Horror Scenes That I Love: The Clock Ghosts From Insidious


After all of the sequels and the rip-offs, it’s easy to forget just how scary Insidious was when it was first released, way back in 2011.

Believe it or not, it’s still pretty scary.  Take the scene below, for instance.  I screamed the first time I saw it and then I screamed again rewatching it on YouTube.

The reason this scenes works is because, from the start, you know that those two ghosts are going to show up.  You just don’t know when.  With each click, you know you’re getting closer and closer to something bad appearing in that hallway.  And then when they do finally show up and the movie’s soundtrack goes “BOOOOM!” and then you see the smiles on their face — AGCK!  Seriously, this is one of the best jump scares of the past decade.

 

Film Review: Insidious: The Last Key (dir by Adam Robitel)


Traditionally, good films are not released in January.

With most filmgoers more interested in catching up with the probable Oscar nominees and no one wanting to spend too much money after Christmas, January has become the month when the studios release all of the low-budget films that they’re hoping they can make a few bucks off before everyone forgets about them.  January is the month that sees sequels to the franchises that have a small but loyal fan base.  Just as last January saw the release of a new Underworld and a new Resident Evil, this January sees the release of Insidious: The Last Key.

Though it would subsequently be overshadowed by The Conjuring and its sequel, the Insidious franchise got off to a good start with the first film in the series.  Released in 2010, the first Insidious was a genuinely scary movie, one that can still give your nightmares if you watch it on a stormy night.  There are so many moments from that film that have stuck with me: the dancing ghost, the red demon suddenly appearing over Patrick Wilson’s shoulder, and the franchise’s first trip to the Further.  Of course, the thing that really elevated Insidious was the performance of Lin Shaye, in the role of demonologist Elise Rainier.  Lin Shaye played Elise with a combination of eccentricity and quiet authority and, from the minute she first showed up, you wanted to know more about Elise’s paranormal career.  Elise was the most popular character in the movie, which made it unfortunate that she was dead by the end of it.

Despite Elise’s death, she’s continued to be at the center of the Insidious franchise.  The first sequel dealt with her death by having her appear as a spirit, leading the hero through the Further.  The third film in the franchise was actually a prequel, dealing with one of Elise’s earlier investigations and showing how she first met her two comedy relief assistants, Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell).  The Last Key is another prequel, revealing the details of Elise’s childhood and following her all the way through 2010.  The Last Key ends with a call back to the first Insidious movie, suggesting that the franchise has now come full circle.

The Last Key is another haunted house movie.  This time, the house in question is the one where Elise and her brother (played, as an adult, by Bruce Davison) grew up with their horribly abusive (and possibly demon-possessed) father.  In 2010, the house has been purchased by Ted (Kirk Acevedo).  No sooner has Ted bought the place then it becomes obvious that it’s haunted.  However, Ted can’t just abandon the place because he’s sunk all of his money into this house, which he was hoping to be able to then sell to someone else.  Apparently, you can’t get much money for a haunted house.

(Well, whatever.  I’d pay good money to buy a haunted house and then I would open it to the paying public every October.  I would make a fortune, assuming everyone didn’t get killed.)

Anyway, it all pretty much leads to everything you would expect to happen in an Insidious movie.  Doors open and close.  Malevolent beings appear in the shadows.  Everyone goes to the Further.  Lin Shaye gives another entertaining and fully committed performance, obviously enjoying the chance to be the star of the film.  Nothing about the film is particularly surprising but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t often effective.  Watching this film is a lot like listening to a skilled storyteller tell the story about the girl, her boyfriend, and the escaped mental patient who has a hook for a hand.  You know exactly what’s going to happen.  You know that it none of it really happened.  You know the story is borderline ludicrous.  But you still find yourself jumping at every unexpected sound.  You still find yourself staring into the shadows, wondering if you really saw something moving or if it was just your imagination.

Needless to say, The Last Key is never as effective or as scary as the first Insidious or either of The Conjuring films.  There were a few moments — mostly dealing with Elise’s childhood — where The Last Key showed the potential to be something a little deeper than what I was expecting but those moments were rarely followed up on.  In the end The Last Key is a rather modest and workmanlike horror film, the type that makes you jump while you’re watching it but which you will also probably end up forgetting about a day or two after seeing it. However, for a January horror film, it’s good enough.

10 Trailers For 10 Of The Scariest Films Ever Made!


For today’s special Halloween edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers, I present ten trailers for ten of the scariest films that I’ve ever seen!

Are these the scariest films of all time?  Well. I’m not going to say that because horror is subjective and what scares me might not scare you and blah blah blah blah.

So, these might not be the scariest ten films of all time.  But then again, they might…

Night of The Living Dead (1968)

The Exorcist (1973)

Torso (1973)

Suspiria (1977)

Shock (1977)

The Shining (1980)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990)

The House of the Devil (2009)

Insidious (2010)

The Conjuring (2013)

 

4 Shots From Horror History: The Wolfman, Insidious, Let Me In, The Cabin In The Woods


This October, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different with my contribution to 4 Shots From 4 Films.  I’m going to be taking a little chronological tour of the history of horror cinema, moving from decade to decade.

Today, we begin our current decade!

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Wolfman (2010, dir by Joe Johnston)

The Wolfman (2010, dir by Joe Johnston)

Insidious (2010, dir by James Wan)

Insidious (2010, dir by James Wan)

Let Me In (2011, dir by Matt Reeves)

Let Me In (2011, dir by Matt Reeves)

The Cabin In The Woods (2012, dir by Drew Goddard)

The Cabin In The Woods (2012, dir by Drew Goddard)

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Others, The Nun, Insidious, Sinister


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films.  As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Others (2001, directed by Alejandro Amenabar)

The Others (2001, directed by Alejandro Amenabar)

The Nun (2005, directed by Luis De La Madrid)

The Nun (2005, directed by Luis De La Madrid)

Insidious (2011, directed by James Wan)

Insidious (2011, directed by James Wan)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

Lisa’s Picks For The Twelve Best Horror Films of The Past Six Years


CabinInTheWoods

It’s October, which means that it’s horror month here at the Shattered Lens!  Can you believe that we’ve been doing this for six years?  I figured what better way to celebrate the start of October than by listing my picks for the ten best horror and supernatural-themed films to have been released since the founding of Through the Shattered Lens!

(Whoops!  Derrick Ferguson of the Ferguson Theater just reminded me that House of the Devil came out in 2009.  Though I haven’t reviewed House of the Devil on this site — though I did take time to praise this dance scene — it is a film that definitely belongs on this list.  So, I’m adding it and another film as well.  So now, we have a list of the 12 best horror films of the past six years!)

Check them out below!

  1. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
  2. Warm Bodies (2013)
  3. The Conjuring (2013)
  4. A Field in England (2014)
  5. Take Shelter (2011)
  6. Sinister (2012)
  7. The House of the Devil (2009)
  8. The Babadook (2014)
  9. Devil’s Due  (2014)
  10. Insidious (2011)
  11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
  12. You’re Next (2013)

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Warm Bodies

 

Horror Trailer: Insidious: Chapter Three


An Insidious film without Patrick Wilson!? What’s next — a Paranormal Activity film that doesn’t feature Katie killing Micah?

Then again, it makes sense.  As an actor, Patrick Wilson projects a good deal of intelligence.  That’s one reason why Wilson makes for a compelling lead in films like The Conjuring and Insidious.  But, at the same time, his characters usually come across like they would be too smart to keep getting stuck in the exact same situation.

However, that Micah …. I don’t think people will ever get tired of watching as Katie tosses his limp body around.

But anyway, here’s the trailer for Insidious 3, which appears to be a prequel and does feature Lin Shaye.  I loved the first Insidious and I thought the second one was okay.  Judging from the trailer, I really don’t have high hopes for the third one but I’ll be there on opening right regardless.

It’s insidious how that works, no?