Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 30, 2011
    91
    A haunted-house movie that has some of the most shivery and indelible images I've seen in any horror film in decades. Yes, it's that unsettling.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 3, 2011
    75
    If there's a complaint to be made about Insidious, it's that the film's second half is unable to live up to the impossibly high standards set by the first half.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 31, 2011
    75
    All calculation aside, scary is still scary, and Insidious makes up in old-fashioned tension what it sometimes lacks in originality.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 31, 2011
    75
    Nicely acted by all and photographed in creepy, cold, under-lit tones.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 30, 2011
    75
    A tidy terror flick, and refreshing with its intention to make viewers gasp rather than gag.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 30, 2011
    75
    The spookiest and most entertaining horror flick since "Paranormal Activity."
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 30, 2011
    70
    No blood, no gore, no hacked-off arms and legs, but plenty of creepy set pieces, quick cuts and blasts of music that will have you both squirming in your seat and jumping out of it. Until the bone-headed part kicks in.
  8. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Mar 29, 2011
    70
    We need visionaries-but also solid craftsmen who seem to enjoy their work. Insidious is the product of the latter. It doesn't build a better haunted house but, when on its game, reminds us of the genre's pleasures.
  9. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 27, 2011
    70
    Successful to a point (though seemingly unaware of the chuckles it produces in between shrieks), the movie has strong prospects with genre audiences but won't spawn a phenomenon resembling the filmmakers' previous franchise.
  10. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Mar 27, 2011
    70
    A possession thriller less terrifying than fun.
  11. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 31, 2011
    63
    This one is not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 31, 2011
    63
    Here's a better than average spook-house movie, mostly because Insidious decides it can haunt an audience without spraying it with blood.
  13. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 31, 2011
    63
    If your idea of a fun night out is to be manipulated by freaky sound effects, jumpy edits, and point-of-view shots of ceiling fans whooshing menacingly, Insidious is the film for you.
  14. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Mar 31, 2011
    63
    By the time it's over, Insidious is less scary than a mortgage payment.
  15. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Mar 31, 2011
    60
    A concerted effort to make a scary movie without spilling a drop of blood, Insidious is earnest to the point of suffocation about scaring you silly.
  16. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 31, 2011
    60
    The pleasant surprise when you actually watch Insidious is that it turns out to be a moderately effective suburban-family creep show, majorly in debt to "Poltergeist" and "The Exorcist" and capturing at least a little of their spirit.
  17. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Mar 29, 2011
    60
    Insidious could have been something special: a horror movie that actually horrifies without resorting to gore. Instead, thanks to too many cheap jokes and a bit of silly music, it falls short.
  18. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 1, 2011
    50
    Creepy spirits in old-timey dress, ear-stabbing sound cues, slamming doors and bloody handprints: The horror flick Insidious isn't scared to be trite.
  19. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 31, 2011
    50
    Throughout, Wilson and Byrne play these parts straightforward and there's an undercurrent of real anguish in the struggle of parents coping with a child's long-term care.
  20. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 31, 2011
    50
    The movie is hampered throughout by little inconsistencies.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 31, 2011
    50
    It's far more annoying than frightening.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Mar 31, 2011
    50
    The strongest analogue for the second half of Insidious is one that the filmmakers probably weren't trying for: it feels like a less poetic version of an M. Night Shyamalan fairy tale.
  23. 50
    The thing is scary as hell when it's all creaks and thumps and doors swinging open. Then come the explanations, the special effects, and the inevitable feeling of been-there-been-­bombarded-by-that.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 1, 2011
    40
    Insidious doesn't feature the lazy, home-video-style terror of "Paranormal Activity," thankfully. But it's also pretty normal activity for a ghost story.
  25. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 29, 2011
    40
    None of this is particularly well wrought, and only a bizarre gas mask worn by the séance leader counts as an inspired (if slightly silly) touch.
  26. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 1, 2011
    38
    It feels more like a poor man's "Poltergeist, " minus the static-filled TV.
  27. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Mar 31, 2011
    38
    You can't criticize it for false advertising.
  28. Reviewed by: Ethan Gilsdorf
    Mar 31, 2011
    38
    The crazy train of Insidious runs fully off the rails when the filmmakers go logical and some of the strange gets explained away as a double shot of demonic possession and astral projection.
  29. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Mar 31, 2011
    30
    Aesthetically, Insidious operates at the level of a decent high school video project.
  30. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 31, 2011
    0
    The only remotely entertaining aspects of Insidious come from Whannell and Sampson as a comic pair of hypercompetitive hipster ghost hunters, and even that schtick is repeated ad nauseam.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 130
  1. Apr 1, 2011
    10
    I have not seen a movie that has scared me soo bad in a long time. Horror movies are my favorite types of movie. This one is one that because of its uniqueness is much more deserving of a higher score than it received. It may not have the best plot, acting, or consistency but damn was it scary and fun. I was clenching the seat and my kness hurt after from pressing on the floor. One of my top recent scary movies along with The Others, Drag me to Hell and Cabin Fever. Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2011
    7
    The movie "Insidious", directed by the infamous James Wan, is a surprisingly scary movie full of chills and creeps. Its a good film that will definitely cool you down in the hot summer with its scares. Full Review »
  3. Apr 5, 2011
    1
    This movie was HORRIBLE.... Not even made well the same "scary" music played every time it was going to be a scary part but it wasn't scary at all. If you enjoyed the movie Drag Me To Hell you will love this one we laughed a lot during the movie! Don't waste your time, I love scary movies and this one was far from scary . Full Review »