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Latest Home Video

Jul 12, 2011

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



James Wan


Patrick Wilson

Rose Byrne

Ty Simpkins


2011 Sony Pictures Entertainment

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Insidious.

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Reviewed by

Overall C-
Run Time97

Making the Grades

There may not be another genre so driven by formula as that of the horror film—though the romantic comedy might be a close second. The conventions of the scary movie include dark nights, shadowed silhouettes, creaking doors and screeching violins. True to form, Insidious has them all. But unfortunately, along with the parade of jump scenes, this script delves into the occult, depicting a satanic figure intent on possessing the body of a child.

Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) have moved into an old home with only a hint of an explanation for why they left the last place. Soon after their arrival, their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls from a ladder while exploring the attic. The accident hardly seems noteworthy until Dalton slips into an unexplained unconsciousness. Not considered to be a true coma, he is nonetheless non-responsive to any external stimuli.

Yet more unsettling than her son’s medical condition are the creepy noises, muffled voices and slithering figures Renai begins to notice around the house. After one too many of these ghostly encounters, the young mother insists that the family move again.

However, even their new and more modern digs don’t stop the apparitions from haunting the family who desperately wants to help their son regain consciousness. Finally as the visiting disembodied spirits begin to mark the house with their bloody handprints, Josh’s mother (Barbara Hershey) suggests they call in Elise (Lin Shaye). The arrival of the psychic/exorcist is preceded by her two geeky ghostbusting assistants who scour the place with their specter detectors—and provide some comic relief for audiences.

Giving a sinister edge to everyday objects such as baby monitors, flashlights, children’s drawings and a grandfather clock, this film plies all the scary wares it can muster. Yet for teens looking for a good fright flick, this story’s obsession with paranormal powers and possession may push the boundaries, as does the depiction of a gruesome murder and other ghastly-looking characters. Unlike its title suggests there is nothing subtle about this horror fest or its intention to give audiences an uneasy theatrical experience when the lights go out.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Insidious.

What elements do directors rely on to create suspense and fright? How well does this film use those? Is there another setting in which this story could have been as effectively told?

Do portrayals of satanic figures and occult practices promote experimentation? What is the appeal of scary movies?

How do sound effects, such as a racing heartbeat, contribute to the images that are depicted on screen? Check out Steve Spangler’s ideas for making your own scary sounds.

Canadian Movie Ratings

14A Frightening Scenes.
AB 14A Frightening Scenes, Not Recommended For Children.
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Frightening Scenes.
ON 14A Frightening Scenes, Disturbing Content.
QC 13+

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Insidious...

Insidious releases to DVD and Blu-ray on July 12, 2011, with the following bonus extras:

- Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar

- On Set With Insidious

- Insidious Entities

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sooz says: Mar. 25, 2011

Went to a screening of “Insidious” with my tween daughter (who’s been dying to see a scary movie).

We had a blast.  To me, this was a “real” scary movie: traditional jumps & screams from frights, nice character development w/ a plausible? story line w/ sufficient explanation & backstory, suspense & anxiety formed in the process of solving the whole haunting problem (which does involve a child in the threat of danger, but the kid never gets physically harmed, unless you count a little scrape near the beginning from a tumble), & a twisty, somewhat surprise ending. Also, moments of humor to break up the tension were scattered throughout.

All this, & without gore or gratuitious violence.  I counted the “f” word used once (but I’m from NJ).  No sex or nudity, either.  None of the ugly stuff we try to keep from our kids for as long as possible in those years when they start begging to see “R” movies. (We keep saying “no” to “Saw”)  Scary while it lasts, quickly forgotten once the movie’s over…not the cause of nightmares.

We had fun hanging onto each other for the suspenseful parts, jumping & screaming when appropriate, laughing here & there.  Afterwards,we went for ice cream & laughed & talked about all of our favorite parts.

If you like the roller coaster ride of a more traditional scary movie rather than the more prevalent gory horror movie, this movie is perfect.  And seeing a scary movie in a theater full of people is always more fun.  Loved the collective energy!

I’d recommend it for the more-daring tweens & up, as long as the younger ones were accompanied by parents/older siblings.

FYI, we have 4 kids, ages 21, 11, 8, 5.  Taking the 11 y/o was a bit of stretch for me, but I did get some information on the movie before hand, including a synopsis & rating & the reasons for the rating, & made my decision based on that, since I didn’t read any reviews of the movie beforehand.

If you like suspenseful, scary movies, go see it.  We had a blast!

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