Insidious

Insidious PosterRating: ★★½☆☆

Insidious” is a horror movie about an average family haunted with supernatural forces that possess a natural tendency to open lots of doors and make funny noises. Most fans of this subgenre will praise it not because it is an excellent film, but because the ones that came before it are infinitely much worse. Have you seen “The Haunting in Connecticut”?

The unlucky family in this horror film is the five members of the Lambert family. Each of them is terrorized by a mysterious creature, but most unlucky is young Dalton, who is in a deep sleep and would not wake up. A doctor says that he isn’t in a coma. A psychic claims that his spiritual body is trapped in another dimension she likes to call, The Further. Dalton’s parents, Josh and Renai, are, to say the least, confused. Whether any of these explanations makes sense or not is not a major concern, because the story mainly serves as an opening to provide scares.

“Insidious” is conscious of the genre’s obvious clichés, but it avoids some of them by conforming to an unhelpful, alternative idea that is soon to be a cliché itself. Characters living in haunted houses are often so traumatized by the ghouls that they forget about the possible action of, you know, leaving the house. The Lambert family makes the practical decision of abandoning their home early on in the film, only to have their efforts thwarted when they are told that it’s not the house that’s haunted, but their son. “Oooooooo”. So, instead of one haunted house, we get two haunted houses.

In essence, the movie suffers from faulty horror both because of an inadequate style and a habit of repetition. It accentuates its scares by accompanying them with a sudden boom of sound. This adds shock, but it lessens the horror. These moments are repeatedly distributed in slices of split-second frames until we reach the film’s climax, which suddenly becomes over-the-top and, how should I say this, funny.

Lipstick-Face

The final act involves a supernatural rescue mission where Josh enters The Further and looks for Dalton’s spiritual body. This dimension, where naughty spirits roam all over, is a place much like our own, only this realm has too much fog and without electricity. I mention the existence of The Further because, within it, is the most interesting aspect in the very little of what’s in “Insidious”. It is there where we finally meet the demon responsible for Dalton’s absence. His face causes us to suspect that this child-napping bastard is none other than Darth Maul… from Star Wars! Our suspicion, as fun as it was, is later proven wrong when the credits appear. The demon’s name is, in fact, Lipstick-Face.

So Lipstick-Face has Dalton’s spirit in chains. Josh has got to hurry. The psychic informs everyone that Lipstick-Face wants Dalton’s body empty, so he could possess it. And then? What’s Lipstick-Face gonna do once he has a physical body? Doesn’t he know that, in this world, there are taxes?

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Insidious