In horror movie circles, much is made of the genre's roots. Hatchet and its sequel were marketed as "old-school horror," and House of the Devil was released on VHS to celebrate its '70s feel. Perhaps it's a response to all of the soulless horror remakes -- Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left -- that have been coming out of late, which would make Insidious's existence even more interesting. Director James Wan and screenwriter/actor Leigh Whannell, who set a new template for how to tell horror stories with the first Saw movie and created one of the most profitable horror franchises in history, have traded knives for ghosts and made a scary-ass film that pays tribute to some of the creepiest movies of yesteryear, full of half-glimpsed faces, music stings and old-timey spectres.
This movie weekend is surprisingly balanced with different kinds of movies opening. Great job, Hollywood! High five Ari Gold for me! You've got I Love You, Man for laughing, Duplicity for knowing what a farce not dissimilar to professional espionage that romance is, and Knowing for knowing that the world is an unavoidable ticking time bomb of doom and destruction.
Quick Knowing plot synopsis: Nicolas Cage plays a man of science whose young son digs up a 50-year-old time capsule that predicts the dates and death tolls of impending disasters (because of how worthwhile things are always being put in time capsules) and Cage has to stop something called "The Whisper People" who look like Krycek with a Spike dye job from ending the world. The trailer feels really Shyamalan-y with the whole there's an event happening and a man who sees no meaning in the world is taught that the world is lousy with meaning and he has to get it together to save his family and stop the world from ending thing. But really -- if the damn world is ending and there are supernatural albino fake Kryceks whispering around perpetrating it, what's Captain Corelli's Mandolin going to do about it? Make out with Penelope Cruz and hope the Nazis don't see? If that is the twist ending of the film and I just spoiled it for you I apologize. I should have written that down and put in a time capsule instead. I know that now. I have learned my lesson. Anyway, I watched the whole trailer and this movie looks a lot like these other movies: