Director: James Wan
Style: Psychological Terror
Did ya know: The mask Elise puts on to enter the world of dreams is the same as the mask used by the the Sandman, the master of dreams, in the comic book series of the same name, created by Neil Gaiman.When Josh is dismissing his class, director James Wan's name can be seen on the blackboard, underlined twice. The director avoided horror movie cliches specifically while filming.
Insidious is a creepy haunted house nu-age horror film that plays with the same type of terror that a found footage film would have. The scares are a mix of spooky terror and jump shots, it does a good job holding your interest the entire film. The acting is not the worst, but it does show the limitations that a tight budget would have.
The film is a haunted house type movie in the way that Paranormal Activity is. Very slight almost subliminal terrors await in just about every scene. It sets a really good pace. The source of the evil in the house comes from a comatose young boy that came in contact with the evil first. The movie mixes elements of different inspired stories. One that comes to mind first is the Twilight Zone episode Little Girl Lost. In that episode a young girl is lost in a different dimension. She is pulled back into the real world by her father, who ventures into the dimension to save her. This movie carries a lot of the same elements and uses them out-rightly. It is actually done pretty well.
Aside from the movie looking very cheap, it has a few really good moments that get the hairs on the back of your neck standing straight up. A few times during the movie I found myself holding my breath. Other times I just really wanted to fast forward it. Insidious could have been done a bit better, but it is just as good as expected from James Wan (Saw, Dead Silence, Death Sentence).
I suggest this movie for anyone that wants to get into the new style of horror. Or if you are just looking for a movie to cozy up with your other too, this is it. It is full of jump scares that will prove a bit of closer holding. Pop some popcorn for this one too. I think that in a few years this movie will be really getting into its own. I hope it doesn't get buried by some of the other trash that is out there now.