Phase 4 Films // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // February 29th, 2012
Fear What You See.
How can you believe what you see when your eyes aren't yours?
While attempting to save the life of a young woman with multiple stab wounds, ER nurse Kaitlyn (Natalie Zea, The Shield) is accidentally electrocuted by a malfunctioning defibrillator and knocked unconscious. Upon waking, Kaitlyn begins to experience the victim's memories, leading her to believe she may know the identity of the killer. Plagued by these visions, Kaitlyn allies herself with the investigation's lead detective (Sean Patrick Flannery, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones), but the truth behind Kaitlyn's visions may prove more shocking than the murder itself.
Insight exists in an alternative reality where police detectives routinely share confidential information relating to an ongoing murder case with amateur sleuths. In this case, the amateur sleuth is Kaitlyn, who is experiencing memories of the victim. Even with that reasonably intriguing premise, the first hour plays out as predictably as one might expect from a low budget supernatural thriller, loaded with everything from a labored police procedural to the shoehorning in of a clumsy love scene.
Credit director Richard Gabai and writers Aaron Ginsberg and Wade McIntyre for delivering a final act that, while perhaps not quite a work of genius, does present an interesting enough twist to cause the viewer to re-evaluate what they've seen thus far. Sure, clues as to what's really going on are there for the more eagle-eyed, but these are easy to miss, particularly as the film begins blurring the line between Kaitlyn's ongoing visions and reality. Disorienting though this may be, Gabai ensures the audience stays up to speed with what is (and what isn't) actually happening.
It's a shame then that Insight tends to drag during the second act. Even with the narrative twists and directorial effort expended taking the audience on a ride, the story is simply treading water. Characters you would swear are going to be vital to the plot turn out to be nothing more than red herrings, never to appear again. A little tightening up during this segment would certainly not have gone amiss.
By low budget thriller standards, Insight sports an impressive cast. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) is especially impressive as a creepy neighbor. Though he only appears for one scene, Lloyd delivers a memorable turn. Adam Baldwin (Chuck) and Sean Patrick Flannery are hardly stretched by their roles, turning in solid performances though doing nothing more than going through the motions. Leading lady Natalie Zea carries the film, with some especially strong work during the final act.
Insight is presented in standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is sharp, with solid blacks and natural colors. The Dolby 5.1 surround shows good range, with dialogue remaining clear throughout. Bonus features include a trailer and a short behind-the-scenes featurette.
Though faint praise, Insight is an above average movie that should exceed most viewers' expectations.
Guilty of being a decent little thriller with limited replay value.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Phase 4 Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Official Site