TheQuick: Insidious

Starved for horror much like I’m starved for sunshine around this time of year I jumped at the chance to see this flick that hit the screens on April 1st. All I needed to hear was the tagline, “Oh no the house isn’t haunted your child is” and I was sold. At the time I wasn’t sure why they wouldn’t want to just call it a demon possession flick but whatever’s clever. I love me some exorcism/possession films although they’ve turned more into fanciful contortionist videos that have me thinking I’m stuck in a looping show of Chinese Contortionists mixed with the freakiness of the Mystere clowns.  Of recent exorcism memory I saw the Rite, which starred Anthony Hopkins who really went out on a limb by playing someone slightly demented who loved to monologue. Anyone ever seen him do that before? The Wolfman, Silence of Hannibal, and Beowolf to name a few. I’m sure he’ll be monologing some more in the upcoming Thor film too. The Rite pretty much sucked in my book, but seeing the Vatican was nice. I also recall The Last Exorcism, produced by Eli Roth. Albeit the contortions were aplenty in this one, I just really can’t say anything negative about Eli, I happen to like his films. Coming from a religious family that feature offered an intriguing perspective done in documentary style which is still in fashion.

Now back to this creature feature called Insidious and let me preface this with the fact that I didn’t like the Saw movies. So I didn’t find it cute or funny that Jigsaw was drawn conveniently on a blackboard in some of the scenes, and that some of the demons sounded like that damned clown. I will say that Patrick Wilson did a great job even though I really think his best was in Hard Candy, which was also Ellen Page’s best work (sorry it wasn’t Juno). Back to it, this movie is pretty much a whimsical blend of Poltergeist with a splash of Beetlejuice. They had me with a couple of suspenseful parts but quickly lost me when they started talking about remote viewing and an ethereal plane called the further. When I heard the further uttered I knew the creative juices were tapped on the production side, so I gave up trying to give the film too much of my attention. If you haven’t seen it don’t read on cause this may spoil it for you. The short of it is that a kid goes comatose and they figure out he went off into a ghostly realm and can’t find his way back. So ghosts and a demon are trying to take the body that’s left sitting around. So after some drama, moving to another house, and bringing in some psychic investigators (which were funny btw) they decide to send Craig T. Nelson, oh I mean Patrick Wilson (plays the father) in to go get Carol Anne (in this movie named Dayton) and bring him back to the light. The scariest part for me you ask, well one of the ghosts looked like Gene Simmons. So now I’ll cut to the quick.

The Good:

  • It’s nice to see Barbara Hershey working.
  • You do get a good jump or two out of it.
  • Many of the cast from other iterations of Saw are in this movie.
  • The classic doll faced people was a nice Silent Hill type touch.

The Bad:

  • The demon itself looked ridiculous. The ghosts themselves were more frightening.
  • There was no twist, although they probably thought there would be.
  • The grandfather clock was the scariest element in the film.
  • Use of old timey songs like Tip Toe Through The Tulips has been done in horror so much it’s anti-climactic.

The WTF:

  • I’ll have to go with the demon again on this one. Just a bit too cartoony.
  • One of the psychic detective devices was a modded Viewmaster.
  • Now that I think on it the Gene Simmons ghost looks more like Jonah Hex.
  • A Dickensian street urchin was dancing was scratching the record Tip Toe Through The Tulips.

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