Sitting in the cinema with an uneasy smile on my face and a bucket of popcorn on my lap, I was eagerly anticipating what promised to be the ultimate haunted house movie of 2011 – Insidious. The minute the screen went black and the huge, blood-red letters filled the screen, coupled with a nauseating violin backing track, I felt a lump form in my throat.
The film starts like many other, in fact ALL other, haunted house movies- a nice family, who have suffered some form of an unfortunate incident (though it happens after they relocate and not before in this case), move to a new house and soon enough things start to get ‘freaky’.
Parents-of-three, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne), move to a grand, old house and things are starting to look up them – that is until a rather tense scene where their son, Dalton, is exploring the loft when he falls and knocks himself unconscious, falling swiftly into a coma. You would think things couldn’t get worse for the family, but of course with this being a horror film, things become much worse and mother Renai ends up seeing ghosts (some of which are hideously terrifying) – and the odd demon.
We soon find out that their son is not in a coma at all – rather his spirit has lost his body and is trapped in some further land. With the help of Grandmother Lorraine, who has fortunately had a little experience with astral projection, she calls up some people that she thinks could help (cue creepy revelation later in the film) and they attempt to save young Dalton from having his body stolen by an evil demon.
When the loose plot is written like this, I could forgive you for thinking it was quite a weak and that the whole thing sounds damn right absurd. Happily, I can tell you that you’re wrong. Fan of haunted house movies or not, the first half of this film is brilliant and the second half is better than average, though a little cheesy at points. With the genuine scares, some terrifying creations and some beautifully eerie scenes (room of dolls in the Further anyone?!), this is a movie not to be missed.