Insidious: Chapter 2 review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
This year audiences have been gifted two different horror films from acclaimed horror director James Wan. (The other being The Conjuring) The only problem is that both films are derivative, badly filmed messes that forget about their stories at the halfway point (or earlier) in favour of making you jump a few extra times.
Following on front the first installment, Insidious Chapter 2 tells the continued story of the Lambert family. When patriarch Josh (Patrick Wilson) starts displaying strange behaviour his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) starts investigating as to if the spirit they thought they had stopped has actually gone. When strange things start happening again they search for help from anyone as Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) starts investigating on her own.
As Josh gets progressively creepier the film loses itself in a mess of plot twists too convoluted to even mention. Wilson and Byrne try to hide the films obvious flaws but this second edition proves a poor copy as Wan finds himself serving two masters, the original viewer and the fan. The films opening while acceptably open for a new audience is slow and never ending as Wan tries to ramp up tension much like he did with the first act of The Conjuring, failing to realise he is using the exact same bag of tricks, turning this psychological creepfest into something less.
The films conclusion while wrapping up the Lambert storyline gives in to the possibility of a third feature in this dying franchise. While Wilson gives good villain and Byrne is a charming presence on screen this really is just cookie cutter horror that has little worth celebrating as people get scared, run around and find themselves pushing against locked doors for most of the films runtime. The whole film feels meaningless and while you can watch it as a mindless scarer, you might just feel like these characters, helpless.