Monday, May 2, 2011

Rated D #10 - Insidious

It might by six months away, but the creepiness of Halloween crept in a little early this year.

Hola! Aloha! Bon jour! Buon giorno! Howdy! Welcome back to Rated D!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see a movie called "Insidious". SPOILER ALERT: When their son slips into a "coma", a young couple is forced to ward off spirits and save him from being claimed by evil demons.

Spookiness? Check. Good scares? Check. New ideas? Check. Ending that doesn't spiral out of control? Oooh.... we knew we were forgetting something. Well that happens all too often, but "Insidious" was definitely not a complete waste of time. The "scary movie" genre has suffered in years past from movies thinking that splattering body parts and gruesome torture equals frightening. It's actually just gross, not scary, which is why I was surprised to find that this film was written and directed by the same team that brought "SAW" into our lives almost a decade ago. "Insidious" does a great job of spookiing the audience and keeping you edgy with its cinematography and well-timed scares. It also breaks free from all of the standard conventions (which makes it pretty refreshing for a while). For instance, when Renai, played by Rose Byrne (Troy, Get Him to the Greek) finds proof that something dangerous and unexplainable is happening, her husband, Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera, Watchmen), doesn't just write her off and say she's crazy, but instead, they literally move to a new house. Sure, the ghosts follow them and the terror continues, but at least they tried! All of this works and is good up until the last twenty minutes of the film when we learn that spirits are not haunting the house, but instead trying to possess their son permanently. That's not the problem either. The problem occurs when it almost feels like the movie changed directors, going from a well-shot and tightly-directed story to having silly looking fights and mistaking weirdness for scariness. It feels like two different movies which is unfortunate because I would've liked to see the ending to the first film.

To Tie it Back to Health & Fitness...
The movie tackles the concept of Astral Projection: projecting your conciousness to other places or other dimensions while in a sleep like state. Sleep is necessary to a healthy life style. Getting enough sleep will help to strengthen your body's immune system and improve day to day brain functions. In fact, there are chemicals that our brain manufactures only when we sleep in darkness that aid in fighting cancer. Though you don't want to be hunted down by the red-faced, terrifying demon that attempts to claim your body, it's still important to get plenty of rest!

"It's not the house that's haunted. It's your son." - Lin Shaye as Elise

Technically Speaking...
The movie scores points definitely for its originality and its genuinely frightening moments, using music and lighting to add to its jump-inducing moments. Places where it loses control are almost all found towards the end when they have the demonic characters go from having goals to just being weird for the sake of being weird (e.g. during a seance where a trenchcoat clad ghost chooses not to take the opportunity to possess the child but does opt for licking Renai's face slowly... um... what?). The "fight" scene and "chase" scene are both clunky and awkward to watch, and the ending doesn't really offer anything new, leaving little impression on you as you leave the theater. Also, the demonic characters and ghost seem to have interesting pasts but we only learn about one and hers doesn't seem quite as interesting as the others.

Review - I give it 3 Red-faced shadow demons out of 5

A List of Fives... This is a new section where I'll touch on some movies you may or may not have heard of in the same vein as the one being reviewed. Not necessarilly the best ones, but some of my personal favs
Non Gory Spooky Movies!
1. The Sixth Sense - I see dead people... and its not that gross. Great movie all the way.
2. The Exorcism of Emily Rose - Underrated and actually quite good. A little slow, but it works.
3. The Ring - Suspenseful and original (for America anyway). Don't watch the sequel.
4. The Orphanage - One gross scene, but it's quick. Kid ghosts are scary.
5. Ghostbusters - Come on... it's got ghost in the title.

Still Haven't Seen It?
Devil- 5 people get trapped in an elevator and 1 of them is Satan. How is this movie not going to be boring? How is this not going to be ridiculous? How is this movie so good? I don't know, but it turned out to be a really fun movie.

Next Week on Rated D -
Scream 4 - Neve Campbell, Hayden Pennitierre, and a bunch of people who used to know how to act

Gorilla Man

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