The horror team of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell reunite with the original cast of Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey and Ty Simpkins in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, a sequel to the acclaimed horror film, which follows the haunted Lambert family as they seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Warning: This review may contain spoilers. The text containing spoilers will be blurred. Click on the text to read.
I was able to catch the early screening for this movie last Sunday, 2 days after the US release and 4 days before Malaysia’s official release date of October 17th. I’ve been looking forward to this movie mainly because Insidious turned out to be, surprisingly, one of my favorite horror movies. It was everything that I love in horror movie – the creepy scare, the creepy song, the creepy apparitions… I only didn’t prefer the whole ‘The Further‘ story at first but I’m slowly accepting it. I like the good old scare like weird noises in the attic, a creak in the floor, seeing apparitions, things that go bump in the night sort of thing, which Insidious managed to incorporate for half of the movie before they ventured into The Further.
The story starts with a young Josh, and his mother and Elise trying to understand what’s happening to Josh and finding out that he has the ability to astral project, something like that. I missed a few minutes of the beginning because I was late. Damn crowded Sunday. Now in the first movie’s ending, we know that after Josh ventured into The Further to save his son Dalton who is trapped there …and that something followed him back from The Further and possess him, then kills Elise. We know that Renai knows that something is not right with her husband.
Chapter 2 is a direct continuation from the first one and not much of a sequel. If you haven’t seen the first one, but want to watch chapter 2, DON’T. You will be lost and confused. You need to see the first movie because chapter 2 is not a standalone sequel, it’s a direct continuation that feels like part 1 and 2 are one movie but split into two parts, like Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows or Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
For the rest of the movie, we find out why Josh has been acting weird, and most of the ‘supernatural’ occurrences will be explained which many are currently arguing about. Compared to the 1st movie, this movie has a deeper confusing complexity about The Further and time traveling or sense of time in The Further. I read some discussions about certain occurrences that don’t make sense, the explanation behind time travel and such and all I could say is, if you over analyze this movie, you won’t be able to enjoy it.
As for the first movie we have the villain, which is the red demon but for this one, we have Parker Crane and we learn about The Bride in Black. Some people may find the demon scarier, and some may find The Bride in Black scary. Two are different – one supernatural and one used to be a mentally deranged human.
STORY & CAST
The Conjuring did not scare me like it did many others. It was nothing more than just a story about possession that is more brutal than The Exorcist, that’s all. I really don’t get how people claim it’s the scariest movie ever. Insidious however did not scare many people but it scare the crap out of me. It had elements that frightens me the most – seeing entities. There is nothing scarier than seeing malevolent dead people walking around in our world, preferably with a sad story of their own. Being a person who do not get scared at horror movies anymore, Insidious surprisingly managed to creep me out and I loved it. When you see a ghost of a boy dancing to Tiny Tim’s song I knew that song would forever haunt me. Those are the old school scare that are so frightful, it gives you nightmares.
Chapter 2 had less of that, because they’ve already gone through the disturbances. Instead of creepy scare like the 1st one, it has quite a few jump scares that worked. And it intensifies if you are sitting next to someone who is jumpy. The guy sitting next to me was so jumpy, that every time he jumped in his seat, I did too. But then, he also laughed alone at scenes that are not funny at all.
The cast did their part well with everyone in the first movie reprising their roles & one new character named Carl, but I really like Specs and Tucker, the paranormal investigators. The duo enlightens the mood of the film with added humor which some people thought were lame and forced but I thought they were funny. I like them. Compared to the first film, they have more screen time and more humor in this film. However I find the story involving Parker Crane, The Bride in Black and The Further a bit confusing at times. I also wish there should have been more creepy scare rather than jump scare because that’s what made Insidious and The Conjuring a perfect scary movie.
Ending SpoilerI feel the ending is a bit anti-climatic. It wasn’t as good as the first one. It felt rushed. Also, instead of battling a supernatural entity, they were battling Parker Crane’s mother in The Further, and in real world battling Josh (who is actually Parker Crane) which feels more like a slasher film instead. It’s usually is when you involve a person being possessed by a supernatural entity but I rather have them fight with the not-so-scary red demon than possessed Josh. Also didn’t like the fact that Dalton fell asleep so easily within seconds while his father is going apeshit and banging the door – I certainly can’t fall asleep at all! That part feels unreal to me. So I think the ending is a bit weak compared to the first film.
There’s also a hint of another sequel though I’m not sure how they’re gonna pull it off with a new family and with just the duo, Tucker and Specs (and with the ghost of Elise with them). I doubt there’d be much involvements, if there’s any, from the Lamberts. We’ll see.
Overall, I find the movie very entertaining. Sure, there are a few flaws here and there and unnecessary complexity compared to the first film but I don’t get why Rotten Tomatoes only gave it 35% approval rating. IMDB has a very good rating though. I guess with the style of basic scares in Insidious 1 and The Conjuring, this film is seen to have geared a bit towards the mediocre slasher type. I’m not denying it did feel like more like a thriller than horror, with a mix of mystery & the need to answer/explain some questions or occurrences. To me, in some ways, this movie is better than its predecessor but also lacks in some elements and charms the first movie had.
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2
LDG’s Rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Director: James Wan
Writers: Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of terror and violence, and thematic elements