I can't believe how long it's been since I've seen a movay! Not sure wtf but this has been a long stretch where I've felt there was literally nothing worth seeing. When I sift through the junkyard that has been the last two months of movies I don't regret not seeing Limitless, Source Code, Sucker Punch, Paul, Lincoln Lawyer, Little Red Riding Hood, Adjustment Bureau, Hall Pass. I came close on a bunch of them but honestly the main motivator to see any of those was to sit here and write a review afterwards how much I hated it. But I can't imagine seeing 'Battle: Los Angeles' would evoke much beyond some sort of sideways rant about slow concession lines and subtitles that fall below the bottom of the screen.
I admit Rango did seem worth seeing but there's something about the Depp that I'm hitting the wall on. I get it. You're Johnny Depp. You're amazing and handsome and talented and you wear layers and layers clothes and vests and you can smoke cigarettes all day with Keith Richards and will never get sick from them and you probably have a dog named 'Duke' that knows 50 commands in French and you travel with a private wine sommelier/eyewear purchaser. I get it. I'm jealous of you. We all are. We get it. You talk funny. I get it.
But something about Insidious has been calling to me from the theater down the street. Whispering deep-voiced sweet nothing threats. Waking me from a slumber on the couch insisting it's better than the uber tease terriblé that was Paranormal Activity 2. The last thing I want to do lately is sit through another 'scary' movie where I have to hunt and peck all around the screen in the hopes of seeing something move that shouldn't be moving. I can sit on the internet and do one of those point and click adventure game (that I don't believe anybody really plays) and save $12.
Anyway, I did have concerns about Insidious. The fact that it's directed by the guy who directed the original Saw movie isn't exactly an upsell. Saw sucked. All Saws thereafter too have sucked. And they will continue to suck until seeing sucky Saws seems seen sawed off and overseened sunk. Dude made some other movie after Saw involving a ventriloquist which also sucked but on some slower sadder level. I think I rented that one late night and passed out on it half-way through while eating a banana. Whatever.
The other night to the gf I was like, 'Hey! I got an idea! Let's go see Insidious!' She was game (even though I terrified her bad the other night by shutting off all the lights and hiding in the closet then BLAH!). Ha ha? Anyway, we get to the theater down the street and get some decent seats in time to watch some terrible trailer for some undead exploitation film where the zombies are like fully functioning members of society or something. Walk talk and have jobs etc. What?! What's the point of a zombie with a thinking brain? It can just eat itself! I whisper ranted to the gf about how offensive something like that is to someone like me. How true zombie aficionados will turn their nose at some zombploitation film like that! Intelligent goofball zombies?? The nerve! Doesn't even make any sense! And she looked at me like, 'Are you being serious? Please say you're not.'.
So whatever, this movie starts up and starts rumbling around at a slow pace. Ante-ing up the antsy. It properly set up some initial fake scares of (boo!) nothing behind a door, (boo!) nothing moving in a room left behind, etc boo boo. And then some creepy stuff started happening that I liked. The face at the window. The door slam. The whispers on the baby monitor. etc. cliched but I was psyched to feel myself getting tingled up. Then for a solid hour I was surprised how straight up funhouse funride this flick flew! Some of the scares were genuine too! I got some solid jolts and the gf shrunk down in her seat all arm grippy and stuff which was coolio. Yadda. There were some yawny plot pratfalls that were unfortunate. The husband stuck in denial for far too long that anything is wrong. The little kid claiming to see crazy things is straight up dismissed. Also when I got a real look at the 'spirits'-- I was reminded I was watching a terribly cheap horror movie. You could see the makeup cake and the fabric of the costumes.
Also there was a lack of logic to the ghosties because they seemed to only want to scare. I'm much more scared by somebody stumbling across a 'spirit' that isn't focused on the inhabitant. A spirit that has another agenda --- an agenda that is being disturbed by you. Not a some bored spirit that hangs around in a broom closet all day waiting for someone to open it so it can pop out. That's no agenda. I can't help but imagine the spirit like hanging out in there bored waiting for the people to come home. Getting excited like a dog when it hears a car door shut but pissed when it turns out it's just the neighbor across the street.
Anyway, bottom line-- Insidious is the best movie I've seen in months. And it's probably the first 'in-house' movie I've seen in a long while that isn't a flat out let down. It takes a lot of cheap shots yadda yadda -- but there are moments that are genuinely creepy. It does the job its paid to do-- which considering the lazy wanderings of most movays of this ilk-- is something to be thankful for...
Three Good Things About this Movie
- The dancing kid.
- The pacing man.
- The gas mask.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- The acting was sometimes straight up painful.
- The lead Demon in essence was a big slacker.
- The overuse of smoke machines.
All in all, this movie isn't straight up 'legit' scary-- but it threw me off balance a bunch of times. It leans real hard on shock-seconds but it sets em up well enough so they're earned. Granted, nothing got under my skin to the point I felt like it would follow me home but it was fun enough. And when the gf made me promise not to scare her tonight by jumping out of the closet or sneaking up behind her-- I agreed. My plan was to hide under the bed and do an ankle grab -- but I figured I should quit while I was ahead.