Whoo boy, Insidious. I haven't been so up and down on a movie in a long time. I went from expecting to hate it, to loving it, to ultimately being really disappointed, and all of that happened in roughly 90 minutes. Going to be hard to really get my point across on this one without doing a bit of spoileration, so if you haven't seen Insidious, read ahead at your own risk.
Insidious has all the trappings of your basic haunted house movie. A family moves into a new home, with the hopes that a change of scenery will help the wife rekindle her music career. After an accident in the attic involving one of their children leaves the kid comatose, strange things begin to happen around the house. Believing the place to be haunted, they eventually move only to find that their unwanted supernatural guests also tag along. With no other option in sight, they turn to a paranormal investigator in the hopes that she can help relieve them of their ghost problem.
Aside from a trailer or two, and a couple of tv spots, I hadn't really given Insidious much attention. I guess I'm so jaded about horror that actually gets big theatrical release, that I assumed I would eventually watch it and subsequently find it to be completely forgettable. Once again, I would be wrong. From the beginning Insidious immediately brought me in with it's creepy atmosphere, not knowing exactly what the movie was going to be about helped, as I had no clue what was going to happen when the strange activity started to go down. I admit that the "haunted house" vibe was doing a pretty good job of freaking me out a little. It is EXTREMELY well done and quite effective. "Oh my god, did somebody actually fuck around and make a truly scary movie again?!" I thought. Well yes they did, sort of.
The first 30 minutes of Insidious are so good that I was almost ready to declare it horror movie of the year. I was preparing myself for a night of sleeping with the lights on. But then something happened, it's almost as if somebody saw how much I was enjoying the movie, and then in an act of pure cruelness decided to change everything just to ruin it for me. When the ghost hunters show up, Insidious becomes a completely different movie. The tone shift is so severe that it completely took me out of the movie. It's just completely unnecessary humor at a time when the movie is moving along so well with it's dark, creepy tone. I was so distracted by it that I didn't even care how the movie played out.
For it's credit though, Insidious does try to go back to a semi-creepy place as the finale begins, although it did more to remind me of some sort of fucked up Beetlejuice sequel than it did creep me out. The third act is awfully Tim Burton-ish, only an evil Tim Burton if you can imagine. I did like the look of the main demon, and that red faced bastard had goat legs, which we all know is one of the top 5 scariest things in existence. However it would once again disappoint a bit, as the act came to a pretty abrupt ending with a lot of questions left hanging, and was then followed by a completely predictable and unnecessary twist.
It's a haunted house movie! It's a comedy! It's a evil sequel to Beetlejuice! It's an emotional roller coaster of a horror movie to say the least. It really is disappointing that it starts off so well and ends up being a bit of a letdown. But don't let any of that stop you from seeing it, Insidious is actually a pretty damn good movie. I can't wait to watch it again, knowing what to expect. It's one that I fully expect to grow on me the more I watch it, which makes me happy.