The first Insidious movie, came out three years ago and was a massive hit. It had that feeling of a low-budget gothic horror that many horror fans were craving. It was a genuinely creepy movie that, depending on your opinion, was marred by an out-there ending. It’s funny that movie fans can accept ghosts and goblins in a movie, but once a character travels through his dreams, they throw in the towel.
This is director James Wan’s last horror movie before he moves on to big budget flicks, like next Summer’s Fa7t and Furiou7 movie. After a great success with this Summer’s The Conjuring, can Wan strike gold twice or has he rushed a sequel to one of his biggest successes.
Insidious chapter 2 picks up days after the events of the last movie. The psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) is found dead after she helped a family retrieve their son from the dreamlike spirit world. Renai (Rose Byrne) senses that something is not quite right with her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson) since his journey into “The Further.” As the family tries their best to get on with their lives, the peace doesn’t last long as parasitic spirits come back to terrorize them. Now, Renai, her mother-in-law (Barbara Hershey) and the surviving ghost investigators must try to bring back the real Josh and protect the family once and for all.
While this movie tries to recap the end of the first Insidious, it relies on you having seen the first movie. Viewers who start with the second movie will be completely lost and actually wonder why anyone is afraid of spirits that try to take your body as you sleep. One thing that this movie has going for it is the expansion of the mythology about the “Black Bride” that has haunted Josh since he was a child. In a way, this takes away too much mystery that set the scene for scares. On the other hand, it adds some twisted elements that add to the creepy factor.
The biggest question has to be, will this movie scare you? There are definitely moments where haunting spirits sneak up on the main characters, but they are few and far between. Instead, Insidious 2 makes up for the lack of a creepy midget kid by showing the characters in actual physical danger. In the final twenty minutes, there is no lack of intensity, but you will not be afraid of what awaits you in the dark.
This movie suffers from comparison. Not only are you hoping to feel the same fear as you did the first time around, but you hope for the same quality as The Conjuring. Sadly, it doesn’t quite hit the mark on either. It’s not a bad movie. In fact, it’s actually half-decent. It’s a good (not great) sequel to a movie that came out of nowhere and had effective scares. As an audience, you expect every scare and are half-disappointed when you the scares are not half as bad as you imagined.
If you’re a fan of the first movie, you’ll be happy to finish off the story and find out more about the Black Bride. If you were turned off by the end of the first movie or just didn’t think it was scary, you won’t find much more to like here. As far as quality goes, Insidious: Chapter 2 is a rental. It’s better than most reviews make it out to be, but not as scary as the first movie.