The Halloween Hit List: Insidious (2010)




Rated PG-13

103 min.

Written By Leigh Whannell

Directed By James Wan

In the fall of 2004, Australian film director James Wan burst on to the horror scene in a big way with his film Saw. It would become a become office phenomenon that October, and it would go on to spawn an absurd amount of sequels. In the process, it launched Wan’s career along with that of his co-writer on the film, Leigh Whannell. They would go on to collaborate on a less-than-successful follow-up horror flick in Dead Silence, but it truly wasn’t until six years after their initial success with Saw that they would become an essential part of the horror genre for good. When Insidious was announced for the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, people knew it was from ‘those Saw guys’ but not much else. When it was released to theaters some seven months later, everybody knew their names.

Insidious tells the story of the Lambert family, who are compelled to bring paranormal investigators into their home when their son falls into a mysterious coma. What follows is an old-school exercise in classic haunted house horror. It’s scary, it’s creepy, but perhaps most importantly, it’s a whole lot of fun. After taking three years off from filmmaking, it’s clear Wan’s confidence in his abilities had grown ten-fold and it shows in every single shot. If you are paying close attention and are the type of horror fan that can spot anything of an insidious nature out of the corner of your eye, you will definitely be rewarded. Sporting solid central performances from Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne and a third act that embraces the specific fun of haunted houses, Insidious is the kind of film that was made for the Halloween season.

Is it scary? For sure. Wan does a great job of using every inch of the frame to his advantage.

Is it funny? It has its moments. Writer Leigh Whannell plays one half of a hapless team of paranormal investigators, and they certainly lighten the mood upon their arrival.

What’s the atmosphere like? The first half is unsettling and eerie, while the second half is just a whole lot of haunted house fun.

Why does it belong on The Halloween Hit List? As I said previously, it really is the perfect Halloween movie. It combines all aspects of the horror genre into one frighteningly fun package. If you’ve got nothing to watch this All Hallow’s Eve, seek out James Wan’s Insidious and journey into The Further.