I had mixed feels about the first Insidious film. I thought the scary scenes were very effective, but the family in the film came off as rather bland and uninteresting. In other words, I was bored between the good stuff. Very bored. In Insidious: Chapter 2 the family isn’t any less colorless. But their exploits are a little more interesting. Sadly, my feelings regarding this new film are about the same with me in the end.
The movie start off with a flashback to the 1980s when Patrick Wilson’s character Josh Lambert is have his troubles with the creepy old lady in black. This sequence sets up the menace for the new Insidious chapter. No more Darth Maul-looking demon dude.
As the present day events start we find that Josh is suspected in the death of medium, Elise (Lin Shaye). His wife Renai (Rose Byrn) at first denies his involvement in her death. But his odd behaviors start to make her feel otherwise. At the same time, she and their eldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) start seeing and experiencing supernatural manifestations of increasing intensity. Josh angrily denies anything is happening and wants the family to just move on.
While Renai deals with the craziness at home, Josh’s mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) comes to the rescue. She contacts Elise’s sidekicks, Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, respectively) to help investigate. Along with an old cohort and friend, Carl (Steve Coulter), this group go seeking answers.
I can’t remember the first film too well, but I believe this split in the action may be the reason the film comes off as less boring. But, the scare level is much less here. There are two or three good scares in the film–mostly of the jump variety—even though it seems like they were trying for more. The split may have been a good thing at first; but in time the film started to seem a little messy with the handling of it. This problem and it having the look of a direct to DVD film–much like the first Insidious–hurts this movie for me.
I was hoping that director James Wan was going to be on a roll after The Conjuring. That film was excellent. But now with news that Wan moving away from horror, it’s a pity he can’t do so on a high note.—Charles T. Cochran
Rating: 2.5 out of 5