

The movie currently enjoys a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7/10 rating on the IMDB.  Perhaps I’m the one in the wrong, but then again ask yourself this question: Do you really want to risk it?

Well, do you?  I didn’t think so.


About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.