'Insidious' DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
The supernatural haunted house film has rightfully become one of horror’s most popular subgenres in recent years, with such hits as ‘The Amityville Horror (2005)’ and ‘Paranormal Activity.’ But the latest entry, ‘Insidious,' is one of the most unique in the genre. Not only does the film’s demon surprisingly target a child, but it also includes terrifying shots of the entity, which causes a realistic strain on the lead characters’ relationship.
‘Insidious’ follows Renai and Josh Lambert (played by Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, respectively), as they movie with their three children into a new house. Their son Dalton (portrayed by Ty Simpkins) tells Renai that he’s scared of his new room, but she is initially able to calm him down. Sometime later, as the family is seemingly settled in the new house, Dalton sneaks into the attic after hearing voices. He then falls off an old ladder he steps on to turn on the light.
The following morning, Josh is unable to wake Dalton, and he and Renai rush him to the hospital. They’re told by doctors their son is in an unexplainable coma. After staying in the comatose state for three months, Josh and Renai decide to bring Datlon home. After several mysterious and frightening occurrences, including finding a bloody sheet in Dalton’s room, Renai convinces her husband the house is haunted, and they move yet again.
When Renai begins experiencing increasingly violent and supernatural events in the new house, Josh’s mother Lorraine (played by Barbara Hershey) calls in her friend Elise Reiner (portrayed by Lin Shaye). With the help of her team, Lorraine discovers why the Lamberts are continuously being haunted.
‘Insidious,’ which was produced by horror thriller veteran Oren Peli, who wrote and directed 2009’s ‘Paranormal Activity,’ this year’s most profitable film surprisingly created more frightening scares than its supernatural predecessor. While ‘Paranormal Activity’ generated shocks by not showing the entity plaguing the main characters, forcing the audience to use its imagination, ‘Insidious’ effectively worked better by subliminally and quickly showing the demon haunting Dalton. Not only does director James Wan successfully make viewers jump by sneaking the demon in both of Dalton’s rooms and throughout the two Lambert houses, he also skillfully includes a detailed backstory explaining why the demon is attacking the family.
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