Insidious

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Insidious is a 2010 supernatural horror film directed by James Wan, written by Leigh Whannell, and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Barbara Hershey. It is the first installment in the Insidious franchise, and the third in terms of the series' in-story chronology. 

Summary

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called "The Further".

Why It Rocks

  1. The cinematography is very chilling as it captures the spooky tone of the movie very well.
  2. The idea of "The Further" is pretty interesting with a very suspenseful meaning behind it.
  3. Amazingly character and story development.
  4. Brilliant acting and performances, mainly from Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye and Joseph Bishara, who plays the sinister Fire-Faced Demon.
  5. The design for the Fire-Faced Demon is incredibly frightening.
  6. It began a horror movie franchise by spawning three sequels that were just as good.
  7. The casting choices are very well-done.
  8. Many terrifying moments that'll leave viewers in a twinge of fear with a couple of unpredictable jump scares, such as the scene where the Fire-Faced Demon appears out of nowhere behind Josh.
  9. Much like The Conjuring series, James Wan is shown to have some fantastic skills as a director.

Reception

Box office

The film opened with $13.3 million, making it #3 at the US box office behind Hop and Source Code. On a budget of $1.5 million, it has since grossed a total of US$54 million in the US and $43 million internationally, for a total of $97 million worldwide. Insidious was one of the most profitable films of 2011 (with Cars 2 having a worldwide profit of $362 million).

Critical response

Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 66% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 164 reviews; the average score is 6/10. The critical consensus is: "Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride." Roger Ebert gave the film 2 1/2 stars out of 4 and said, "It depends on characters, atmosphere, sneaky happenings and mounting dread. This one is not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting."

Positive reviews have focused on the filmmakers' ability to build suspense. John Anderson of The Wall Street Journal explains "[w]hat makes a movie scary isn't what jumps out of the closet. It's what might jump out of the closet. The blood, the gore and the noise of so many fright films miss the horrifying point: Movie watchers are far more convinced, instinctively, that what we don't know will most assuredly hurt us... Insidious establishes that these folks can make a film that operates on an entirely different level, sans gore, or obvious gimmicks. And make flesh crawl." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell admire all sorts of fright, from the blatant to the insidiously subtle. This one lies at an effective halfway point between those extremes." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone commented: "Here's a better-than-average spook house movie, mostly because Insidious decides it can daunt an audience without spraying it with blood." Christy Lemire of the Associated Press stated: "Insidious is the kind of movie you could watch with your eyes closed and still feel engrossed by it."