21 November 2011

Clarky's Review: Insidious

From the makers of the first Saw film, which I actually enjoyed, this film has garnered a lot of praise recently. But I took this with a pinch of salt given the dearth of good horror films of late. Compared to a Fright Night / Friday the 13th / any 1980's movie that Hollywood wants to bastardise, anything new can appear to be fresh! However, because of my low expectations going in I was pleasantly surprised. That's not to say this is a masterpiece, far from it, but it is a mindless hour and half that is very enjoyable at times.

There were some really innovative jump scares here, which managed to get me to jump out my seat on more than occasion (no mean feat given how hardened I appear to have become to the horror genre after 2 and a half seasons of horror club). However, some of the acting was ropey at times, as was the dialogue, but the real issue was that the film has no heart. 

The main focus of the film is the son who is apparently haunted, a nice twist, however the film zips along so quickly to start with that you are only given one scene with the young scamp before he is possessed. It is therefore very difficult to connect with the wee man or feel any sympathy towards him. The parents don't come across very well either, which may be due to their acting, which doesn't help matters. There is also a couple of characters, one of which is played by the writer Leigh Whannel, which add some (unwanted) comic relief. This seemed out of kilter with the rest of the film and I could have done without it to be honest.

The main problem however is how the film ends, a problem that we have encountered our fair share of at HC and one that is particularly prevalent in poltergeist stories. The ending was somehow laughable and a bit creepy at the same time before the totally unoriginal twist ending drags the film across the finish line (something that we have definitely seen too much off at HC). At the time I was happy enough with the ending as I was involved enough in the film and was enjoying the ride. But in hindsight I don't think I would take the ride again, and I can certainly see why some people may absolutely hate it.

All in all this was an enjoyable, if forgettable film, but I will certainly follow James Wan and Leigh Whannel's career going forward. There is a lot of promise here and if they can iron out some of the issues that I had then they seem imaginative and exciting enough to bring something masterful to the table in years to come.

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