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Insidious *** STARS
movie poster for insidious
Paramount Pictures

It starts with the title, Insidious-what does it mean? It rings through your head. Insidious... insidious....It's a fascinating word. It means "Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects. After you see it, you'll understand why it aptly called "Insidious"?

This film will grab you right from the opening shots and its opening titles. The Director, James Wan ( he started the Saw films) knows how to set the mood for an experience that will fill you with fear and dread, The cinematography is excellent and atmospheric boasting a mostly muted and gray look. Wan's visual style sure is eye-catching and creepy.

The film's plot revolves around a family of five- A married couple, Josh and Renai, a teacher and musician and their 3 children. Having just moved into a new home, they seem to have a perfect sense of belonging. However, one night, the eldest child, Dalton, bumps his head after falling off the ladder in the extra spooky attic and the next day is in a comatose state. The many doctors who examine have no explanation for the coma. Three months later with Dalton still in a coma, creepy stuff begins to happen. Ghosts and Horrible Creatures pop out of nowhere and scare the heck out of the characters and the audience as well !!! Break-ins occur, objects move around and awful sounds come from throughout the house. Terrified, they move to Josh's mother's place, but even that doesn't help. Soon, they find out it's Dalton that's haunted- not the house, as his soul is stuck in a realm called The Further!!!

Wan brings back what horror is about- being SCARED. To feel fear, to dread what's coming next. And this is what makes the movie so good. It's actually pretty damn scary. While it doesn't contain the slow-burn creeps and chills of 'Paranormal Activity', it does contain some of the most well-executed and well-timed scares in a long time. The movie also does something different than other ghost/horror stories: It's funny. While it doesn't go over-the-top, it does blend enough laughs throughout to greatly enhance the entertainment value of the overall film.

Rated PG-13 for violence, terror and frightening images, and brief strong language. Clark

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