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“Insidious” will haunt viewers

Huyen Trang Nguyen

The idea of children being preoccupied with an evil spirit is not a new topic, yet it is an endlessly rich topic the for horror movie genre. James Wan and Leigh Whannell turn this inspiration into a new nightmare in “Insidious.”

When Josh Lambert, Patrick Wilson’s character, his wife Renai, played by Rose Byrne, and their three children move to a new house, they do not expect to experience hell.

Their ordinary happy life becomes filled with frightening chaos when their son, Dalton, falls into a coma for three months.

During this time, Josh and Renai continuously suffer from the attack of evil spirits. Renai concludes that their house has been haunted and persuades Josh to move away. However, things get worst when their nightmare chases after them to the new house.

Josh’s mother asks for the help of her friend, Elise, who is a psychic. Staring at the thin air with her wide-open eyes, Elise tells Josh and his family that the house is not haunted, but their son Dalton is. As Dalton is in a coma, he comes into contact with a red-faced demon that keeps him in “The Further” and detaches his consciousness from his body.

Standing between the decision to save their son and the possibility of losing him, Renai convinces Josh to be hypnotized by Elise’s assistant to search for Dalton in “The Further,” because Josh’s mother revealed that he was once haunted by the spirit of an old woman when he was small. Will Josh be able to save his son and rescue his family from the danger they are posed to?

“Insidious” made over $13 million in its first week in theaters.

Horror movie fans are familiar with James Wan’s name by his infamous “Saw I” and “Saw III” as well as “Dead Silence.” The movie’s invisible spine-chilling sensation is molded from the perfect combination of James and Oren Peli, the director of Paranormal Activity. “Insidious” also witnesses the outstanding performance of Ty Keegan Simpkins, who played Dalton Lambert. Ty adds “Insidious” to the 10th position in his filming career. Filling his eyes with a glare of hatred on his childlike face, Ty Simpkins makes the viewer gasp for air.

According to, in its first week of screening the movie collected nearly $13.3 million for Alliance Films and Automak Entertainment from 2,400 cinemas in the US, starting with its budget of $1 million. This enormous turnover restates the credibility of its directors and producers, the qualification of the movie’s actors and actresses as well as the stunning plot.

“Insidious” partly reminds the readers of “The Ring,” with devil possession of a child’s body, and it emphasizes the fear of the uncertain and of supernatural events. Moreover, the movie reflects the reality of the corruption initiating within the family. The conflict growing between Josh and Renai doesn’t result from external factors, such as cheating, but from their disagreement on how to save their son. The family also undergoes a horrifying disturbance because of the evil possession of Dalton.

Though viewed as a ghostly entertaining model, “Insidious” allows the audience to look at the ugly truth of a modern and luxurious society. A seemingly happy family is just as fragile and vulnerable to an unexpected tragedy. Especially when the tragedy is the consequence of the unforeseeable collapse looming in every corner of daily life, such as the difficulty of child care, the danger of child kidnapping and the lack of understanding between husbands and wives.

Produced in 2010 and released in April 2011, “Insidious” is an unsettling dark story for anyone who seeks a thrill and heart-punching feeling this summer.

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