Synyster Graves

Spoilers: Insidious

by on Sep.16, 2011, under Spoiler Alert!

** Disclaimer: This rant includes spoilers so I strongly suggest that if you do actually want to watch this film and attempt to enjoy it by all means but you should probably stop reading this article. This is not designed to ruin everyone else’s enjoyment, but stops them wasting hours of their lives on films I perceived to being a bit poo. While I may not discuss the entire plot, there will be elements whereby any attempt to create a facade by the film will be shattered. You have been warned! **

I watched this film last night and it can only be described as a glorious waste of my time. The film itself isn’t so much bad acting per se, but the storyline started off intriguing, only to go and take a downward spiral and end up being borderline ridiculous. The initial weird goings on once the hauntings start begin rather well it has to be said once the son goes into a coma.

Why it’s crap

A creepy ambience starts when mysterious voices are heard on the baby monitor and doors start opening and closing by themselves. We then later on have mysterious figures materialising by the baby’s cradle by a man who looks like a bizarre cross between Nick Cave and Kevin Ogilve. He then proceeds to attack the wife, Renai, with a Boris Karloff-esque lunge which is nothing short of comedy.

The comedy increases furthermore when the grandmother starts having prophetic dreams about the nature of the child’s coma, seeing shadowy figures by his beside of which quite frankly is basically a silhouette of Freddy Krueger. Clawed and bloody hand prints start showing up everywhere which basically sets the precedent for a chain of boo scares.

The demon is quite comical in appearance, even for a boo scare!

The sad thing about this film is that all the boo scares are so predictable. Any slow panning in on any object is inevitably going to be followed by a harrowed face of a ghost or a demon. And that is the crux of the hilarity for my part, the demon. Demons, like in The Unborn or Drag Me To Hell, are better attributed to being unseen, allowing the audience to create an abominous fiend in their mind, instead we are SHOWN the demon, and he looks bloody stupid. Where do I start? As you can see from the picture he looks a bit like Darth Maul or The Boogeyman from WWE, with a haircut reminiscent of one of The Three Stooges. He also has cloven feet, which look so inorganic it looks more like fetish wear rather than ancient evil. He does briefly possess the child and beats the shit out of the medium and her assistants with a Sagat style Tiger Uppercut which had me in hysterics it was so funny. One of the geek assistants does manage to catch on film a frozen frame of Darth Maul controlling the child like a puppet master and marionette ensemble.

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag...

The ghosts start off being slightly scary as normal people, with the exception of the small child dancing to the record player dressed like a chimney sweep from Oliver to then play a stupid game of hide and seek, but the initial ghosts just being in the background we to the films credit, a bit spooky. And then the “shock” horror comes in when you see the ghosts properly, and they go from being creepy departed souls to looking like the Hallowe’en outfits the staff at Alton Towers wear. Horror is always best served subtlely, but spoon feeding the viewer some over the top scary imagery desensitises immediately. The best horrors are where the spirit/demon/monster is largely unseen. The spooky woman pictured here is the spirit who has haunted the father in his youth, as shown in the crudely photoshopped photographs of the spirit following him around in his youth. Subtlely again would have been good here, but the over obvious photo manipulation just made it a bit crap.

Old Medium Woman: scarier than the ghosts

The film comes to its climactic peak when the father has to also go into the “further”, an astral projected spirit world where his son has wandered off to and could not come back, well that’s what I gathered whilst rolling my eyes. So he finds his son in the lair of Darth Maul where he is sharpening his metal goth hands on a sharpening wheel while the child is manacled to a bed. The demon then attacks and both just casually run out the door, rather than the epic fight I was expecting. After wading through the sea of souls they find their bodies again as the ghosts start to manifest in the real world. Quite predictably not all is well as you find that the old woman ghost has actually possessed the father, incredibly predictably. The medium takes a photograph and is strangled by the possessed man, ending the film. Ironically for me was that the old woman medium was probably the scariest thing in the whole film, but I think the whole problem with the film is that when any kind of explaining was required, everyone just mumbled leaving me struggling to follow what the hell was going on.


Personally for me having the demon being Darth Maul and massively over done ghosts leaving NOTHING to the imagination left me feeling like I’d wasted my time somewhat sitting through this film.

While it may pass as a relatively competent horror film, Insidious lures you into thinking you’re going to enjoy a decent exorcism movie, when in truth it crashes into utter stupidity leaving me more amused than scared with its series of cheap boo scares rather than deep psychological horror which it easily could have implemented.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Whyte Rabit

    lol yes this film was a bit rubbish. The most comic moment for me was the meduim’s two aids, who looked over the top geeky and ran around the house with home made “ghost detecting” machines that would have looked stupid and out of place in a Ghostbusters movie!

    The story was a bit pathetic and hardly made you jump, and the last pic you’ve got there looks like the demon from Wishmaster… and for anyone who’s not seen Wishmaster, that’s not a compliment!

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