I’m back and busier than ever, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for a quick movie review. Hello Robbie K back with another movie review this time on the latest horror movie sequel Insidious 2. As many of us know, the world of sequels is usually lacking, especially when it comes to the horror genre. Usually the scares and creepiness that we loved in the first movie has grown old and stale, often warped into a stupid, cheesy piece of work that is more humorous than scary. So when a sequel to a great movie like Insidious was announced I cringed at the possible trash that could come out, though with director James Wan returning to project I had some hope that we would get something good. What is the verdict? Read on to find out.
Insidious 2 starts as a miniature prequel, reintroducing the world we fell in love with and warming up the audience to the creepiness and scares that await. Jump back to the present where we continue the tale that we left off, again helping us get reacquainted with our old friends the Lamberts, who are trying to move on from the past terror. Not one night after moving in do the ghosts start their antics again, working to scare the heck out of the audience. Wan and crew once again put their imagination to work, and succeed in bringing both scary and creepiness together into a beautiful balance. Like its predecessor, Insidious 2 uses the setting as a pallet for the imagination to paint on, often using subtle sounds, unique camera angles, and that ivory-laced music to raise the hair on your neck. A slight glance of a passing silhouette, something moving in the shadows, or a light fixture licking come together to set the mood before the jump factor comes out of no where, making many audience members screaming. While these effects have grown stale for me, I still appreciate the work the team has put together, and how well edited it is to make a film that will make many scream, which may provide some laughs as well. Make no mistake my friends, Insidious 2 will provide the scares you’ve been craving since the Conjuring.
If you’ve read my reviews, then you must know that scare factor isn’t the only thing I look for in a movie. For this reviewer, story is also important and Insidious 2 has a great plot indeed. As mentioned before, continuing a horror story is hard to do, but Wan meets the challenge again, this time managing to tweak the story to explain some things that were left unanswered. Who is old woman? What happened at the end to Josh? How about some of those scenes that were so vague in the first one? All of them are answered, and so cleverly integrated into the first one that many fans will gasp at, or perhaps scratch their head in confusion. Insidious 2 has the ability and twist to make you say, “What… are you kidding me?” as another piece of the puzzle is revealed. While I was able to predict the movie, just from how many things I’ve seen, the surprises this movie have are a fresh approach that I’ve waited for someone to show me. The tale has some mystery to it, having all of the characters, both new and old, working to uncover the truth behind the hauntings. Throwing in the suspense, use of shadow, and all the other factors I mentioned before results in a tale that has you wondering what Wan has in store next.
Insidious 2 also has other aspects that made it a strong horror movie sequel. For one thing the comedic relief from characters Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), two geeks who join the crew in hopes of living up to their mentor Elyse’s noble legacy. While they do help provide some suspense, this dynamic duo had me in stitches with their casual dialog timed perfectly to relieve the stress. Unlike other movies, I felt their comedy wasn’t too stretched or overacted, which made it even better. Aside from the comic relief, the acting for the crew was good, all characters having an equal spread across the film so that everyone got adequate time with the cast. The lovely Rose Byrne did a nice job as always, but this movie her character was a little bit stupider and over exaggerated so I can’t say she was my favorite. Patrick Wilson captures the creepy intensity of a possessed victim, though his screaming and actions during the climax are a bit laughable, especially when you realize what movie they are referencing. The rest of the cast did a great job too, but I’m running out of room so let’s move on to one last thing.
The makeup and design of the ghosts is incredible, the evil ghost (Danielle Bisutti) is pale, creepy, and gloriously brought to life. It was quite welcoming to see a ghost that was creepy, and not one that looked like a luchador pedophile (Red Demon). However, the biggest props go to the makeup transformation of Josh (Wilson) whose progress is incredibly detailed and sculpted to represent the thing he is decaying into. I can’t say too much more though, but those who value the art of make up will hopefully appreciate the work put into this movie.
So if you haven’t guessed yet, Insidious 2 is a sequel worth checking out. It’s got scares, story, and laugh, all brilliantly captured and edited to make one great film. Don’t let the fear of crappy sequels stop you from seeing it, and make sure to bring a friend who jumps so you can get extra entertainment.
I give this movie
Movie Overall: 9.0