The opening shot is grainy, as if out of focus, centering on a children’s bedroom. The camera pans away from him sleeping blissfully, going towards the closet, quietly detailing everything happening. Only to rest on a freaky older lady, not moving, staring into the darkness. The music picks up and the title card slams onto the screen, violently. INSIDIOUS. From this point on I was bloody terrified. James Wan is a master of horror, crafting nightmares with ease.
Poor Renai and Josh (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) are parents dealing with their son being in what appears to be a coma. In a great twist on the haunted house genre he is in fact haunted, which means that the family is still in trouble no matter where they move. Wan is offering his own take on classic horror films such as Poltergeist and Burnt Offerings, movies where a family unit comes under attack from malevolent spirits. One scene where Byrne deals with a man invading her room left me scared to the point where I stopped the film midway through.
If anything the main complaint about this film is that by the last act you are so numb to the frightening elements that the film stops having the scare effect on you. There is a demon ghost that reminded me of the infamous face from The Exorcist and several other moments that encouraged me to sleep with the lights on. Oh and one hell of an ending that I did not see coming. This is probably his best film, even though I still have one other horror (this film’s sequel) and several other non horror films to see from Wan. I’m glad he’s become famous yet I’m bummed that he’s going away from horror.