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Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Horror · Insidious


Some of the most effective scares I’ve ever seen on the big screen

Rod Lott March 30th, 2011

Having moved homes last month, I know the inherent horrors of settling in to a new residence. A gas leak forced us to go without heat and hot water for 10 days; once that was fixed, our sprinkler system would not shut off for three.

What little optimist left in me thinks it could have been worse; at least our son wasn’t sent into a coma by a malevolent demon he encountered in the attic.

That’s the situation facing the Lambert family in “Insidious,” opening Friday. From the creative talents behind the “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity” franchises, this welcome twist on 1970s possession pictures contains some of the most effective scares I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Combine “Drag Me to Hell” with “Poltergeist,” strip them of their respective sense of humor and childlike wonder, and look out. Yes, Virginia, there is a PG-13 film that can be frightening.

Patrick Wilson (“Morning Glory”) and Rose Byrne (TV’s “Damages”) portray the hapless parents who learn their problem isn’t their manor, but their moppet. And home warranties don’t cover evil.

Director James Wan made a splash with “Saw,” then resisted returning for the sequels to make the little-seen and underappreciated “Dead Silence” and “Death Sentence.” Here’s hoping this one also doesn’t go unnoticed, because the man can stage suspense. He and screenwriter Leigh Whannell (giving himself a small role as a ghost buster) have rigged “Insidious” like a walkthrough haunted house. Although you know damn well a jump awaits around the corner, its aggressive appearance elicits the creeps.

And Wan pulls all this off without buckets of blood or a reliance on CGI. You won’t miss them.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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