Wednesday 23 Apr


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Horror · Insidious


Some of the most effective scares I’ve ever seen on the big screen

Rod Lott March 30th, 2011

Having moved homes last month, I know the inherent horrors of settling in to a new residence. A gas leak forced us to go without heat and hot water for 10 days; once that was fixed, our sprinkler system would not shut off for three.

What little optimist left in me thinks it could have been worse; at least our son wasn’t sent into a coma by a malevolent demon he encountered in the attic.

That’s the situation facing the Lambert family in “Insidious,” opening Friday. From the creative talents behind the “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity” franchises, this welcome twist on 1970s possession pictures contains some of the most effective scares I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Combine “Drag Me to Hell” with “Poltergeist,” strip them of their respective sense of humor and childlike wonder, and look out. Yes, Virginia, there is a PG-13 film that can be frightening.

Patrick Wilson (“Morning Glory”) and Rose Byrne (TV’s “Damages”) portray the hapless parents who learn their problem isn’t their manor, but their moppet. And home warranties don’t cover evil.

Director James Wan made a splash with “Saw,” then resisted returning for the sequels to make the little-seen and underappreciated “Dead Silence” and “Death Sentence.” Here’s hoping this one also doesn’t go unnoticed, because the man can stage suspense. He and screenwriter Leigh Whannell (giving himself a small role as a ghost buster) have rigged “Insidious” like a walkthrough haunted house. Although you know damn well a jump awaits around the corner, its aggressive appearance elicits the creeps.

And Wan pulls all this off without buckets of blood or a reliance on CGI. You won’t miss them.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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