Ron and Emma are back with another action-packed episode of Daddy’s Little Monster…
First of all, apologies. We’re painfully aware of our recent absence lately and we’re very sorry. Being perfectly honest, though, it’s all her fault. Between school and the madness that is Junior Roller Derby (Emma skates with the Toronto Knicker Kickers as “Susie Bruisie”), time has been something of a premium. So, if there is blame to be laid, drop it at her feet…. just don’t tell her I said that.
We’re going to make it up to you, though: we’re getting back up-to-speed with a slew of reviews, including one that’s been requested on the Rue Morgue Mortuary, as well as one coming over from across the pond later this summer. But now, we look at something a little more recent and a lot more divisive. James Wan’s ghost movie, Insidious – a film that’s been a bone of contention between seasoned horror fans with opinions split right down the middle. We veterans have had our say, but what about the neophyte, the apprentice? What did the Little Monster think of it? This time, I’m going to let her do most of the heavy lifting here.
Emma: This family moves into a new house, when their little boy has an accident and falls into a coma. While he’s in this coma, strange things start happening around the house. Stuff like scary voices and ghosts. The family thinks the house is haunted so they move, but the same weird stuff is happening in the new house. The family brings some scientists and a psychic to help them figure out what’s going on. The psychic tells them that it’s the boy who’s haunted, not the house and that the father has to go into this spooky dream/ghost world and save him. I don’t want to spoil too much, but there’s a whole big story why it’s the father that has to go in and save him, and it’s kind of cool.
Ron: So, the big question is, what did you think of it?
Emma: I liked it, because it was scary and spooky. It has jump-scares, which I normally don’t like, but the jump-scares were real, not fake. When it happened, it was a demon or a ghost, not just someone going, “Aaagh… oh, it’s just my friend, Jimmy, walking backwards into me.” It would be a real-scare and that was cool. And the ghosts were scary, too, especially the little boy-ghost. You didn’t see his face and that made him really spooky. I was also creeped out by Tiny Tim. They kept playing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” and there was one scene where the mom was taking out the garbage and we can see, over her shoulder, the little boy-ghost dancing to the song through their living room window. When she goes back inside the house, he’s gone. That scene really freaked me out. It’s still stuck in my head.
Ron: Was there anything in the film that didn’t work for you, though? Any negatives?
Emma: The father kinda bugged me a little. I don’t know why, but I didn’t like him. He seemed like kind of a douchebag and he wasn’t much help in the end, which I’m not going to say anymore about.
Emma: Hey, you asked me. I just didn’t like him. But there wasn’t much else I didn’t like about it. I liked the scientist-guys and I really liked the psychic – I was laughing so hard when she put on that gas mask when they were trying to contact the ghost. It seemed like such a weird thing to do at the time. And I really liked the ghosts and demons. I thought they were really cool.
Ron: You saw this in a theatre with me – one of the rare occasions that we’ve seen a horror movie on the big screen because it’s PG-13. As an 11-year-old kid, do you think parents could comfortably take same-aged kids to see it in the same environment?
Emma: No. I know you took me to see it, but I don’t think I’m a normal kid. I haven’t had nightmares since I was 8 or 9…well, about horror movies, anyways. But most kids, when they’re watching a movie like this, they can visualize themselves in the situation they’re watching. Now me, being kind of an “expert” [NOTE: air-quotes provided by Emma during our recording], I’m used to horror movies, so I know it’s not real, but other kids unlike me are going to go “Holy s**t, I nearly soiled myself!” because they can see themselves in that situation. Plus, it was really scary in the theatre with the big screen and the theatre sound systems, so the jump-scares were really loud and might be too much for other kids. Maybe wait for the DVD.
Ron: With any discussion of Insidious, we have to talk about how some horror fans had issues with the film, especially its resemblance to another ghost film you saw, Poltergeist.
Emma: I don’t remember Poltergeist all that much. Was that the one where the little girl ends up in the TV?
Ron: Yes, that’s the one.
Emma: Well, I’m sorry, but that’s NOTHING like Insidious [note sarcasm]. I liked Poltergeist, I remember being entertained, but it didn’t scare me. And I don’t think it’s a knock-off, I think it’s an ‘inspiration.’ There’s a lot of movies that are inspired by cult classics. I guess it could have been inspired by Poltergeist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, even The Exorcist – and I still haven’t seen that, but I know the story. Movies like that definitely inspire a lot of films, so I don’t see it as a knock-off. Especially the ending.
Ron: So, wrapping things up, your final thoughts?
Emma: I liked Insidious. I was very entertained, especially closer to the ending. It was scary, and probably more because it was in the theatre. There were a few times I was peeking through my fingers – what did you call that again?
Ron: Oh, “the venetian blinds”?
Emma: Yeah, there were a couple of times I did that when I was really scared but it was, like, a fun kinda-scared. Oh, and it was made on a cheap budget, right? It looked really good for low-budget. I’m glad you took me to this one.
Thanks for checking us out again. Next time (and much faster, we swear), we’re kicking it old-school, with a film that is required viewing on any monster-kid’s educational curriculum. Till next time, monsters young and old.