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Insidious (2011)


Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 165
Fresh: 109
Rotten: 56

Critics Consensus: Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride.

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 126,952


Movie Info

Saw franchise veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell team with Paranormal Activity writer/director Oren Peli to give the familiar haunted house story an exciting new twist with this tale of a family that moves into an old house and begins to suspect they are under siege from otherworldly forces when their young son inexplicably falls into a deep coma. As devoted parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) struggle in vain to uncover the root cause of their son's condition, the stress of … More

PG-13 (for thematic material, violence, terror and frightening images, and brief strong language)
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jul 12, 2011
Box Office:
FilmDistrict - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Insidious

All Critics (165) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (109) | Rotten (56) | DVD (11)

Not so much insidious as inexcusable.

Full Review… | April 27, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Wan and Whannell have, in effect, ripped pages from the "Poltergeist" playbook and stripped the formulas down to old-style gothic scares.

Full Review… | April 11, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 3, 2011
Top Critic

Insidious isn't scary. It's laughable. And kind of sad.

Full Review… | April 1, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

There's little new here. And what is new isn't well done.

Full Review… | April 1, 2011
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Nothing slows down a movie down like people sitting around a living room discussing the meaning of "astral projection."

Full Review… | April 1, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The final third marks a jarring shift into increasingly silly territory, but the build-up and jump-scares are effective.

Full Review… | January 2, 2014
Flix Capacitor

This is a movie that wants to be several movies at once. It turns out to be none of them.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

Insidious is effectively creepy and is able to provide some great horror elements without the gore.

Full Review… | June 2, 2013
We Got This Covered

After a suspenseful and shock-filled first hour, it loses control and veers off into routine supernatural silliness. I hate it when that happens.

Full Review… | February 15, 2013

The best horror movies get the audience talking back to the screen. "Insidious" manages that, and how...

Full Review… | January 9, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

About as subtle as a fart at a sťance

Full Review… | September 27, 2012

There's nothing wrong with its standard set up which has an unsuspecting family haunted by spirits. However, when it comes time for the film to follow through on the plotline, we find out the filmmakers weren't quite up to the task.

Full Review… | September 20, 2012

Reminds of those mazes during Halloween, where figures jump out of the shadows and attempt to scare you--and one look at them beyond a second reveals them to be obnoxious people in even more obnoxious makeup.

Full Review… | April 8, 2012

Insidious clearly borrows from several sources, but where it fails as a narrative, it succeeds as a shock-a-minute fright fest with plenty of atmosphere and dread.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

The ending struggles to explain too much and take itself a bit too literally, but mostly Insidious is an engaging treat.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011

It may be an essentially shallow ride, but it will make you scared of the dark again. It is a strangely comforting to be reminded of what that feels like.

Full Review… | August 16, 2011
Fan The Fire

There is much to recommend in this reunion of the creative forces behind the dazzling first Saw movie.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

For all its creaky-old-dark-house cliches, Insidious is a fun ghost-train ride, full of truly terrifying moments. But once it's over, it's forgotten.

Full Review… | July 4, 2011
Empire Magazine Australasia

Director James Wan here proves himself very adept at building dramatic tension and making you anxious about the things going on in your peripheral vision.

Full Review… | June 16, 2011
The Age (Australia)

Is this reminding you of anything? Like, say 77.2% of any horror movies ever made?

Full Review… | May 20, 2011

Insidious is certainly part of a great tradition of scary films, but it's a little too bland and visually unappealing to be memorable.

Full Review… | May 14, 2011
Cinema Autopsy

They're having such a joke on us because there is a ridiculous element to it and one of the things that I think they fall into the trap of showing too much. Horror and being scared is much more effective without actually seeing.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
At the Movies (Australia)

If the film was attempting to be more than just a horror movie, it doesn't work on that level either.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
At the Movies (Australia)

Insidious is very much a 21st century modern horror movie, which is to say it's more interested in tricks and scares than 'horror'.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011

Insidious is happy enough with elevating your breathing pattern every now and then, as opposed to choking you outright with one shock after another.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
Herald Sun (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Insidious

This review includes Spoilers. Considering the Haunted House genre has been done to death, Insidious doesn't do too bad a job. It was a brave move by it's makers that paid off but it's not brilliant. The first half is a case of 'It's what you don't see' that scares you and this works - better than Paranormal Activity in my opinion. It's the second half that really lets it down though, when you begin to see the Insidious ones the scares become somewhat sparse. It's a little cliched too, you wait an hour to see a Ghost and when you do it's just a bunch of pale looking people in Victorian clothing. Boo indeed. Actually, the 'Red face in Kitchen scene was good but it was the only 'Jump out of your seat' scene which there should have been more of. The fantasy end comes very close to cheesy 80's horror storyline-wise but without it being as fun as that was back then and by the end you're really not that bothered about how it ends because chances are you've already worked it out (not that it makes much sense anyway). Nice to see Lin Shaye in a good role though, she's earned it after all the crap she's been given all these years. I've seen better but I've seen a hell of a lot worse, it's worth a watch horror fans.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

I don't usually do horror movies, but this one was actually pretty good, even if I did spend a great amount of time talking and yelling at the TV to distract myself from potential jump scenes.

Flutie Archibald

Super Reviewer

Insidious is the equivalent of a haunted house theme park ride. Frequent jump scares abound, most of them quite effective. By the time the ending roles around, you aren't as scared as you were when the film started (the third act goes into hyper-drive with effects overload), but if you're looking for a fun horror flick to watch, Insidious works.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

A couple months ago I got a copy of part 2. About 30 minutes in I fell sleep because I didn't remember a darn thing about the first movie, and had zero interest. So I waiting til I could get both movies and watch them back to back. This movie holds up extremely well! The sequel pales in comparison and this is one of the 5 best horror movies of the last, probably 10 years. Here's my original review:

Good,old fashion,original scary movie. James Wan,who directed the first" saw" continues to show his knack for a good horror movie. Starts out like any other haunted house movie,but has a few twists that really seperates it. One thing I really liked was it showed the demon doing the haunting,and he looks pretty badass. Right now the only real horror movie options are remakes or bad sequels,which really makes this stand out. Emily already warned me that she is gonna have nightmares, doubt she'd say that about" scream 4".

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Insidious Quotes

Elise Rainier:
You're now outside. Let my voice be your guide. Keep a steady stride. Into the further you go...
Dalton Lambert:
Last night I watch myself sleep, then I flew away.
– Submitted by Thet M (13 months ago)
Elise Rainier:
You're now outside... Let my voice be your guide... Keep a steady stride... Into the further you go...
– Submitted by Zack B (23 months ago)
Dalton Lambert:
Oh my god daddy, he's looking..
– Submitted by Joco d (2 years ago)
Lipstick-Face Demon:
Where is it, I want it, give it to me, I want it and I want it NOW!
– Submitted by Connor N (2 years ago)
Elise Rainier:
It's not the house that is haunted. It's your son.
– Submitted by Bria M (2 years ago)
Helps weed out the nut jobs.
– Submitted by Katlyn B (2 years ago)

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