Sony Pictures Worldwide Haunted by James Wan's ‘Insidious’

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star in this modern take on the haunted house genre

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has acquired North American distribution rights to James Wan's haunted house thriller "Insidious" in a seven-figure deal negotiated by Paradigm and CAA that guarantees a theatrical release.

The film stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as a married couple with three kids. When tragedy strikes the youngest child, the family begins to experience some, shall we say, paranormal activity.

Speaking of which … "Paranormal Activity" director Oren Peli and producers Jason Blum and Steven Schneider are producers on "Insidious," which Stuart Ford's IM Global has sold foreign rights to throughout the world.

Leigh Whannell wrote the script, as he did for Wan's earlier efforts, "Saw" and "Dead Silence." I thought "Saw" was a rather brilliant genre exercise that introduced two exciting new voices to the horror talent pool. However, "Dead Silence" was a wretched follow-up and a true miscalculation on both of their parts. Fortunately, Wan redeemed himself with the Kevin Bacon revenge thriller "Death Sentence," which was an entertaining guilty pleasure.

Both filmmakers intended "Insidious" to be "this generation's 'Poltergeist,'" and judging from some of the reviews out of Toronto, it seems as though they've succeeded and may have another hit on their hands.

Hitfix critic Drew McWeeny, himself a screenwriter of a number of genre projects, called the movie "an instant addition to the horror canon" and "Wan's best film by a wide margin." Those are strong words, but McWeeny isn't one for hyperbole, so I look forward to checking out "Insidious" for myself when it eventually hits theaters.