Insidious - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Insidious Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
April 27, 2011
Not so much insidious as inexcusable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
April 11, 2011
Wan and Whannell have, in effect, ripped pages from the "Poltergeist" playbook and stripped the formulas down to old-style gothic scares.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 3, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 1, 2011
Insidious isn't scary. It's laughable. And kind of sad.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 1, 2011
There's little new here. And what is new isn't well done.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 1, 2011
Nothing slows down a movie down like people sitting around a living room discussing the meaning of "astral projection."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
April 1, 2011
"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.
Top Critic
Mike Hale
New York Times
March 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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 31, 2011
It's too much "Saw" and not enough "Paranormal."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 31, 2011
The film is weighed down by too many forehead-palming lapses and an overall sense of "been there."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 31, 2011
Here's a better-than-average spook house movie, mostly because Insidious decides it can haunt an audience without spraying it with blood.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ethan Gilsdorf
Boston Globe
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
March 31, 2011
All calculation aside, scary is still scary, and Insidious makes up in old-fashioned tension what it sometimes lacks in originality.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 31, 2011
Not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
March 31, 2011
builds legitimate haunted-house dread ... [but] at a very specific point ... possession turns jokey and hokey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
March 31, 2011
Aesthetically, Insidious operates at the level of a decent high school video project.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 31, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 30, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 30, 2011
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 | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 30, 2011
The film's low-budget atmospherics and clichéd floor-creakings are a poor substitute for Wan's nauseating impact of yore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 30, 2011
Insidious is the kind of movie you could watch with your eyes closed and still feel engrossed by it.
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
March 29, 2011
It doesn't build a better haunted house but, when on its game, reminds us of the genre's pleasures.
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Variety
March 29, 2011
A possession thriller less terrifying than fun.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
March 29, 2011
A surprising number of these gotcha moments have the desired effect, and the picture's first hour strings them along through a familiar tale.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 28, 2011
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.
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
March 21, 2011
Whatever flaws it may have, Insidious scared the hell out of me.
Full Review | Original Score: B+