Directed by James Wan
With their son back the family believes that their troubles are over but soon realized an evil has followed them from the Further into our world.
Insidious: Chapter 2 is the first sequel in the series but the fourth film chronologically. While this allows for more movies with Elise (Lin Shaye) due to her death in the first film, it makes for a confusing timeline. As sequels go it is not too bad, but it does not have as many instances where you have to watch the background as the first one did. That was part of the fun of the original film. You did not necessarily have to notice them all, but they really did add to the tension and scare factor of the story.
The scares here are more of the jump scare variety than anything. Some people have a real thing against those, and I am not sure why. A scare is a scare, right? The atmosphere does not feel as tense or as unnerving as the first film. Insidious was a masterpiece of horror and duplicating that level of greatness can be difficult. That is not to say this is a bad movie, but it does not have near the same vibe.
The steady presence of Elise was sorely missed in this movie. She was almost a grandmother with supernatural abilities in the first one. She was a comforting guiding force against the supernatural and while she does make an appearance at the end it is just not enough of her. Her associates Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) are forced to pick up the supernatural investigative slack along with new character Carl (Steve Coulter) and it just does not work as well. Carl is not a bad character and does have some moments, but his development is hindered as he is jumping on a moving train here. This story takes place immediately following the first film and events are moving quickly so what does flesh Carl out tends to slow things up.
There is plenty of weirdness to go around. The Bride in Black is definitely an unnerving character. The Bride in Black, otherwise known as Parker Crane (Tom Fitzpatrick), has hijacked Josh’s (Patrick Wilson) body. On a side note, I would enjoy a film about the Parker Crane character but I think if you delved into it you would fall into the trap of mimicking Psycho given what was shown of his rather demented childhood.
They keep the computer effects once again to a minimum. They focus on story and character over spectacle. Given the success of the first film they most likely had the potential of plenty more toys to play with but instead kept it simple. Most of what we see is achieved with lighting and camera work. Little looks to come from a computer.
Despite not quite living up to the first (sequels almost never do) it is a good story with fine acting. The characters come off realistic and no obviously idiotic decisions are made by them as horror characters too often are prone to do. In the context of the reality of their situation you could say to yourself “I’d do that too.” The pacing is steady by interrupt at times with the building of the Carl character.
Insidious: Chapter 2 was a good film. I was not disappointed in it, but it did not quite live up to the original. It is an enjoyable movie and I do recommend watching it however.