Genre: Horror

Director: James Wan

Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye

881⁄2




Director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell (of Saw fame) reinvent the wail with this horror film that plays like a clearance sale at spook central casting.



Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are Josh and Renai, parents of three children and owners of a new house. They’ve barely moved into the place when stupid poltergeist tricks leave no boo unbidden — spirits, demons, ogres and Internet trolls are all trotted out. About the same time, Josh and Renai’s 10-year-old son, Dalton, (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma. It’s no surprise that medical scans and pokes reveal nothing unusual about his health.



Things get worse when the family opts for a fresh start in another new house. Surprise! The spooks just follow them there. Time to call the exorcist! Played by Lin Shaye, the film’s secret weapon of hilarity, she shows up with a pair of geek assistants and makes the head-slapping announcement: “It’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s your son!”



Seems Dalton has wandered into another dimension. If he doesn’t get out of there pronto, he may have to stay in that scary place forever. At this point, the haunting gets weaker, but Wan and Whannell offer a few nerdy laughs.



All in all, Insidious is a serviceable little shocker.



Extras include making-of and Horror 101 featurettes.