What little optimist left in me thinks it could have been worse; at least our son wasnt sent into a coma by a malevolent demon he encountered in the attic.
Thats 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 Ive 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 (TVs Damages) portray the hapless parents who learn their problem isnt their manor, but their moppet. And home warranties dont 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. Heres hoping this one also doesnt 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 wont miss them.