Insidious Chapter 2: Limp Horror Sequel
Barbara HersheyPatrick Wilson...
In 1 Cinema
Over the last few years, sequels, reboots and remakes in the horror genre have become a bit of a trend in the filmmaking industry. Generally, if the first film is a success – mainly in terms of box office earnings – chances are there is a sequel lurking in the shadows hoping to achieve more of the same.
From Saw director, James Wan, Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up directly where Insidious left off; Renai Lambert (Byrne) discovers the body of murdered medium, Elise Rainer (Shaye), while her husband, Josh (Wilson), remains the prime suspect for her mysterious killing. However, there was never enough evidence to link Josh to the murder, and the haunted family moved on.
Taking us back to the very beginning, the film opens in 1986 where we learn more about the supernatural occurrences that have enabled Josh to communicate with, and travel to, the spirit world; the same place which trapped his son, Dalton (Simpkins), in the first film. Now the Lamberts are reunited and living with Josh’s mother, Lorraine (Hershey), who was previously the victim of terrible nightmares and visions involving her possessed grandson.
The family is hoping to return to some sort of normality, however, when more unnerving events begin to unfold, it becomes painfully obvious that the demonic occurrences are far from over.
While Renai’s fears turn into a full-blown paranoia – with each incident bringing forth a vision of a woman in a long dress – her husband Josh remains strangely calm about everything. In the meantime, Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Sampson), Elise’s former assistants, call on the help of a veteran medium, Carl (Coulter), who they hope will be able to contact Elise and get the answers needed to solve her mysterious death.
Those who haven’t seen the first film will have a little difficulty connecting the dots, which isn’t helped by the fact that even the actors themselves seem a little apathetic and indifferent to their approach this time round. Wilson, who was recently seen in Wan’s surprise horror-hit The Conjuring, offers a rather lazy performance and fails to fully embody his character whilst his wife, played by Byrne, contributes little more than a series of screams and gasps. The only performance worth mentioning is that of Hershey who manages to inject a much-needed dose of humanity to the story.
Taking a page from horror masterpieces such as The Shining and Psycho, Wan attempts to re-create and intertwine those very same elements into his own demonic world. Unfortunately, his efforts only end up hurting the horror tale, which was initially pretty sound in the beginning. Regardless of the somewhat interesting, creepy set-design, there is little to make up for its bigger downfalls.
Filled with a sense of familiarity, worn out horror gags and an uneven tone, Insidious: Chapter 2, is just another cash-in sequel that manages to devaluate its predecessor.