As far back as I can remember, haunted house films have been a part of the horror genre for … ever! Films such as The House on Haunted Hill, The Haunting, Amityville Horror, Poltergeist and Paranormal Activity … to name a few. There is something about that “creaky door”, shadows on the wall, strange noises, all the usual igredients that make haunted house films what they are meant to be scary! However, this isn’t a “haunted house” per say, it is something “else” that is haunted. I had heard about this film when it came out and the hype about how it was the scariest film since The Exorcist. Well, for me, that is some pretty big shoes to fill. So, is it as scary as The Exorcist? Read my review and find out.
The film is about a husband, Josh (played by Patrick Wilson), and wife, Renai (played by Rose Byrne), who move into a new house with their 3 kids. It doesn’t take long when “bumps” in the night occur and there are unwanted “guests”. With the traditional haunted house scares like bumps in the night, creaky doors, things moved around by themselves – it is on one night that in one of the children’s room, that they see a “mystery shape of a man” in their son’s Dalton’s room. This then triggers the house alarm repeatedly. It’s when they find their son in a “unusual” coma the next day that they know something is going on there. Three months later, things get worst and a bloody handprint onDalton’s bed sheets that makes them move out to another house.
With their son STILL under, it doesn’t take long for the haunted scares to return even tho they are in a new house. The mother believes that they were “followed” by the spirits. It is Josh’s mother, (played by Barbara Hershey), that feels they need to bring in some special help. With experts in that particular field, Elise (played by Lin Shaye), comes to help save their son and clean house. She is able to see things and has one of her helpers draw what she see’s. It is a black figure with a red face, the same Josh and his wife saw. The only way to saveDaltonis for Josh to go into the other world and find him and bring him back. However, all is not as easy as it seems and not all is haunted as it appears. To find out ifDaltonis saved or is it really the house or something else that is causing these bumps in the night, I recommend INSIDIOUS.
This film was directed by James Wan and brought to you by the makers of Paranormal Activity. It has simuliarities to Paranormal Activity but this film ACTUALLY has a bigger budget, real actors that we know, and a better story. It also is simuliar to Poltergeist and “kinda” takes that extra step as far as getting the kid back scenario. I think this was a good horror film and I would safely say I did jump a few times, but still not as scary as The Exorcist (they said the same about Paranormal Activity and I felt that film too wasn’t as scary as The Exorcist … is any?) I think that is a cheap way of pulling people in to see their film, but whatever works, right? I don’t think this was as scary as it could be, but scarier in ways Paranormal Activity wasn’t, so it works for me. Watch it in the dark ,tho and enjoy!
Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye