One of my favorite horror movies is leaving Netflix this month — and you need to experience it

Patrick Wilson as Josh Lambert in Insidious movie 2010
(Image credit: Blumhouse)

Horror movies give you such a thrilling experience, and it’s something I’ll always enjoy, no matter how frightening or unsettling they might be. Of course, I understand that not everyone is comfortable with this genre because of its ability to invoke anxiety and fear, but the adrenaline boost is like nothing else. While action-packed dramas and psychological thrillers on Netflix might put you on edge, horror creates a completely unique environment that will consume you (in the best way). 

"Insidious" is one of those movies you’ll be thinking about for days, from the unsaturated shots to the screeching violins that transform the music in every scene. Even if you don’t like horror, this movie in particular is just worth the thrilling experience, and it might encourage you to dip your toes into the genre now and then.

Directed by James Wan, "Insidious" follows the Lambert family as they discover their new home holds something truly evil. Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) must investigate why their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) has mysteriously entered a comatose state one morning. The longer he remains in a coma, the more sinister their home becomes when ghosts in an astral plane start to seep through into the real world. 

Sadly, "Insidious" will be making its departure from Netflix on May 31. This means you have a limited amount of time to watch it, and I would recommend adding it to your list just for the unique but captivating experience. 

Experience this ghostly thrill ride

When I say haunted house thrill ride, don’t imagine a corny ghost train with a few jumpscares and plastic monsters as set pieces. No, "Insidious" is so much more than that, as it takes you on a sudden and eerie journey into the dark. Every twist and turn will leave you shocked. Believe me, when I watched it for the first time I truly expected it to be some generic haunted house narrative where the family would hire a priest and then eventually move out. It definitely didn’t turn out that way, which is why it became one of my favorite horror movies ever. 

The sound design alone was enough to keep my attention. Every sinister violin noise that lurked in the background amplified the scene instantly, sending you into a place of uncanny valley. And it’s safe to say that the music and sound effects are some of the best I’ve ever heard in the entertainment industry. 

This haunted house thrill ride wouldn’t be as effective as it is without the characters either. Wilson and Byrne do an incredible job of playing desperate parents who just want their son back. They play believable people who aren’t perfect, and amidst the chaos erupting in their house, they still argue and cry and plead with paranormal investigators because they’re so distressed. It’s like watching an actual family go through something real, which makes it that much more unsettling.

It’s not the house that’s haunted

(L to R) Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson in Insidious movie 2010

(Image credit: Blumhouse)

One thing that stands out about "Insidious" is that it’s not your typical haunted house movie. The family doesn’t move in, notice weird occurrences, cleanse the house using some random ritual, and then continue with their lives like nothing happened. That’s an overused generic storyline some horror movies apparently follow for the sake of it, but “Insidious” brings something unique to the world of horror. 

Many critics on Rotten Tomatoes agree that “Insidious” isn’t your average horror movie. Jim Schembri from The Age said: "Director James Wan here proves himself very adept at building dramatic tension and making you anxious about the things going on in your peripheral vision."

"Insidious" does a brilliant job at making you tense up and sweat during the most unsettling moments, and Miami Herald’s Connie Ogle agreed by saying: "The film is stylish and quietly unsettling even in its derivativeness, and it delivers the sort of slow-building chills that ruffle the hair at the back of your neck."

Perri Nemiroff from Shockya said: "A little 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' part 'Exorcist' and a hint of 'Paranormal Activity.' Honors genre expectations while delivering a fresh and horrifyingly unpredictable experience."

Not everyone is going to agree, and "Insidious" being one of my favorite horror movies ever is simply my own opinion and personal preference on the genre. Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times said the movie is "not terrifically good, but moviegoers will get what they're expecting."

You should definitely give "Insidious" a go whether you like horror or not. The characters, sound design, grimy filters, and sinister background effects are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t forget that "Insidious" leaves the streaming platform on May 31, so watch it on Netflix now. You can also check out the best upcoming horror movies you have to see on the big screen in 2024.

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Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.