Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 309 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: "Insidious" is about a young family that makes the terrifying discovery that the body of their comatose boy has become a magnet for malevolent entities, while his consciousness lies trapped in the dark and insidious realm known as "The Further." (FilmDistrict)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 30, 2011
    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: Michael Phillips
    Mar 31, 2011
    Nicely acted by all and photographed in creepy, cold, under-lit tones.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 30, 2011
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 31, 2011
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 31, 2011
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Mar 31, 2011
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 31, 2011
    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.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 130
  1. Apr 1, 2011
    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. Expand
  2. Oct 30, 2011
    This is a superb horror film. James wan makes fims that have familiar elements from the genre but he gives them a unique flavour with the use of harsh, punchy string music to accompany the shocks and some brilliantly imaginative imagery. the horror in this film is subtle at times and then very intense at others. James Wan is an inspired director that doesn't hold back. You're either gonna accept his vision and feel the terror, or reject it - at which point it becomes comedic, hence some of the low scores. For me he's a true auteur, up there with Argento. I love old school horror, and this delivers for me. Expand
  3. Jun 5, 2014
    Consensus: Insidious is witty, clever, well acted, scary and original. James Wan has a new fan. 91/100 (A-)

    Insidious is an american horror
    film directed by James Wan with a small budget ($1,500,000). At first the film looks like Paranormal Activity 2 (without the found-footage), but after the second half becomes very original.

    Things start to happen and it's scary as hell, the performances are really good (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson are superb) James Wan is a very good director, he's an expert in the genre, the plot is original and the scares effective, all the characters are very well developed, some characters are a bit silly, some very funny in a good way.

    Ultra-Amazing special effects and the film terrifies you with loud sounds and disturbing images, there's a lot of inspiration here, is intense and scary, the end is awesome but confusing, so... if this film left you wanting more watch Insidious: Chapter 2. (Not good, but palpable). Visit my blog: Twitter @MemoBosque
  4. Aug 17, 2011
    This movie was like a rollercoaster. It started off amazing, and just kept getting better and better. It was packed with suspense and kept you on the edge of your seat. Until... you saw the "monster" in this movie. after that, it began to go downhill incredibly fast. I mean, it just got stupid and cheesy after that. However, the ending was shocking and surprising and perhaps the best part of the movie. The movie was essentially good except it was quite rushed and the acting wasn't terrific. It didn't compare to some of the director's other movies such as Saw and Paranormal Activity. Expand
  5. Apr 4, 2011
    Not being a horror fan, I wasn't expecting much from this film. Really, I was expecting Paranormal Activity. I was pleasantly surprised. This doesn't break molds in the horror genre and uses a lot of cliches and music cues that are more annoying than scary, but it still was creepy, which a movie hasn't done to me since I was a kid. There was a pair of characters that add comic relief to the film, relieving any possible tension, that come in halfway through, and though I enjoyed them, in my opinion, they don't fit, but I've heard others say they were glad they were there. As usual with James Wan, there is a nod to Billy the puppet (from Saw, James Wan's first major horror film) in the background of one of the scenes. Expand
  6. Jul 14, 2011
    Insidious is a modern day portal of the Haunted House Movie. It's nothing we haven't seen before. Sprits linger around and everyone freaks out trying to save a young kid. It's really that simple. There are a few complex twists and turns but it's no wonder that the producer of Paranormal Activity would produce another film just like it. (Arn't the sequels enough to punish us with?) I will give credit where credit is due, but only where credit is due. Insidious did something that must horror films of today cannot, it made me jump. That's all it did though. For the first time sense The House of the Devil back in 2009 I felt scared watching a film. It surprised me at first and I was taken into the story line. However, the last forty minutes of this film were so random, out there and completely ridiculous that I could no longer enjoy the film. I sat through the last twenty minutes begging for it to just be over. James Wan the director of Saw has swam in the glory of the franchise ever since it launched his career in 2004, but after his last failed attempt with Dead Silence back in 2007 did any of us really expect anything more from James Wan with Insidious. Sure he successfully got Oren Peli to produce the film but after the success of Paranormal Activity this guy has been throwing himself at everything horror. The simple conclusion is that the names advertised with this film are a bunch of one hit wonders. The film was as cheesy as they come with a dumb down completely ridiculous story line. I could hardly even bare watching the last twenty minutes. However, for the first time in almost two years I was scared. It made me jump and if that's the only reason that you watch horror movies then this film is for you. That's all it's going to do though, it will just make you jump. Insidious is a film for the hardcore horror fans the love films like poltergeist. Everyone else this film is TRASH Expand
  7. Aug 23, 2011
    The Amityville Horror Starring Darth Maul! by D Veeb (Aug 23, 2011)
    This is the second time I've fallen victim to the line "scariest film
    since The Exorcist!" (the first was that awful piece of dreck "The Blair Witch Project") At any rate, this film would probably be entertaining to you if you're 13 years old and are talking or texting through the film as any notion of cohesive storytelling has clearly been put on the back burner in favor of standard issue horror film "gotcha" moments. In fact, this film is so cliche´ that I truly expected to see a pig coming through the bedroom window (Amityville Horror). The film has some startling moments, and a few somewhat decent visuals, but the script, acting, and directing are really sub-par. The kid clearly falls off the ladder and hits the back of his head. In the next scene, he's got a big shiner on his forehead above his eye! Gimme a break! And the music and sound effects were so over-the-top, hitting you over the head with "THIS IS SCARRY!" slams. Plus...the demon bears a striking resemblance to Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace! Really?!?! Do yourself a favor, skip this mess! Expand

See all 130 User Reviews