Insidious: "It's Not The House That Is Haunted. It's Your Son"

Director:   James Wan
Writer:      Leigh Whannell
Starring:   Rose Byrne
                 Patrick Wilson
                 Ty Simpkins
                 Lin Shaye
                 Barbara Hershey
                 Leigh Whannell
                 Angus Sampson
Rating:      ****

Home Release: Out Now

This supernatural horror film is everything a horror should be, sharp, clever and terrifying.

A young family move into their new house to make a new start in life. They're happy, they're healthy and they're comfortable, but with the new house strange things begin to happen. Things move, strange noises are heard the usual haunted house stuff, but this time it's not the house it's the son. One day, whilst investigating in the attic, something happens and the next day the son ends up in a coma. It's 3 years later until he moves home, and that is when it gets really scary. Renai and Josh Lambert (Byrne & Wilson) are the parents in the family, they are young, fit and attractive and have three beautiful boys. Both actors are good, not great, but good; and in this film it doesn't matter too much. They portray the roles well and they have good chemistry, but they're nothing special. Whether it's the actors or the character I don't know, but like I said it doesn't matter too much. 

Dalton (Simpkins) is the son who is haunted in the film, and for a young actor he does very well. The stuff he has to do and go through is quite intense and scary, so for him to handle it as well as he did is impressive. He is believable in the role, and makes Dalton likable and enjoyable to watch. He is also good doing the scary stuff, I mean he made me jump (which isn't hard).

Lorraine (Hershey) is Josh's mother, she is protective and loving, but at the same time a very scared character. She reveals that the same thing happened to Josh when he was Dalton's age and had been hiding it from him, so this brings back a lot of upsetting memories for her. Hershey does a brilliant job with the character and is able to convey all the right emotions at all the right times. She brings the character to life and you believe everything she says and feels. 

When things start to get really bad they bring in Elise Reiner (Shaye), a paranormal investigator. She is zany, odd and portrayed brilliantly. Shaye does an excellent job at bringing this character to life and is really believable. She is able to make the character eccentric and fun, but at the same time she has a serious side which she pulls out when ever it is needed. With her she brings Specs and Tucker (Whannell & Sampson), her assistants who are clumsy and a bit dim. They are the funny characters that add a bit of light relief to the film to break up the terror. They do a good job with their roles and are able to make you laugh straight after being terrified.

The direction (Wan) is clever, edgy and is able to build the tension to an excruciating level. It had me constantly on the edge of my seat, with my hands over my eyes and fingers in my ears. I'll admit that the end 15 minutes were a bit odd and less scary, but the rest of the film is horrifying and the use of 'Tip-Toe Through the Tulips' by Tiny Tim is used in certain scenes and at certain points to really add to the fear (because let's face it, that song is creepy). The writng by Whannell is brilliant, it is filled with twists and turns and like the directing it builds tension brilliantly. When a film is made by the makers of the 'Saw' franchise and 'Paranormal Activity' you know it is going to be good, and this film doesn't disappoint. It's out now on DVD and Blu-Ray, and I really hope you go out and pick up a copy just in time for Halloween.