Insidious 2 (2013)
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbera Hershey, Lin Shaye
Running time: 1hr 6 mins.
Directed By: James Wan.
Director James Wan returns to the 2010 hit Insidious to continue the horror of the Lambert family. When we last left them, Dad Josh (Wilson) had successfully brought his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) back from the Further, (the plain of existence where spirits roam, neither in heaven or hell, but a sort of purgatory).
This genre of movie from one of the best directors at modern day horror (See the Conjuring, Saw, Dead Silence and Insidious) returns Wan to what may be the last time, to the realm of ghosts and demons which saw him acquire his fame. In my opinion in the horror genre, different sub genres exist within the ultimate Horror section, and Wan has dabbled about in torture porn blood fests (Saw, Dead Silence) as well as the haunted house/ghost movies (the Conjuring, Insidious, Dead Silence) that have established him as a well-known scare merchant in the current crop of big box office horror movies. I've seen a lot of different opinions given on this movie, some good, a lot negative, and ultimately while not up to par with the previous installment, I enjoyed seeing what happened next for the Lamberts.
In 2010 Wan told the story of a boy whose body was haunted, his soul lost in the Further and open prey to a host of ghosts and demons who wanted to inhabit the boys flesh and have an opportunity to live again. Josh and wife Renai (Byrne) recruit a trio of ghost whisperers to help rescue the lost boy and help the family achieve a peaceful life. The end of that movie left things up in the air, as when Josh and Dalton return from the spirit world, something dangerous and quite evil comes back with them.
The movie opens to a flashback scene of a young Josh, his mother and the same Elise of the ghost whisperers group, and sets the story into motion of the same problems his son would later have. I enjoyed how they connected aspects of the first movie and interwove the stories, although it does become a bit mind boggling when you try to piece together the timelines, as it wasn’t very well explained. As usual this movie has the typical room scanning scares that Wan has become famous for, where you keep your eyes peeled as a character walks to and from a room, your mind waiting to spot something in plain view that shouldn’t be there.
The story fleshes out the parasite ghost (Bride in Black) that comes through at the end of the first movie and reveals a lot more than one creepy old woman haunting the family. A new character named Carl (Steve Coulter), an old colleague of Elise’s is introduced in this movie, with an awkward ability to communicate with the spirit world using his dice with letters on them. It made for slow pacing when the dice were in play, and in my opinion did come across as cheap, which also goes for the character himself. But he was a means to an end, and when that happened he became redundant.
In it, the movie answers questions asked in the first instalment, was Josh himself? or now possessed? and shows us what Josh went through as a kid. It’s a simply told movie, re-treading old jump scares and characters, Wilson is fantastic again as the troubled Josh and comedic relief is again provided by Ghost Whisperers Tucker and Specs (Excellently played by Whannell who wrote the script). I personally loved the music, a highlight of the first movie, although not as strong as the previous film, the music gives it the eerie feeling of a bio shock game which just pinches the fright nerve enough to add to the creepiness factor.
The plot moves along at a slow pace, but is very predictable in fairness. Learning about the Bride in Black is the hook of this movie, as well as seeing what the mischievous spectres are going to get up to next which is the reason why you’d want to bring someone not too up to speed on their horror movies, as it will definitely make the person beside you jump at least twice (which is what happened to my date for this movie!)
It seems that Insidious has replaced the Saw franchise as the horror seasons must see fright fest, with a third movie been given the green light, it looks to possibly focus on the trio of ghost whisperers. Insidious 2 cost a measly 5 million to make and to date has grossed a phenomenal 65million in its first two weeks in theatres, which makes it a savvy business decision to keep the momentum going. The ending of the sequel sets it up nicely for a third and with another director taking it over, maybe a fresh take on the series.
Insidious 2 lacks the blood and gore of a proper horror movie, and although it throws away common sense at times to further the story, it’s well worth watching with someone who can appreciate the scares within. It fails to deliver the same sense of tension or unease of the first movie, but it serves its purpose well. I’d recommend to take a squeamish date to the cinema, otherwise leave it for online or DVD rental instead.
If you have an opinion on the movie or my review, feel free to comment below!
What I liked? : Wilsons performance, tied up all loose ends from the first movie, getting to see what happened to a young Josh.
What I didn’t like? : Time line didn’t make sense, lack of blood, gore, re hashed stuff from first movie.