Review – Insidious

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 24, 2017 (Last updated: February 8, 2024)

This review is part of our 31 Days of Horror series. 

After moving into their new home, parents Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne respectively) go through difficult times when their eldest son suffers a head injury and falls into a coma. Strangely enough, however, doctors cannot find any serious head trauma and therefore cannot find any explanation for the comatose state of their child. Back at the house, unexplainable events slowly but surely begin to occur and they make the Lamberts’ lives a misery, forcing them to move house. However, the events follow them, and after seeking somewhat unconventional help, Josh and Renai discover that the coma their son is in might just be the least of their worries.

With Halloween approaching, horror films are on everyone’s radar, and one that I watched is Insidious. Straightaway I must say that I’ve come to the conclusion that I must watch horror films wrong. I just don’t seem to get spooked by them. Of course, that’s not to say that I view this film as a total write-off. Here’s why…

The performances here were very good, and I say this because I was actually able to empathise with the characters. Why? Because they were portrayed as having brains that weren’t the size of peas.

Rose Byrne as Renai was wonderful, and once again showed us all what her capabilities as an actress really are. She was so watchable in her role, and I feel like she gave Renai an air of rationality, which is what I think single-handedly worked so well for her.

The same can be said for Patrick Wilson as Josh, although he also had another thing going for him as well. Although his character was sceptical about what his wife said she was experiencing, he never all-out poo-pooed what Renai told him. As I’ve said, there was the strong sense of rationality but also strong sensitivities – it was clearly evident that he wanted to believe his wife, but he remained sensible at the same time.

For me, what let the film down was the fact that it failed to make me jump. I find this to be quite a big issue because I am a self-confessed jumper – if anyone is going to jump, it will be me, believe me. Considering there were supposed to be quite a few good jump scares dotted throughout the film, I didn’t so much as twitch once. However, because there were some aspects of the film that impressed me (please see intelligent characters), I am willing to try again with this one. Late at night. Alone. In the dark. What could possibly go wrong?

So, approach this review with caution – all information was correct at the time of recording and so on. I found Insidious to be reasonably enjoyable, but nothing overly special. What lifted it a bit for me were the characters that, for once in a horror film, were actually likeable and I was able to vouch for. Jump scares were virtually non-existent however, which was its biggest downfall. Of course, special measures are going to be taken and I am going to re-watch this film at some point, so my true verdict on Insidious is still pending.

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