BY EMILY GAGNE
What it’s about: A young family begins experiencing paranormal disturbances after their son goes into a coma and ghosts begin using his body as a passageway into the human world.
Who’s in it: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey and indie horror queen Lin Shaye.
When it came out: 2011
How come you haven’t heard of (or just seen) it: Insidious might have done well with the horror-loving community (it’s even got a sequel on the way in September!) and at the overall box-office (apparently it was the No. 1 grossing flick of 2011), but it’s not nearly as talked-about as some of director James Wan’s other work, including the über-popular Saw. I think certain audiences assume that because of Wan’s past, the flick could be shoved under the overcrowded torture porn umbrella. Which is sad, because this movie, like Wan’s other underappreciated classic Dead Silence, is much more original and interesting.
Why you need to watch it immediately!: Wan’s latest, The Conjuring, comes out Friday. I haven’t seen that flick yet, but it looks like a lesser, 70s-set version of this film. Heck, Wilson even has a major role in it, this time as a paranormal investigator. (In Insidious, he plays the father of the aforementioned comatose boy.)
More to the point though, Insidious is the best modern horror movie out there. It’s legitimately terrifying, especially in the latter moments, as Wilson’s Josh journeys to “the other side” and comes face-to-face with some nightmare-inducing characters. (I honestly watched this movie in the middle of the afternoon in bed and I was still seriously shaken the next day.) The effects are insanely solid as well, as are the performances (wait until you see Shaye in a gas mask!). That’s a statement that cannot be applied to most big-budget, churned-out horror flicks these days, and a testament to Wan’s knowledge and passion for the genre.