Sunday, May 8, 2011

2011's INSIDIOUS: Prepare to SHRIEK! From either uncontrollable laughter or outrage at buying a ticket!

Film District
2011, 103 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for intensity, violence, and the terrifying possibility of making the audience laugh to death

Are you ready for a few good laughs? Then Insidious is right up your alley.


Nope, sorry man. No way, not in this neighborhood. I've seen more scares in a videogame.

Insidious is either the biggest movieplex practical joke of the year since Paul Blart: Mall Cop or the biggest moviegoing scam setup. Its title is all too appropriate: Insidious is absolutely insidious in how it promises within its opening credits to thoroughly chill us and then simply give us a series of recycled situations that only grow more and more progressively sillier as the flick goes on.

You know the drill. Innocent family moves into big old house, complete with attic, in which the whole thing has been constructed from dark wood panel decor. Said family begins to experience supposedly scary and unnerving situations and soon realize that their innocent little boy Dalton (Ty Simpkins) is now lost to them beyond communication. Patriarch schoolteacher dad Josh (Patrick Wilson) and ultraconcerned aspiring songwriter mom Renai (Rose Byrne) call in a team of wannabe ghostbusters to determine what's going on and a know-it-all medium Elise Rainier -- (WOW! What a NAME! Rainier. She certainly is portrayed by Lin Shaye like a bassett hound forced to sit out in the rain at the back door waiting to be let in) informs them that their son is in fact trapped in another dimension and that Daddy has to enter it himself to rescue the little tyke. Sound familiar?

Will Josh succeed in freeing Dalton? What do you think? More to the point, the only true suspense to be gained from this movie is in guessing this: will you react to it all by laughing hysterically at what may be the silliest comedy of the year, or will you be outraged that you were actually duped into paying good, hard-earned cash into watching this stupid thing? All depends on your personality, I guess. It's pret-ty hard to take a movie seriously when it has a section in the credits that says, of all things, "Insidious Entities" and has the following character listings under said entry: "Lipstick-Face Demon", "Old Woman", "Long Haired Fiend", "Doll Girl #1" and "Doll Girl #2".

Still not convinced that this film is ridiculous? How about if I mention Darth Maul as a special guest star? Or the scene where Josh suddenly pulls a Sean Penn on Elise, making her even "rainier" than usual? Trust me, I'm not kidding here! I would never dream of making this stuff up.

At the end of the movie when the boy finally stirs and is alright, and of course you know perfectly well that saying that really isn't giving anything away, my head immediately imagined him saying, "Oh, oh yes, I'm free, free, I'm finally free, oh good, oh good!" and at the reaction shot of his parents I then automatically imagined them saying,"Oh crap! Now we'll have to put up with a sequel!"