Movie Review: Insidious

“Insidious” on IMDB

Horror, 103 Minutes, 2010

With almost no tweaking this could easily be a remake of “Poltergeist” [IMDB].  Although the haunted house angle (which was completely superfluous to begin with) is abandoned early the plot has all the same touch-points.  Josh and Renai’s son, Dalton, enters into an unexplained coma that appears more like normal sleep than anything medical.  Surrounding this are terrifying visions and things that go bump-in-the-night.

It turns out that Dalton is a “traveler” and enters the Astral Realm in his sleep – but this time went too far and entered a dark place filled to the brim with horror movie clichés called “The Further”.  Now, with his body vacant some evil spirits want to keep in locked in The Further and inhabit his body themselves.  So the parents call in a psychic and her two supernatural investigator assistants to document the case and attempt to lead Dalton back.  While there’s no magic-munchkin this all seems really familiar.

The movie is truly very competent – you’ll have some decent starts – but seems altogether too by-the-book.  It plays almost like a demo reel for horror concepts rather than a real movie.  You can almost hear a narrator doing a “Time-Life” infomercial as you watch it: we have all the hits!  The monster in the mirror!  The kid saying disturbing things!  The voices on the baby monitor!  The monsters seen only in the camera!  The creepy smiling ghosts!  The husband that doesn’t believe the wife!  You’ll find these and dozens of others in this once-in-a-lifetime collection available now for only $19.95!

That may be a bit harsh but honestly – there’s nothing new here.  Still, accepting that, everything is done very well and there is a reason that these things are cliché: they work.  There’s some great visuals and solid performances.  This is fundamentally a perfectly well-executed workhorse of a horror movie.


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  1. I really liked Insidious. Considering the budget was around $1 million I think it’s remarkable how good the finished product is. Can’t wait for the sequel 🙂

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