• PG-13, 1 hr. 42 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:
    James Wan
    In Theaters:
    Apr 1, 2011 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jul 12, 2011
  • FilmDistrict


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Insidious Reviews

Nigel Floyd
Time Out
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Not so much insidious as inexcusable.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

April 27, 2011
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
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Wan and Whannell have, in effect, ripped pages from the "Poltergeist" playbook and stripped the formulas down to old-style gothic scares.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

April 11, 2011
James Berardinelli
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

April 3, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Insidious isn't scary. It's laughable. And kind of sad.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: D+

April 1, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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There's little new here. And what is new isn't well done.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 1.5/4

April 1, 2011
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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Nothing slows down a movie down like people sitting around a living room discussing the meaning of "astral projection."

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

April 1, 2011
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
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"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.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

April 1, 2011
Mike Hale
New York Times
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 31, 2011
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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It's too much "Saw" and not enough "Paranormal."

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 31, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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From the opening credits, in which the title appears in blood-red letters to the accompaniment of blaring, dissonant music, the movie tries to get under your skin and inside your mind. Sometimes it does.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

March 31, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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There's not much that's insidious, or subtle, here. A prolonged scene involving an unnerving high-pitched burglar alarm does get under our skin. But it's far more annoying than frightening.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

March 31, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The film is weighed down by too many forehead-palming lapses and an overall sense of "been there."

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 31, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Here's a better-than-average spook house movie, mostly because Insidious decides it can haunt an audience without spraying it with blood.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Ethan Gilsdorf
Boston Globe
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The final shocker succeeds in shocking, and does so sans gore. But first we have to wade through a red door and a red hallway, pleas to "follow my voice,'' and an infinity of fog about as scary as dry ice vapor spilling onto a dance floor.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 31, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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All calculation aside, scary is still scary, and Insidious makes up in old-fashioned tension what it sometimes lacks in originality.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

March 31, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
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builds legitimate haunted-house dread ... [but] at a very specific point ... possession turns jokey and hokey.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3/5

March 31, 2011
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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Aesthetically, Insidious operates at the level of a decent high school video project.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 1/4

March 31, 2011
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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The film is stylish and quietly unsettling even in its derivativeness, and it delivers the sort of slow-building chills that ruffle the hair at the back of your neck, at least until the frights get a little too literal, in the movie's third act.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

March 31, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
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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.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 30, 2011
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Insidious is a haunted-house movie that has some of the most shivery and indelible images I've seen in any horror film in decades.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

March 30, 2011
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The film's low-budget atmospherics and clichéd floor-creakings are a poor substitute for Wan's nauseating impact of yore.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

March 30, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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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.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

March 30, 2011
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Insidious is the kind of movie you could watch with your eyes closed and still feel engrossed by it.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

March 30, 2011
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
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It doesn't build a better haunted house but, when on its game, reminds us of the genre's pleasures.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 29, 2011
Rob Nelson
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A possession thriller less terrifying than fun.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 29, 2011
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
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A surprising number of these gotcha moments have the desired effect, and the picture's first hour strings them along through a familiar tale.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 29, 2011
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

March 28, 2011
Eric D. Snider
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Whatever flaws it may have, Insidious scared the hell out of me.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B+

March 21, 2011
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