Directed by James Wan
Written by Leigh Whannell (screenplay) & James Wan (story)
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, and Steve Coulter
The haunted Lambert family seeks to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Insidious was a darkly charming and affective film in my opinion. I loved the cast and malignant atmosphere. It was as a sleeper hit for me, one I didn’t expect. They left it open-ended with room for a sequel. I love Wan, he has a very distinct style and invests a frame at a time. It seems like everyone I talked to that didn’t like Chapter 2 has the same complaint: it didn’t follow the same path as the first film. Well, duh. We spent the entire length of Insidious learning about the back story that surrounded the Lambert family. Picking right up where the last film left off, Insidious Chapter 2 is quick to take the safety off and deliver its trauma with both barrels.
Chapter 2 dives into the murky waters surrounding young Josh’s ability to astral walk into “The Further” a dimension populated by the dead; typically a place where the dead can’t see the living – until now. The origins of the woman in the black wedding dress are evil to the core, helping ramp this entry up to critical mass rather effectively. Some of the scares are so over-the-top that they could come off as slightly cheesy if not for the mood set in place by Wan and his amazing cast. I promise you won’t see the origin story sucker punch coming.
Chapter 2 is rather intense at times, shown by my fellow moviegoers that shrieked and whimpered throughout the bulk of the run time. I loved the not so subtle use of red in the film; the doors, the windows – it all worked to visually impress me. Wan has a knack for taking the mundane to new levels within the confines of a genre film. There’s one scene towards the beginning of the film where Renai (Byrne) simply walks up those winding stairs to find a creepy noise emanating from within the large home – it sucked me in completely. Not a better film than the first, but a clever and horrific nail biter that certainly lends itself to a chapter three. Maybe this won’t be Wan’s last horror piece after all?