They Grow Up In The Most Delightful Way: Insidious Review, Part Two

6 Jan

Another day, another ghost story! Welcome to part two of my Insidious review, or as it’s otherwise known, “Rapiest Titles Ever”!

(Seriously, I stole these off a song called Thank Heaven For Little Girls, it is seriously creepy.)

WAY creepier than this movie ever was!

PREVIOUSLY ON INSIDIOUS: People did things and said stuff! Back to the show!


When the father comes home from work, he finds the mother with a priest. Yeah, she was using one of those “On-Call” confessionals. “You’ll find Jesus in 30 minutes or your money back!”

The priest it ushered out, and the mother talks to the father about the newsie boy, while… woman who I have no idea her relevance to the plot shows up and starts yammering about her dreams! Um. Hi, who are you again? Mind giving us some backstory before you start narrating your fucking dream diary?

Anyway, in her dream, she went to their house and in to Dalton’s room, and found a ghost standing over Dalton’s bed. It said it was a “visitor”, and it wants Dalton, and the soundtrack screams once again to let us know this is supposed to be scary. She finishes telling us this… just in time to notice the Visitor standing behind the father.

“Hey. Got a minute?”

Our psychic hotline buddy starts freaking out that Darth Maul is right behind him, and they hear banging in Dalton’s room. God, you have to love how the baby used to burst in to tears if they so much as coughed, but nowadays you can set off a fucking bomb across the hall and she’s fine.

They burst in to Dalton’s room to find everything torn apart, with Dalton laying in the middle of the floor with bloody claw marks everywhere, and the soundtrack takes the time to let us know that this is indeed a bad thing. The psychic, who I think is supposed to be the father’s mother, says she knows somebody who can help. Quick, call the discount Ghostbusters!

Our Ghostsbusting duo show up, act bitchy to everyone, and show off the tech that’ll be used in the final act. Because hey, foreshadowing is everyone’s job.

The bearded one stops by the grandfather clock and uses his ghost camera to check for more ghosts, and manages to find two women standing their and grinning. Why the fuck are you two smiling, you’re in Insidious!

A fate worse than death.

Just as Beardy tells everyone that “ghosts are afoot”, our second annoying psychic for the movie shows up. Her name is Elise, and if we’re very, very lucky, she’s going to be the first one against the wall when the revolution comes!

She wanders through the house, making sure that all the other children are with the father’s mother so they’re not a factor in the plot- er, so they’re safe, and she wanders in to Dalton’s room. The second ghostbuster, Specs, follows behind and draws everything she describes, including the Visitor, who’s currently clinging to the ceiling above Dalton. Spider-Ghost, Spider-Ghost, does what ever a Spider-Ghost wants…

Eventually, the mother gets fed up and drags the sketchbook away, which calls the orchestra to once again bash us over the head to try and scare us but only manages to make things hilarious, and Elise gives her prognosis: It’s not the house that’s haunted… it’s the boy!

Well, welcome to the fuckin’ party, lady.

Ain’t as if it’s the damn tagline of the film!

The gist of it is, Dalton’s been astral projecting in his sleep and accidentally hopped down to hell, and all these ghosts are lookin’ for a joyride in his empty hot rod. And meanwhile, the Visitor is the big bad of the bunch, and who’s hopping to hop inside for a quick “tormenting of the living” then back in time for tea.

Well. Okay, they said it in a much more melodramatic way, but I prefer mine.

This is finally too much for the father, who goes off about how this is such an obvious con, and tosses them all out on their ass. “Fuck your exposition, lady, I have the power of ‘starring in The Conjuring’ on my side!”

He decides to go spend time with Dalton some more, hoping that the sheer power of “holding his hand” will help him get out of a coma… which is when he realizes that all of Dalton’s drawings are about the Visitor and astral projecting. WELL GOOD WORK PICKING UP ON THAT EARLIER I’M SURE YOUR COMATOSE CHILD CAUGHT IN HELL IS HAVING JUST THE BEST FUCKING TIME WHILE YOU FIGURE THIS OUT.

“No hurry.”

With the father now convinced, it’s time for the seance! They set up dramatic lighting, a big book, cameras, and… Elise wears a gas mask? Unless you’re looking for the ghost of that one Doctor Who episode, I’m not sure the point of that last one.

While they wait for Dalton to show up, one of the cameras goes “flash”, and Specs stars writing down everything Elise is saying from Dalton. It is, to be frank, a crappy re-enactment of the seance in The Changeling, but I suppose an aping of a good scene is close enough to a good scene!

Anyway. We don’t really learn anything we don’t already know: Dalton’s in hell, can’t get out, the Visitor’s bad news, etcetera… until the Visitor starts talking through Elise instead of Dalton. Cue the most colourful collection of swears and death threats until the pencil breaks and Elise falls over!

But before you have time to savour her shutting her fucking gob, all hell breaks loose! Dalton shows up, smashes the table, starts tossing everybody around the room like rag dolls with his mind… and also just by punching them, the twin ghosts and the newsie boy show up by the door, Severus Snape tries to lick people, and other fun and safe activities, until Elise gets the Visitor out of Dalton by… turning on the lights?

Unorthodox strategy.


I assume putting your head under the covers and “No Take Backs” works as well?

Later, as Specs is nursing his wounds, Beardy shows off a shot of the Visitor behind Dalton he found on the tape. OH MY GOD WHAT A SHOCKING REVELATION THE EVIL GHOST WAS ACTUALLY THE EVIL GHOST ALL ALONG.

The father’s mother, Lorraine, shows up to explain some foreshadowing that we figured out half an hour ago: The father, Josh, also used to astral project when he was younger, only instead of the Visitor, he got shacked with a boring old lady ghost. She shows off some photos of Josh, with the ghost getting closer and closer all the time. Apparently, they had to completely suppress all memories of this and- wait. They can do that?

Huh. How unwittingly rapey.

The only way to get Dalton back is if Josh learns how to astral project again, and as they get ready for their rescue effort, the mother gives the tremendously insulting line of “You’ve always been stronger than me, Josh”.

Wow. Way to set women’s rights back 50 years.

Anyway, time to astral project! It’s time to… actually, I dunno any references for astral projection.

This has never happened to me before.

Do they have a pill for this kind of thing?

He manages it on his very first try, and comes out in… his house, with all the lights turned off, because that’s in the budget. He decides to leave, but seeing as “outside” is just “everything is dark and you can’t actually see anything”, I’m still putting this down for the forces of “we have no money”.

Josh spots Dalton in the dark, and when he goes to fetch him, Dalton just points him to their old house. Oh, of course, you have to point him to the set we actually spent money on! He runs in to the old lady once inside, whose entrance is signified with an almighty orchestra pound once again. (I swear, turn the sound off, and this movie is just nothing.)

He wanders through the house, sees a girl crying in the corner, a child running down the hall, and other “surreal” imagery, until he hears a jaunty tune and heads downstairs to find a bunch of ghosts frozen around the living room. Damn, looks like a party after I’ve told my famous “Vicar And The Irish Maid” joke.

In the next room, there’s a woman holding a gun, who then teleports over to the living room and shoots the ghosts dead, while having the goofiest fucking expression on her face. I swear, I can’t tell if she’s trying to be creepy, or she’s holding in gas.

Possibly both.

As Josh backs away, they all teleport over to him for another jump scare, and he dashes up the stairs, when they disappear again. And with that time thoroughly wasted, he heads up to the attic. There’s a big red door there now, like in Dalton’s drawings, so Josh heads over, only to get in a fight with Snape. He gets his ass kicked, but after the mother asks Elise for help, she gives him some garbage platitudes, and that gives him the strength to win!

And by that, I mean he backhands the fucker straight out of the movie. Damn, that’s how ALL boss fights should end!

Once through the door, Josh finds an over the top pseudo creepy boss lair, that is clearly trying way too hard, with Dalton chained to the floor. He tries to get Dalton free… only for Tiptoe Through The Tulips to start up.

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Admittedly, Tiny Tim is pretty scary, but Tiptoe Through The Tulips fucking ISN’T, so stop trying to make it scary!

Turns out, that’s the Visitor’s jam, and he’s trying to unwind after a long day of being vague by sharpening his claws and dancing around the room, and he soon realizes what Josh is doing, and teleports down for a smackdown! An undignified, tremendously silly smackdown!

I mean, good god, this guy was scary because you kept him vague, so why do you think him hopping around and waggling his tail is going to work?!

They manage to escape and make it out of the house regardless, and now they’re back to wandering through the blackness once again. There’s a whole mob of dead people there now, all of whom just kind of walk around, while in the real world, the mother is trying to justify her part in this movie by calling out to Josh and giving him a path home. Well, nice of you to fucking contribute, lady.

The fight with the Visitor knocked all the lights out in the real world, so Beardy and Specs wander around with their flashlights, looking for… I dunno, exactly. Are they just hoping to find their souls stapled to the fridge?

Everyone just sort of wanders around for a while at this point, waiting for the climax like a woman who’s just sort of bored with cunnilingus, until hoards of zombies attack the house. BECAUSE THE GHOSTS CAN DO THAT NOW OKAY.

Back in la-la land, they’ve made it back to the house, and while Dalton runs from the Visitor, Josh has a climactic shouting match with that old woman who keeps showing up on all the merchandise. But the power of his wife’s shrill voice manages to drag both him and Dalton back to life, as well as banish all the ghosts, because SHUT UP THE MOVIE’S ALMOST OVER.

Everyone gets their nice trite wrap-up… until Elise realizes something’s off with Josh. She pulls out a camera, takes a pictures, which inspires him in to a manic rage and strangles her. The mother, realizing something must be wrong, finds the body, searches for Josh… and finds the camera, showing the old woman where Josh was supposed to be.

And then he shows up behind her.


Nice to know you had almost no baring on the plot, lady.

So, that was Insidious! How was it?

Eh, it was alright.

The main thing this movie has going for it is a very nightmarish tone in the second half, and a penchant for jump scares. Slow subtle horror? Not their type. Jump scares? They are all over that crap.

The acting is alright, the editing’s okay, the story’s not too bad, and the entire thing ends up somewhere around average.

Gosh. What a decisive and effective closer.

3 Responses to “They Grow Up In The Most Delightful Way: Insidious Review, Part Two”

  1. Tim Hurley January 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Haven’t seen the second film, so I can’t comment on whether or not it improves, but yeah, they pretty much threw any suspense they had built up right out the window when the ‘visitor’ got actual screen time. I suppose that’s what people want in all those fancy focus group testings— bizarre imagery, hard-to-follow-plots, and jump scares aplenty, Could have always been worse, I guess.

    • averystrangeplace January 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Whenever somebody says “it could have been worse”, I immediately flash back to 1313 and start sobbing in the fetal position.


  1. Because I Could Not Mock For Death, He Kindly Mocked For Me: Life Of Deaths, Part Four | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - January 26, 2014

    […] Carnage, with his gang tattoos obviously drawn on with Sharpie and his henchman who’s only job is to carry his bag of flour at all times, is obviously a little incredulous that a big tough… well, tough in comparison to Carnage, who looks like he could be pushed over in a strong wind and probably has brittle bird bones, and… I forget where this sentence was going. Anyway, Carnage fills K-Dog with more holes than Insidious’s plot. […]

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