TSR Blog: ‘Insidious’ is less than insidious

It’s hard to make a solid horror film these days. Sure, they’re cheap to produce and they’re pretty much guaranteed box office returns, but now more than ever, there seems to be a constant struggle between the corporate aspects of Hollywood and the artistic intentions of the cast and crew. Or at least, that’s what seems to be part of the problem of with the latest directorial effort from the creators of the Saw franchise, James Wan and Leigh Whannell. It’s not for a lack of trying, but rather, trying to cram a little too much that makes Insidious falter when it had such potential.

Honestly, one of the biggest issues with the film is an issue of casting. Patrick Wilson, who is normally a truly talented actor, is so one note for the majority of the film that when they attempt to give him any depth or character development, it seems so foreign that I found myself wanting the rigid and formulaic man I’d seen for the first half of the movie. Even Rose Byrne, who has proven herself more than capable to tackle both dramatic roles and comedic ones, comes off as all wrong here. Maybe it’s just my familiarity with her work or my unabashed love of the roles she chooses, but all through Insidious I couldn’t remove the fact that I was watching Rose Byrne onscreen. As Ellen Parsons in Damages, she completely sold me on it. Even in Bridesmaids, she disappeared into the role. Something about the casting of Rose Byrne as a frumpy hausfrau just doesn’t ring true. Sure, she sells the moments of horror, but as a character, there was a lot to be desired.

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