31 Days of Horror: Insidious (2010) – REVIEW

There are times when revisiting a film a few years after a first watch can do it the world of good. For me, Insidious is a film that has benefitted hugely from a second viewing. When I first watched the film a few years ago, it didn’t do much to float my boat. However, having rewatched it as part of Cinematique’s 31 Days of Horror, I am pleased to say it left a far greater impression.

The film follows the Lamberts, a young family just moved into their new home. Before they even manage to get all of the boxes unpacked, strange things begin to happen, but it might not be as easy as moving houses again.


Insidious excels in more psychological territory

The film plays more on what you can’t see as opposed to what you can. It makes quite a habit of letting visuals take a back seat and allowing the viewer’s imagination to do the bulk of the work. So many of the other elements of the film make it very easy for your mind to runaway with itself. That’s not to say it always held back. When it did start to show the spirits in the house, some of the things living there were crazy and definitely not what you’d want to be sharing your space with.

There’s a fair bit of action on display as well, and that keeps things ticking along nicely. These set pieces take over the whole film when they occur, and for good reason. All of the little subtleties that Insidious meticulously piles up throughout come to a huge crescendo in these moments. They give the film a rhythm that in turn keeps you tuned in to what’s going on.


This is a film that nods to a lot of what came before it

Insidious has a really cool retro vibe to it. It’s easy to see where some of the classics have influenced it, but it doesn’t rip them off. I’d dare say after viewings such as Poltergeist that it improves on some of them in all honesty. Everything that comes with supernatural tales are commonplace within horror, but that doesn’t mean that new films can’t stand on their own to feet, and this is one that proves that.

One of the best things about Insidious, however, is the fact that it has a couple of super memorable elements. The ‘Tip-toe Through The Tulips’ scene in the film is one of its highlights. I remember everyone talking about when I was at school, and watching it back now, it’s not hard to see why that made such an impression. Paired with the sound of the wind blowing through the house, and the appearance of a few of the spirits, it’s a point in the film that has the power to make your hair stand on end. As well as this scene, there are also a few very unique demons that turn up throughout the film, one of which absolutely has the potential to stick in mind for a while after.


Sometimes a second glance is what’s needed

I really didn’t like Insidious the first time I saw it, but after this viewing I can’t for the life of me figure out why. The second time around was good! There are so many of the right ingredients here that come together to make a solid little ghosty horror, and the best thing is you don’t forget about a few of them immediately once the film is finished. Paired with how Insidious can get inside your head, but also throw in plenty to look at as well as imagine, it’s probably one of the most crowd-pleasing horror films that have come out in recent years that is also pretty scary. Past me knew nothing is all I’ll say!

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