Insidious: Chapter 2 Review
by Mike Holt, WeWatchedAMovie
Directed By: James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious)
Starring: Patrick Wilson (Watchmen), Rose Byrne (28 Weeks Later), Lin Shaye (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
The first time I saw Insidious I did so with the assumption it was going to be like many other horror movies I saw that year (or most of the years before it for that matter) ; generic and disappointing. Then the opening titles came up with those big creepy red letters and jolting violin music and I enjoyed what was to be a fun and scary ghost story with some original twists and jump scares that made me fear the extra pair of pants that weren’t in my car outside.
Enter Insidious: Chapter 2 and though it has horror master James Wan returning as director and writer Leigh Wannell my hopes were once again not high. I just felt that the Insidious vibe was a hard thing to recreate and was indeed skeptical after the clips and trailers released. I just didn’t see anything new happening! Alas the movie began and from the start it was not as impressive as its predecessor. The creepy ghost witch in the house and the big red door were replaced with…..just a house. Then there was a younger version of Elise (Shaye) who (Spoiler alert!) was killed in the first film and it seemed like they used the older Elise’ voice and over dubbed the younger actress’ voice with it in a very cheesy way. Off to a bad start…..
Though Insidious 2 was made to pick up immediately after the events of the first it seems to somehow still take a while to get back in the swing of things. Once the (good) scares start happening though, viewers are in for a treat. There are a few jump scares and a lot of crowd pleasing scenes of horror with one thing after another happening, building into awesome peaks of scary business scene after scene. The scares are definitely there in Insidious 2 which is what it’s all about right? Eh…..with the first Insidious scares were only half the battle…..the story was great as well!
There in lies a few of the small issues with Insidious 2. That’s what keeps Insidious 2 as just a good sequel to what was a great movie. That’s no small feat in itself considering most horror sequels end up about as good as fruitcake dipped in acid. That was original wasn’t it? Speaking of originality Insidious 2 really just eats off of the originality of the first. What new ideas get brought up aren’t nearly as cool (we replace the gas mask séance for a dude with dice that speak for demons) and all of the sequels attempts to add twists and originality really just confuse us more than surprise us.
There are scenes that needed to be explained a lot better to really work. It was almost a buffet of different ideas but much like a dinner at Golden Corral where you can have any kind of food you want! BUT…..it’s from Golden Corral. (Just for the record I do enjoy Golden Corral, that doesn’t mean its gourmet cuisine or anything. I also like hot pockets if that tells you anything about how picky I am. I just wrote for a paragraph or so about food in a horror movie review. )
Much like it was time for me to stop talking about food just then…..Insidious 2 ended as well. The way it ended under-minded the entire two movies that preceded it. For all the scares and originality and story that Insidious brought us? The end of Insidious 2 should have been the peak of scares. It should have landed like a right hook from Tyson and instead landed like an uppercut from Beiber.
It’s not all bad by any means though. The good scares of Insidious remain even if they use a lot of the same visuals (I mean, they were freaky ass visuals so it still works) and the comedy of Shaye’s sidekicks was even more hilarious in the sequel. The acting was excellent for a horror film and the domestic disturbance scenes work well because of Wilson’s angry performance.
I really enjoyed Insidious 2 and if James Wan was returning I’d be up for the ride again. Unfortunately he is not though and the film leaves off with a hint that it will be back in true Hollywood sequel fashion. This is a bad thing considering Wan is done with horror and the story really doesn’t have anywhere interesting to go except to tread it all over again with a different family. Insidious 3 is already in the works and writer Mr. Wannell is atleast returning. I’ll be in the seats for it but I also watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D so what does that tell you? Atleast we have two enjoyable movies here with Insidious 2 being a good sequel to what was a great movie. I’ll take it!