Monday, October 10, 2011

The Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #1: Insidious

Welcome (finally) to the Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series!  And, boy, let me tell you - way to start things off with a whimper rather than a bang.  Due to the vagaries of the U.S. postal system, I received our first movie, Insidious, starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey, instead of the anticipated [REC]2.  You work with what you get, I guess.

The story in Insidious goes thusly: Josh (Patrick Wilson), Renee (Rose Byrne) and their three young children move into a new home, a big ol' house with nice dark wood trim and a scary attic.  It doesn't take long for things to start going wonky: books spilling out of bookshelves, boxes where they're not supposed to be, the front door opening for no apparent reason, creepy voices heard over the baby monitor.  After exploring the scary attic, their middle son, Dalton, will not wake up.  It's not a coma per se, say the doctors, but he just won't wake up.  Rose is convinced their new house is haunted and they move to another one, installing Dalton there with his at-home IV drip and nasal feeding tube.  But the wonky stuff keeps happening, and seems to be getting worse, so Josh's mom (Barbara Hershey) calls upon an old friend of hers, a psychic, who determines that it is not the house (houses) that is haunted, but poor little Dalton.  It seems that Dalton does a lot of inadvertent astral projection and has gotten lost, his empty body now serving as a possible gateway to our world for a whole host of nasties that are looking for a way in.  They have to get Dalton to return to his body.

Insidious starts well enough when you think it's a haunted house movie.  The tension builds nicely; it's jumpy and the glimpses of the nasties are just enough.  But then the psychic lady and her assistants show up, and the tone abruptly changes to a Ghostbusters meets Poltergeist one, and the bumbling assistants' comic relief is an unwelcome contrast to the earlier creepy tone.  And then it just gets silly when little Dalton gets possessed by a demon and starts throwing people around, and the whole astral projection thing is silly and boring as Josh wanders around the foggy, empty "Further," looking for his lost son, and with about twenty minutes left in the movie I had completely lost interest.

Insidious is billed as being from the creators/producers/whatever of Paranormal Activity and Saw but it just doesn't live up to its pedigree (the PG-13 rating doesn't help either).  The performances are good enough, I guess, although Patrick Wilson looked as bored being in the movie as I was watching it; the music is overwrought and distracting; and the astral projection plot is not compelling.  I give it a solid "meh."

Next on the SAFMSSOMS[REC]2.

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