Sunday, October 20, 2013

Insidious: Chapter 2

Year: 2013
Director: James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Ty Simpkins

Plot: The Lambert family are once again haunted by evil spirits, and to make matters worse, patriarch Josh Lambert hasn't been himself since his return from The Further.

Review: In my review for The Conjuring, I had said that James Wan is the new master of horror. He proves that once more here, though to be fair, he is still using the same tricks to scare the audience. Thing is, it still works like a charm.

I heard many people say that this sequel to the highly successful Insidious isn't scary. Perhaps they've adapted to Wan's methods, but for me, I still find it creepy enough. Wan and fellow writer Leigh Whannell come up with a script that answers a lot of questions about the first film, which doesn't just involve travelling to The Further, but also time travel (yup, and it makes sense actually). Wan's continuous use of dark rooms, creaky doors and spirits with heavy white makeup, works in bringing the spooks (okay, maybe the last one isn't the best of tactics anymore, but still) and as a result, this film isn't boring at all, at least not for me.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne once again deliver great performances here. Wilson does a bit of double duty as protagonist and antagonist, and does a fine job indeed. Byrne is solid as the wife who knows something is wrong and has to do whatever it takes to protect her kids. She is well supported by the also returning Barbara Hershey as her mother-in-law, who reveals some secrets of her own. Steve Coulter takes Lin Shaye's place as the medium who must help the family fight back, and while his character is less eccentric than Shaye's character, he becomes a solid addition to the story. Surprisingly enough Shaye shows up here despite the way the first film ended, though I won't spoil it for you. But one of the best things about this sequel is the return of Specs and Tucker (played by Whannell and Angus Sampson), the two paranormal assistants who bring some much needed humour to a very serious film.

If there are any weaknesses here, it's probably the predictable jump scares that happen throughout the film, though a couple of them genuinely caught me off guard. And as scary as this film is, some of the novelty from the first film has started to wear off a bit, but I still had a good time.

If you loved the first Insidious, chances are you'll love this one. And judging by the film's ending, there may just be a third. (3.5/5)

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