I finally watched this film last night. I’ve been wanting to see it for a long time, and my daughter wants to see it too. So I needed to watch it so that I could screen it and see if it was going to be okay for her to watch it. Under supervision, of course. But yeah, I’ve been wanting to see this for some time. I love getting the cobbles scared out of me. And this was touted as being one of the most terrifying movies ever made. Well, it’s kind of hard to get my red-haired wife to agree to sit down in the dark with me and watch a scary movie – much less the scariest movie ever filmed. And oh, it has to be dark.
So I finally got the chance last night! I was so excited. I turned off the lights and got my couch all centered and up close, turned off the dryer and all of the walk lights in the house. Made sure it was nice and quiet. I wanted absolutely no breaks or attention thieves. I was going to get the ever loving holy horse dung scared out of me. Oh man, I have to tell you about this too. I had to force myself to stick with it. My red-haired wife had fallen asleep next to me with a blanket over her face. And I’m here to tell you friends, I literally had to force myself to finish watching it. Because it was so absolutely, horrifically, incredibly… stupid.
This movie, I’m going to go ahead and say, was probably the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I had such high hopes for it, and was let down like a hot air balloon after a bird strike. If you don’t want it spoiled for you, that’s okay, keep reading. There’s really nothing to spoil here. The plot is simple enough. The boy is not in a coma, he’s in the “further” as the old woman calls it. His astral body has left his physical body and he’s lost out there with the ghosts. And they’re all fighting to get in and take over his physical body so they can live again. Well, that sounds like a pretty good plot if you ask me. I’ll buy into that.
The problem with all this is that when we get to see the ghosts, it’s like the producers took a break and called in a high-school production crew and a bunch of guys in Halloween costumes. No joke. The scariest ghost of all in the whole movie was a little kid in a newsboy hat. And the only reason it was creepy was because you couldn’t quite get a good look at him. He was dancing along with Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe Through the Tulips, which is a damn creepy fair to begin with. That part was very well done. But when she finally finds that ghost, it – well, it was just a boy in a newsboy cap. Yawn.
And I guess the producers of this movie were in pretty good with Mr. George Lucas, because they bought the rights to give Darth Maul a cameo appearance. Seriously. I’m supposed to be scared of people running around in masks? At this stage of the game (and certainly with today’s graphics technology) you should be putting in some horrifying ghost work. Not actors running around in robes and wigs. That’s literally what you get here.
Another thing that bothered me was the subtle nuances that they obviously stole from The Others. Like at the end when they’re going back and forth between the living and the dead very quickly to arouse confusion and fear, with the terrible scraping of violin strings and metallic objects being banged in warehouses… But not nearly as well done. And all the ghosts closing in on the guy sleeping in his chair… They’re all these people wearing makeup and Halloween costumes walking slowly with their arms up. I seriously can’t yawn and rolleyes big enough to get across the point of just how terrible it was. I literally didn’t get scared once. It pissed me off so badly that I had to come get on the internet and try to find some scream videos afterwards to feel like I got my money worth.
This was the worst let-down I think I’ve ever experienced cinematically. Well, at least since I was a boy and sat through the entirety of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas hoping to see Dolly Parton’s gals. Don’t waste your time with this one, friends. I think my kids could watch this one simply because they get more scare and thrill on Halloween night from guys like me popping out of the shadows with our hands out in zombie mode. Major disappointment. I give this one three stars (out of ten). And those three come because the old lady they cast was pretty intense looking and that little bit with the Tiny Tim music will stick with me for a bit. That song, in that context, is probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard. Boo hoo, Insidious. Boo hoo.