To start out, James Wan is my favorite horror director to date. He is extremely smart, and he knows what real horror movies should be made of. He created an excellent script, and created a franchise that has given us three great movies. He knows what not to include in a horror story, and his movies often have an impact on its viewers after the film ends. He's a director I definitely admire, and I'm thankful that he gave us the "Insidious" movies.
What I really loved about this movie is that it is just downright scary. It's scary during the film, and the effect it has on you afterwards is daunting. Like I said, James Wan knows how to make quality scares, and he really shows his talent in this film.. There are plenty of quality jumps scares that actually contain something scary, and there are also plenty of disturbing moments. There are moments where our characters are looking at a dark corner, and it's obvious that they see something, but the audience is unable to see that. That is some of the most effective methods to scare your audience, and they really did that here. The movie also affects you after you're done watching it, as every little shadow and sound in your house will stop you from falling asleep.
I also loved the soundtrack in this movie, while simultaneously hating it. The soundtrack was used to perfection, and they were able to set the tone with their creepy, yet exciting soundtracks. They utilized the music, and the sounds really well in this movie, to a point where I used to get nightmares as a young kid just from hearing certain songs from the movie.
The story is also very interesting, and they do a great job of establishing a world where these demons and the further actually exist. It's really hard to create a believable world in the movie, but they pull it off here. When watching it, you really are interested in watching a second film, and it makes you want to learn more about this world.
There are also plenty of clever and creepy moments if you really watch the movie closely. By paying close attention frame by frame, you can always notice little stuff in every creek or corner, and it really makes the movie even more chilling. They are so subtle in their approach, and it's easy to miss some of the little hints that they drop in this movie. It really makes the viewing experience even more fun, because it feels like you constantly find more and more stuff every time.
The villain is also menacing, as you truly are scared of this demon from the other side. Actually, all of these demons do an insane job of wreaking torment on these people's lives, and the villains in this movie were top notch.
The acting was also fantastic, as Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Lin Shaye were all great leads. I love them all, as they really are the faces of the Insidious franchise.
In the end, "Insidious" really made my childhood for me, or broke it, however you want to see it. This is the film that gave me nightmares as a kid, and I've watched it about 15 times by now. It never gets old, and it consistently manages to scare the hell out of me. This is one of the smartest horror movies out there, and is truly one that I loved. It does have its problems, resorting to some cheesy moments at times, but overall, I loved the movie, and it'll get a very strong 4.5 stars from me.