By Tamara Bew (Cornwall, England, UK)
A horror film is essentially a movie that seeks to provoke a physiological reaction, to induce fear upon us. Unfortunately, horror movies over the years have relied heavily on jump scares as a means to frighten their audience. Director James Wan did something, really quite extraordinary when he made this picture, he managed to somehow merge the paranormal with the real world. Back in 2004, James Wan produced one of the biggest slasher horror movies to date Saw, a story about the fight for survival, the only way out, is to fight your way out, to escape. What if, our world and another world came together, creating a new dimension? What if, your fight for survival was to find home, to find your body, your inner thoughts? Insidious will take you into a world, that you may not realise has the potential to actually exist.
The Lambert family have just recently moved into their new home when mysterious things begin to happen. Renai (Byrne) and Josh (Wilson) realise something is terribly wrong when their son Dalton won’t wake up, doctors believe him to be in a coma, but what if his body is in the real world and his spirit is trapped in the supernatural? Renai and Josh seek the help of psychic Elise Rainier in the hope that she can find him and bring him home. The more their son is without them, trapped in a place called the further, the more a strange turn of events keep happening. Is Elise the only one who can help him, or can his father Josh unlock a memory that might just save him in time?
Starring Patrick Wilson as Elementary school teacher Josh Lambert, Wilson also went on to star in James Wan’s The Conjuring, Josh refuses to believe that anything odd is going on with his son, blocking out his own memories of his childhood as he begins to remember. Realising that his son has inherited his gift of travelling. Wilson delivers a very genuine performance, although not a strong personality you can still sympathise with him, Terrified for his son’s wellbeing. Actress Rose Byrne stars as songwriter Renai Lambert, Byrne’s performance is excellent you can really see the emotion and fear in her face, she’s absolutely terrified. The actors are what really make this film come together, their reactions, their relationships, their genuine fear.
Lin Shaye stars as psychic Elise Rainier, a knowledgeable woman in her field of paranormal activity, she enlists in the help of her two assistants Specks and Tucker. Together, they work as an excellent team, Shay’s performance is fantastic, Elise really helps bring the Lambert family back together. Magnificently written by Leigh Whannell, the story is not only original but Whannell has delved into aspects of the paranormal that most filmmakers forget about. The story isn’t all about spirits and demons, it goes so much deeper than that to the point it touches on realism, depending on your beliefs. The storyline is very thought provoking and leaves room for lots of surprises.
There aren’t many film series that link together as excellently as these do and not necessarily in chronological order either. Wan is exceptionally clever in how he subtly give hints to his audience without them realising, be sure to look out for the subtle hint to James Wan’s incredible horror movie Saw too. Wan has really relied on his lighting and sound department to build the incredible atmosphere that you see on screen. The more malevolent the world Dalton is sucked into, the darker the lighting becomes. Wan has relied on the sound department to ask as his jump scares in some cases, although keeping original, the scares are genuine and have great meaning. Most filmmakers rely on jump scares purely to scare their audience for fun. James Wan has been original in his camera work and in his story, one of the best horror films I’ve seen in a very long time. Excellent.