Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As you might figure from the title of this blog I like horror films. I watch a lot of them and can usually find something to enjoy in most even if the film in question is less than high quality. The other night I ventured out to see the new movie INSIDIOUS mainly because I have come to respect its director James Wan. Wan’s first horror film was SAW and although it has legions of fans and spawned a trillion sequels I have always disliked the movie for its sloppiness and its laughably embarrassing final act. I can forgive sloppiness but to have written and filmed such a braindead ending as SAW sports is to lose me completely. Luckily for genre fans Wan and his collaborators forged ahead in horror and produced the amazing DEAD SILENCE about which I have written before. That movie tanked at the box office which may be why Wan’s next effort was the hard bitten crime/revenge film DEATH SENTENCE. Well received, this film was praised by most who saw it but sadly it failed theatrically too making the director’s next step a real question. Luckily for us he returned to horror and made INSIDIOUS.
From the ads I expected it to be a haunted house film but that turns out to only be the hook to draw in the punters. Not quite a haunted house tale, not quite a ghost story the film falls more into the possession sub-genre and it comes at those old EXORCIST ideas with a whole new take on the subject. I’m a pretty tough audience for horror as I’ve seen so damned many examples of the genre. Not that I’m hard to please – just don’t insult my intelligence and we’ll do fine, thank you.
Now that I’m in my forties its become pretty difficult for a film to scare me but I must confess that INSIDIOUS scared the holy living SHIT out of me! And not just once and not just through cheap jump scares either. After the film’s slow build to introduce the characters and the location once the scares start they do not stop. The story’s prevailing creepy sense of dread stays constant throughout making every creak or wind rustle ominous and tense. I lost count of the number of times I was seriously frightened by something onscreen and afterward realized I had goose pimples for most of the final 45 minutes. This is a great horror film and one I highly recommend for anyone wanting to be well and truly scared in the theater. Here’s hoping James Wan keeps making these types of movies for years to come.