Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||James Wan|
|Produced by||Jason Blum
|Written by||Leigh Whannell|
|Music by||Joseph Bishara|
|Cinematography||John R. Leonetti|
|Editing by||James Wan
|Studio||Stage 6 Films
|Running time||103 minutes|
Insidious is a 2011 American supernatural horror film. Written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, the film features Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Barbara Hershey in starring roles. The story centers on a couple whose son inexplicably enters a comatose state and becomes a vessel for ghosts in an astral dimension. The film was released in theaters on April 1, 2011, and is FilmDistrict's first theatrical release. A sequel, Insidious: Chapter 2, was released on September 13, 2013, with Wan returning as director and Whannell returning as screenwriter.
At the beginning of the film, a shadowy old woman is seen inside a house while the inhabitants sleep.
Renai and Josh Lambert have recently moved into a new home with their three children. One morning, Renai looks through a family photo album with her son, Dalton, who asks why there are no pictures of Josh when he was a child. Renai reasons that he has always been camera shy and disliked taking photos of himself. One evening, Dalton sees the attic door open and goes to investigate after hearing sounds upstairs. As he enters inside, he tries to climb a ladder to turn on the light, but falls when the ladder cracks. As he falls to the floor, he seems to stare in horror at the darkness as if looking at something terrifying. Shaken, he is put to bed by Renai and Josh and told not to play in the attic because it is off-limits. The next day, Dalton does not awaken from his sleep. Renai and Josh rush him to the hospital, where the doctors say he is in an inexplicable coma.
Three months later, Dalton is moved back to his home while still in a coma. Shortly after, disturbing events begin to occur. The first is when Renai hears a voice on the baby monitor which shouts "I want it now!", a bloody hand-print on Dalton's bed and a strange but frightening man in her infant daughter's bedroom. Renai becomes more disturbed when their youngest son, Foster, says he does not like it when Dalton "walks around" at night. Renai tells Josh about the events, but when she is assaulted by the strange man that night, she begs Josh and the family soon moves to another house.
In the new house, the supernatural events continue to occur, such as a strange, dancing boy, and soon become increasingly sinister. Lorraine, Josh's mother, recalls having a strange dream of going inside Dalton's room in the night and seeing something standing in the corner, and when questioned "What do you want?" it replies "Dalton." Subsequently Lorraine sees a red-faced figure standing behind Josh that roars at her and Dalton is then violently attacked in his bedroom. This prompts Lorraine to contact a friend, Elise Reiner, who specializes in the investigation of paranormal activity. The family, Elise, and her team enter Dalton's room and Elise sees and describes a figure to one of her two assistants, who draws a black figure with a red face and dark hollow eyes on the ceiling of Dalton's room; the same figure that Lorraine had seen before in the house.
Elise explains to Renai and Josh that Dalton has the ability to astral project while sleeping and that he has been doing it since he was very young. The reason that Dalton is in a comatose state is that he has fearlessly traveled too far into different spiritual worlds (he believes the projections are dreams) and has consequently become lost in a land called "The Further"—a place for the tormented souls of the dead. While Dalton's spirit is in this other world, he has left nothing but a lifeless body. The tormented souls crave another chance at life through Dalton's state, while there are others (possibly the old woman and the frightening man) who are more malicious in using him; the red-faced figure, revealed to be a demon, wants to use Dalton for a more malicious intent. However, for a spirit to consume a body, a period of time and energy is required.
Skeptical at first, Josh later relents when he discovers Dalton had been drawing pictures which resemble the demonic figure Elise described. They run a session to try to communicate with Dalton where the demon uses Dalton's body to fight the group, along with other entities who want Dalton's body. After the session, Elise calls Lorraine and the two reveal to the couple that Josh also can astral project and was terrorized by an evil spirit during his childhood. Lorraine shows them pictures from Josh's childhood, revealing a shadowy old woman (the same woman from the beginning of the film) behind him. The more photographs taken of Josh, the closer the shadowy woman begins to get to Josh until she is inches away from him, explaining his fear of photos. Elise suggests that Josh should use his ability to find and help return Dalton's soul, to which Josh agrees.
To prepare to astral-project and find his son, Elise sits him in a chair and places him in a trance. Josh suddenly awakes to find that he has astral-projected—seeing his own self asleep in the chair as well as the others in the room. He proceeds outside in a misty emptiness in an attempt to find his way to Dalton. After encountering a boy who points him back towards a house (the same home that the Lamberts moved out of), he proceeds, only to encounter a family who is shot by a bizarre female member of the family in the living room. Startled, Josh makes his way to the attic where he discovers a red door (the same one drawn in Dalton's pictures). Before he can enter, the violent man seen by Renai in their daughter's room appears and attacks him. Once defeating him, Josh enters the red door.
Inside is "The Further" and the red-faced demon's lair. While entering a cavernous, red room, Josh discovers a sobbing Dalton, chained to the floor. Josh frees his son, but the demon has discovered Josh's presence and attacks them. In search of their physical bodies, Josh and Dalton flee the demon's lair, with the demon in pursuit. Just before the two awaken, Josh leaves his son to confront the shadowy old woman who appears to be inside his house. As he shouts for her to get away from him, screaming that he isn't afraid of her, she retreats into the darkness. Moments later, Josh and Dalton both awaken, just as all the spirits vanish.
With the family now happily reunited, Renai, Dalton, and Lorraine chat in the kitchen as Elise and Josh pack up from the long night. Josh hands Elise the pictures from his childhood, and as she takes them from his hands, she senses something and takes a picture of Josh. He promptly goes into a rage, screaming that she knows that he doesn't like to get photographed, and leaps on her before strangling her to death. Renai hears Josh yelling and goes into the room to find Elise dead and Josh gone. She searches for Josh and finds everyone is gone, the house dead silent. She looks and comes across Elise's camera, seeing a picture in it of the shadowy old woman. It's revealed that what Elise saw was Josh's old and dirty hand and nails, similar to the old woman's, implying that she has possessed him. Josh then puts his hand on Renai's shoulder, saying "Renai, I'm right here," and horror envelops her face as she looks behind her.
In a post-credits scene, the shadowy, old woman can be seen blowing out a candle and the screen fades into total darkness.
- Patrick Wilson as Josh Lambert
- Josh Feldman as young Josh
- Rose Byrne as Renai Lambert
- Lin Shaye as Elise Rainier
- Ty Simpkins as Dalton Lambert
- Barbara Hershey as Lorraine Lambert
- Leigh Whannell as Specs
- Angus Sampson as Tucker
- Andrew Astor as Foster Lambert
- Heather Tocquigny as Nurse Kelly
- Corbett Tuck as Nurse Adele
- Ruben Pla as Dr. Sercarz
- John Henry Binder as Father Martin
- Joseph Bishara as the Lipstick-Face Demon
- Kelly Devoto and Corbett Tuck as Doll girls
- Philip Friedman as the Old Woman
- J. LaRose as the Long Haired Fiend
- Caslin Rose as the Ghoul / Contortionist (uncredited)
- Lary Crews as the Whistling Ghost Dad
- Jose Prendes as Top Hat Guy
Principal photography for Insidious was done over the course of three weeks in 2010, from late April to mid-May at the historic Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles. In regards to the shorter shooting schedule, actor Patrick Wilson explained, "We had long days and a lot of pages a day, and we didn’t get a lot of coverage or rehearsal. But luckily, the benefit of doing a movie that’s not on a big budget—and the reason it’s usually done like that—is so if the filmmakers feel like, ‘OK, we’re not going to sacrifice anything on screen,’ which I don’t think they have, it lets them have complete control. So we were in good hands."
The musical score to Insidious was composed by Joseph Bishara, who also appears in the film as the demon. Performed with a quartet and a piano, a bulk of the score was improvised and structured in the editing process, although some recording sessions began prior to filming. On describing the approach of the film's soundtrack, director James Wan explained, "We wanted a lot of the scare sequences to play really silent. But, what I like to do with the soundtrack is set you on edge with a really loud, sort of like, atonal scratchy violin score, mixing with some really weird piano bangs and take that away and all of a sudden, you’re like, 'What just happened there?'"
An exclusively digital soundtrack album was released by Void Recordings on October 11, 2011. Additional songs featured in the film include:
- "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" by Tiny Tim (1968)
- "Nuvole Bianche" by Ludovico Einaudi (2004)
- "Black Angels" by George Crumb (1971)
The first promotional clip from Insidious was released on September 14, 2010. The following December, production company IM Global released an image and sales poster for the film. On January 22, 2011, FilmDistrict released the first teaser trailer for the film. Less than a month later, the film's theatrical trailer was made available online via daily entertainment news wire Blastr.
Insidious had its world premiere in the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14, 2010. Less than 12 hours after its screening, the film was picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions for theatrical distribution. On December 29, 2010, it was announced that the film will be released theatrically on April 1, 2011 by the then-relatively new film company FilmDistrict. The film was also screened at South by Southwest in mid-March 2011.
On the night prior to Insidious: Chapter 2 theatrical wide release, the film was shown with its sequel as a double feature in select theaters.
Insidious was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 12, 2011 through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Blu-ray bonus content includes three featurettes: Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar, On Set With Insidious, and Insidious Entities. On the day prior to the film's home media release, Sony Pictures and Fangoria hosted a free screening of the film at the Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles followed by an interactive Q&A with director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell.
Insidious has received generally positive reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 66% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 164 reviews, with an average score of 6.0. The critical consensus is: "Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride." Roger Ebert gave the film 2 1/2 stars out of 4 saying, "It depends on characters, atmosphere, sneaky happenings and mounting dread. This one is not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting." Steve O' Brien from WCBS-FM says " Most Terrifying Film since The Exorcist".
A number of negative reviews reported that the second half of the film did not match the development of the first. Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote that "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." Similarly, James Berardinelli commented, "[i]f 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." Ethan Gilsdorf of The Boston Globe wrote that "[t]he film begins with promise" but "[t]he 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."
Positive reviews have focused on the filmmakers' ability to build suspense. John Anderson of The Wall Street Journal explains "[w]hat makes a movie scary isn't what jumps out of the closet. It's what might jump out of the closet. The blood, the gore and the noise of so many fright films miss the horrifying point: Movie watchers are far more convinced, instinctively, that what we don't know will most assuredly hurt us... Insidious establishes that these folks can make a film that operates on an entirely different level, sans gore, or obvious gimmicks. And make flesh crawl." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell admire all sorts of fright, from the blatant to the insidiously subtle. This one lies at an effective halfway point between those extremes." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone commented: "Here's a better-than-average spook house movie, mostly because Insidious decides it can haunt an audience without spraying it with blood." Christy Lemire of the Associated Press stated: "Insidious is the kind of movie you could watch with your eyes closed and still feel engrossed by it. It's a haunted-house thriller filled with all the usual creaking doors, groaning floors and things that go bump in the night, but it'll also grab you with some disturbing, raspy whispers on a baby monitor, a few melancholy piano plunkings and the panicky bleating of an alarm as a front door is mysteriously flung open in the middle of the night."
The film opened with $13,271,464, making it #3 at the domestic box office behind Hop and Source Code. It has since grossed a total of US$54,009,150 domestically and US$43,000,000 internationally, for a total of $97,009,150 worldwide. Insidious was the most profitable film of 2011.
|2011||Won||Fright Meter Awards||Best Horror Film||James Wan
|2011||Nominated||Fright Meter Awards||Best Director||James Wan|
|2011||Nominated||Fright Meter Awards||Best Actress||Rose Byrne|
|2011||Won||Fright Meter Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Lin Shaye|
|2011||Nominated||Fright Meter Awards||Best Screenplay||Leigh Whannell|
|2011||Nominated||2011 Scream Awards||Best Horror Film||−|
|2011||Nominated||2011 Scream Awards||Best Horror Actor||Patrick Wilson|
|2011||Nominated||2011 Scream Awards||Best Horror Actress||Rose Byrne|
Shortly after the release of the second franchise and due to its sellout, it was announced that a third part was being worked on, and will possibly be released April 2015. 
- Karen Benardello (December 30, 2010). "Haunted House Film Insidious To Be Released on April Fool's Day". Shockya.com. Crave Online. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Kaufman, Amy (March 31, 2011). "Movie Projector: "Hop" will jump over rivals this weekend". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- "Insidious (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- Hoovert, John (March 28, 2011). "SXSW: Interview with Insidious Director James Wan". Lost In Reviews.
- Turek, Ryan (May 18, 2010). "Exclusive Set Report: James Wan Talks Insidious". Crave Online. Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Gingold, Michael (April 1, 2011). ""INSIDIOUS": Raising Fear". Fangoria. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Comerford, Jason (2011). "Insidious by Joseph Bishara". Howlin' Wolf Records. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Messer, Ron (April 4, 2011). "James Wan & Leigh Whannell INSIDIOUS Interview; The SAW Creators Also Discuss Their Untitled Sci-Fi Project, NIGHTFALL, and Recent Horror Remakes". Collider.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Amazon.com: Insidious: Joseph Bishara". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Tassi, Paul (September 14, 2010). "First clip of Insidious from Saw's James Wan". JoBlo.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "New ‘Insidious’ Image, Sales Poster". Bloody Disgusting. December 13, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Knowles, Harry (January 22, 2011). "James Wan wants you to check out something... INSIDIOUS!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Edelman, Scott (February 16, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: Terrifyingly creepy trailer for James Wan's Insidious". Blastr. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Kenigsberg, Ben (September 15, 2010). "Toronto International Film Festival 2010: Insidious, Super and Rabbit Hole". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (September 15, 2010). "Sony Pictures Worldwide Buys ‘Insidious’". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Fischer, Russ (December 29, 2010). "James Wan’s ‘Insidious’ To Release on April 1, 2011". /Film. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Keegan, Rebecca (February 10, 2013). "SXSW: ‘Insidious’ leads sci-fi and horror horde in Texas [updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Amazon.com: Insidious [Blu-ray]". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Katz, Josh (May 25, 2011). "Insidious Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Katz, Josh (June 30, 2011). "Special Screening: Insidious". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Rotten Tomatoes by Flixster (2011). "Insidious (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes by Flixster. Flixster, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (March 31, 2011). "Insidious". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Hale, Mike (2011-03-31). "Movie Review - Insidious". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- James Berardinelli (2011-04-02). "Insidious". Reelviews.net. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Ethan Gilsdorf (2011-04-01). "Insidious". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- John Anderson (2011-04-01). "'Insidious': Scary Eyeful of the Unknown". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Michael Phillips (2011-03-31). "Insidious Movie Review". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Peter Travers (2011-03-31). "Insidious". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Lemire, Christy (2011-03-30). "Review: 'Insidious' mixes shocks and laughs". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Box Office Mojo (Unknown). "Insidious". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- WorstPreviews.com Staff (February 3, 2012). "James Wan in Talks to Direct "Insidious" Sequel". WorstPreviews. WorstPreviews.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- J.B. (November 30, 2011). "Insidious 2 is in the works according to domain registrations by Sony Pictures". Fusible. Fusible.com. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Insidious 3 is in the works".
- Official website
- Insidious at the Internet Movie Database
- Insidious at Box Office Mojo
- Insidious at Rotten Tomatoes
- Insidious at Metacritic