Monday, July 23, 2012
Director: James Wan
Writer: Leigh Whannell
Genre: Horror: Possession
Insidious is exactly the kind of movie I steer clear from. First, it's modern, which always throws me into an angry fervor just because I've felt especially let down by films that everyone says are so great when they're out in theaters. It's the typical reaction for me... Don't believe the hype, in fact, don't even listen to the hype because if you do it's deadly. Even though I don't remember Insidious having a massive wave of interest when it came out, it still is a modern film so it got lumped in with all the rest. Against everything I was telling myself, I decided to watch it anyway.
With all that said I did actually enjoy the film, and much more than I expected. For about half the movie I was paralyzed on my couch. I just sat there staring with a knot in my stomach. The tension was built up quickly, but mostly free from "BOO" scares. I couldn't stand how well the film was put together and it kept me on edge completely. The people who worked on this movie most definitely have a sense of how to string viewers along without giving them relief.
You might have noticed I said for "half the movie". At some point, the film shifts in tone and it's for the worse. Insidious is about a family who moves into a new home and feels a little bit odd about the whole place. Then, one of the children goes into a coma and things get amped up from there. It was initially a very tight work which didn't focus on showing you shocking things as much as it was about what you didn't see - it made you wonder. This was great.
Then the film starts to show you. It shows you things which are going on and explains reasons why this all is going on. Sure, it's got an otherworldly edge to the explanations, but it's still an explanation. IT's not always bad as it could have been played off as still entirely creepy but something else happened... They filmmakers started to show off what I assume they thought were their big guns and just went crazy with slamming things at the audience.
They weren't simple scares but they were just showing far too much. It felt like the movie completely shifted gears into a different, and far less subtle/frightening tone. It ruined the film for me in a way because it was just so persistent I lost all sense of fear. Scary things were going on, sure, but they weren't viewed as scary by me anymore. They were just ham-fisted and trying to get a rise out of a more typical Hollywood audience.
Perhaps they couldn't figure out how to bring the film to climax in any other way. However, I'm sure with the skill they exhibited earlier on they could have certainly done something better. Instead, they went with the easy route to shock moviegoers. I'm sure many people enjoyed it overall, but I'm left displeased. If you haven't seen the film, check it out and see how you feel. See if you sense the "shift" too or if I'm just being silly.