- Patrick Wilson as Josh Lambert
- Rose Byrne as Renai Lambert
- Lin Shaye as Elise Rainier
- Barbara Hershey as Lorraine Lambert
- Ty Simpkins as Dalton Lambert
- Leigh Whannell as Specs
- Angus Sampson as Tucker
A creepy, unsettling horror movie with supernatural overtones, Insidious is nightmare inducing stuff that will have you sleeping with the light on for a long time after viewing it.
School teacher Josh Lambert and his songwriting wife Renai have recently moved into a new house with their three children; Dalton, Foster and baby Cali. Everything is going well for the family until one event sets in motion something very terrifying. Young Dalton falls while exploring the attic and is rendered comatose, with the doctors saying he might never come out of it. Devastated by this, Josh and Renai try to make their way through this unimaginable situation the best they can. But strange events soon take hold that can’t be explained; Renai hears strange whispers on the baby monitor but finds no one there, Foster recalls seeing his comatose brother walking around at night and many more creepy events soon occur. Terrified, the young couple moves house in an attempt for a fresh start. But it appears that whatever is causing these events has followed them or more specifically Dalton. It is here that Josh’s mother Lorraine begins to tell of similar events happening to her and that she knows someone who may be able to help. Enlisting the help of paranormal investigator Elise, and her team, the Lambert’s soon learn that something very sinister is afoot involving Dalton that links to the realm of supernatural and an unusual gift that the young child possesses. Having to overcome their fears, the Lambert’s attempt to get their son back from wherever he is before it is too late.
James Wan directs with a real flair for the material here, crafting uneasy tension, jolts of terror and slow-building menace. Rather than just hit us from the very beginning, he slowly but surely litters the proceedings with strange events, while also giving something of a heart to the story as we witness the parental concern and nightmare of Renai and Josh.I did feel that somewhere in the second half of Insidious, it ran a little out of steam with some of the supernatural stuff. But it still kept me riveted as well as terrified, as it had built up very nicely and had done a number of unexpected things. One such thing is the fact that Insidious could easily having been just another haunted house movie, but instead the family moves house and the evil follows. This little detail helped me appreciate the film for not falling prey to that genre trapping. The visual palette is one of muddy mauve, faded yellow and melancholy grey, that gives Insidious that feeling of dread and the blurring of what we know and what we are scared to know. There are genuine rings of emotion in Insidious, predominately from the reactions of the parents while trying to figure out how to save their son from terror. Thankfully this drama is balanced with the scare factor and the two mingle very well together, instead of overwhelming one another. A score of unusual sounds and sudden jolts of terror is effectively used throughout Insidious and males it very chilling and nail-biting.
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are immensely convincing as the devastated parents attempting to save their son from the harm of the supernatural and unknown. The two work very well together as we see their differing attitudes of what to do, but them being united in their battle to free Dalton. Lin Shaye is delightfully eccentric but full of warmth and knowledge as the medium Elise, who is brought in when every other avenue seems closed. Barbara Hershey is very good in her supporting role of Josh’s mother who knows a little bit about some of the supernatural events happening. In the pivotal role of the comatose Dalton, Ty Simpkins is exactly right in conveying the terror and providing some chills when supernatural events take hold. Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson add some comic relief as paranormal investigators under the command of Elise and armed with an arsenal of unusual gadgets.
Bone-chilling, unsettling and filled with terror, Insidious is horror filled with creepiness and startling images.