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Insidious Chapters 1 & 2: Film Review

posted Mar 23, 2014, 6:38 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated Mar 23, 2014, 6:51 PM ]

by Joshua Fredette

3/23/14    

We don’t often buy a ticket to a horror movie expecting to have our perspectives on life changed. We certainly don’t want to be inspired to make some change in the way we do things, or how we look at one another. Even the plot and the characters don’t have to be so unique and special. So long as there’s an antagonist chasing a frightened girl through a forest with a knife, we’ll be happy. 

As someone who doesn’t often watch horror films, (in fact after some recollection it was my first horror movie at a theatre), I was pleasantly surprised with Insidious. In this movie depicting the joining of two realities, we get a glimpse into the motives of spirits, demons, and why these entities haunt not only houses, but people. The story revolves around our world, and a spiritual realm called The Further; the plane where the departed reside before passing onto (hopefully) better realms. 


Although the first movie appears to be a somewhat average horror film with a unique touch concerning The Further, the sequel goes far beyond the boundaries of normal. Even though I was pleased with the first chapter, I was pleasantly shocked by the second. Not only is chapter two more frightening, it twists and contorts your mind until you’re waiting to get through the scary parts just to see how the plot wraps up. In the theatre, I found myself cringing in my seat through the worst of the scenes, all the while trying to predict the inner workings of the film. 


Going into the two realms a little deeper, I found the filmography fascinating. The regular world is shot, more or less, honestly. (Besides a few tints of darkness added to the normal color scheme). But in The Further, it is a dark realm where the characters can hardly see past their arm. Fog pervades the ground every step of the way, and there are horrific spirits constantly wandering the darkness. In the first chapter, The Further is shot in such a way that you don’t want to look at it. It makes you yearn for another moment in a scene set back on earth. What was delightful in the second chapter was a juxtaposition of these two realms. In the second chapter the worlds collide so well that, near the end of the film, the viewer actually feels more comfortable watching scenes set in The Further than those on earth. The monsters switch realms, and most of the humanity and moments of heroism are witnessed amongst the dead in The Further. I thought this effect to be completely purposeful, and simply brilliant.


The main characters range from children to adult, and all of which have some great progressions from victim to hero. The plot they all dance around is shaped with wonderful twists. I won’t spoil anything, but some elements of time travel are eventually involved. Of course, these are always a welcome sight in plot machinations.

As I said before, this is one of the first horror films I decided to watch. And I must say, I think it will be hard for any other series to top it.


Insidious Chapters 1 & 2 contain all the normal scares of a high-grade horror flick, and enough mind-boggling plot turns to make you question your own reality and interactions with time.

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