Monday, June 6, 2011

Insidious (2011)

Dear Insidious,

what in the seven hells am I going to do about you? I have such conflicting feelings about you. Let's get one thing straight, you are not, by any stretch of the imagination a good movie. You are most certainly the exact opposite of that. The problem is there were definitely things about you that I really liked, and I feel like you had the potential to be a good movie and you just sort of went "OH GOD! WE CAN'T BE HAVING NONE OF THAT!!!!" and just threw your hands up and went squealing all the way to the dumpster where this film inevitably ended up.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, as I'm like to do. I'll blame it on my long absence from this blog and just missing all my Spooky Dos so damn much.
(seriously kids, how have you been? Mama's sorry she hasn't checked in on you)

The premise of Insidious is initially a rather simple one. Laughably so. Like you would look at the synopsis and go "wow... because THAT'S never been done."

Renai and Josh Lambert are a young couple who have just moved into a new house with their three children Dalton, Foster, and baby Cali. The house is question, looks like one that I've seen at least 7 horror movies take place in, and so I immediately question their collective wisdom in moving into it. I mean really, the interior looks just like the freaking house that they shot House of the Devil in... which should have been a tip off for me, since I was just so fond of that movie.

Shortly after they move in all sorts unsettling things start happening: Doors open and close on their own, phantom voices start talking through the baby monitor, you know fun stuff. And then Renai and Josh's son Dalton falls into a coma with no medical reason behind it whatsoever. Renai gets progressively more hysterical, and justifiably so, and is convinced that everything horrible happening to them is because the house. Josh, however, poo poos the whole thing until Renai finally has a big fat hysterical melt down and then he changes his tune to "oh damn, maybe we should move."

... yeah. Maybe you should.

So they move into a significantly less creepy, and smaller house. Why they needed to live in a house with eighty rooms to begin with was totally beyond me, but hey, I didn't write this movie. And all seems to be going better for everyone, except that Renai starts seeing a whole NEW bunch of dead things, all of which seem concentrated around their son Dalton.

Long story short, they end up calling in paranormal experts that made me feel like I was watching The Ghostfacers spin off of Supernatural. (It's okay if you didn't get that reference, I still like you). And it turns out it isn't the house, or houses, that are haunted, it's THEIR SON, because no one saw that coming. And all the spirits are drawn to the fact that there is essentially and empty living person that they want to cram their fat selves inside and take a stroll.

So here's the problem. If that was just the movie I would have been totally cool with it. Sure, it's a little predictable, but hey, that's fine. But then it turns into SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY and the last third of the movie turns into this really convoluted story about astral projection and demons, and lots of little sub plots get introduced only to be promptly forgotten.

And I end up thinking "Why couldn't we have just stayed with the ghosts? I liked the ghosts! The ghosts were GOOD", and it's true, they are. There are some genuinely spooky scenes of the ghosts that remind me of why Thirteen Ghosts is such a guilty pleasure for me; the ghosts are so DAMN COOL.

Not to mention the fact that title sequence was actually pretty nifty. It felt like a complete homage to the supernatural horror films of the 1970's. So I actually got my hopes up way too high because I thought for a hot minute that Insidious was going to be a new awesome cult movie that felt like it was made thirty years ago. And they had a fairly decent cast, Rose Byrne is absolutely lovely and fragile as Renai, and while it's taken me forever to stop thinking of Patrick Wilson just as "that pedophile from Hard Candy", he didn't too bad either (and I warmed to him considerably after Watchmen). Plus Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye, who is no stranger to the horror circuit.


I won't lie I actually yelled in the theater when this movie ended. That's how much just "OH WHAT????" it built up in me.

It could have been amazing, instead it just turned into a really really weak attempt to become M. Night Shyamalan's ugly stepsister. I mean, good grief Insidious! Get some self respect! Look at your life! Look at your choices!

It's like they were writing the script and got to the last one third and just all looked at each other and went

"Oh God! What do we do now???"

"Give the bitches some weird demon nonsense! Bitches love weird demon nonsense!"

Which is erroneous you guys. At least this bitch was impressed anyway. And few things annoy me more in a movie then wasted potential. And if you were going to just throw some nonsense in at the last minute, at least make it like, the Cthulu or something.... or, you know, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Okay, so I'm going to collect myself and take some deep breaths now. You kids be good until I come back.

Love and kisses,

Spooky Pie


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  2. Well, it is considered an homage, but that still doesn't make up for that god awful ending. Kudos for having Barbara Hershey appear as the mom-in-law in a very deliberate 'cameo.' See THE ENTITY. Good beginning and very poor ending. No need to get angry, tho, as that's likely the intended effect. :)

  3. Great flick with some creepy scenes that is until the final 20 or so minutes.

    Another good flick that fizzled out before the credits.

  4. In a way I actually kind of liked the ending, not right away I should add, but it seems the makers realized that movies like this will simply always have ridiculous endings and trying to do something really different or unexpected rarely pans out as it will either be anticlimactic or ridiculous, and insultingly so (except in those few cases where something truly different AND satisfying happens but I can remember few of those).
    In realizing this it feels to me the makers just went all out on it and embraced the silliness. A daring move really, specially as they break with the visual and stylistic approach they set up in the first pat of the movie.
    I agree the last act is completely ridiculous and not entirely satisfying but since I don't expect horror movies to have satisfying endings that make sense in the first place I actually quite enjoyed the ending after I just thought "oh what the hell" and just went with it.
    The serious tone the movie set up is broken in such an extreme way with the complete nuttiness of the last act that I kind of commend the makers in shooting an ending you would expect in a movie like this anyway in such a different way.