Viewed – 18 April 2012 Blu-ray
On first hearing of this, I passed it off as a cash-in on the success of The Hangover movies, but from a female perspective. And although during the awards season this was getting almost as much press as the likes of The Artist and Hugo, I still wasn’t convinced. Kristen Wiig (Paul, Saturday Night Live) plays a down-on-her luck woman who is given the responsibility of being the Maid Of Honour at her best friend’s upcoming wedding. Taking the role on with passion, she soon finds her life turned upside down as a result, and events quickly start to spiral out of control.
Now what surprised me with this one, was that going into it I was expecting a mildly funny, tiolet-humour based comedy with lots of swearing and crude gags. It has all that in spades, but what it also has is heart and emotion, mostly down to Kristen Wiig’s character’s rocky love life and the heart-warming friendship she has with the bride to be, that are both touching and believable. This is a movie that is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s not just a comedy, it’s not just about a wedding … it’s incredibly feel good, well acted and full of great lines, great characters and great moments (the dress fitting, anyone?). Supporting cast members Chris O’Dowd and Rose Byrne especially shine, and Wiig continues to be one of the best female comedy stars around, carrying the movie with real panache.
Of course it’s not perfect, with a pointless Matt (Little Britain) Lucas cameo and some of the comedy gets a tad OTT, but as a movie that gave me the impression it was one thing, then turned out to be so much more – I came away shouting its praises to anyone willing to listen. Simply brilliant.
Verdict: 5 /5
Viewed – 03 May 2011 Cinema
I wasn’t expecting this. Going completely blind into this one, and knowing nothing but the fact it was directed by Saw’s James Wan. So what would you expect? Clever twists? Wall to wall gore? Then I hope you are sitting comfortably. A young couple with two boys and a baby girl, move into one of those clichéd big-ass American houses that seems creepy from the off set. Of course it’s not long until things start going bump in the night and weird shit begins to go down. I know what you’re going to say, this is just like Amityville or Poltergeist, which was certainly my impression, but as the story progresses it takes a much more weirder and disturbing path, and to say it scared the hell out of me, well…
Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, along with an appearance by the increasingly freaky Barbara Hershey (just see Black Swan, you’ll know what I mean), this is well executed and incredibly effective, with jump-scares that don’t take the viewer for an idiot, and a nail-biting tension, helped by the eerie lighting and mostly hand-held camera work, that kept this viewer permanently nervous. Ok, some moments of comedy seem out-of-place and towards the end the movie did sink into an extended Ghost Train ride, but by then you’re already glued, and in a crowded genre of torture porn gore flicks, sequels and remakes, this was a breath of fresh air, and shows that James Wan clearly didn’t fluke Saw and his follow-up, Death Sentence, making him one of the most assured horror-talents in the business.
Verdict: 4 /5
- Review: Insidious (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Sound Off: James Wan’s Newest Horror ‘Insidious’ – Your Thoughts? (firstshowing.net)
- ‘Insidious’ Review (screenrant.com)