From torture porn to ghost stories, creator of Saw James Wan has been busy working on his horror craft. This year saw the release of the paranormal investigation thriller The Conjuring and now Insidious: Chapter 2 lands as the hotly anticipated second entry in the series.
The movie marks an ongoing partnership for Wan and actor Patrick Wilson, who starred in Wan’s last three films. Together the two have made some of the most chilling and discomforting horror movies that harkens back to classics like The Exorcist.
Insidious: Chapter 2 continues the events of the first film, where the long haunted Lambert family passes down the ability to venture into a purgatory-like world through dreams.
In the first film, the son of Josh (Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) was lost in this world and, as a result fell into a coma.
Josh is able to pull his son Dalton out from the horrible dream world, but it is not without consequences. The haunting of the Lambert family is far from over despite the safety of their son. Now they have to look into the spirit world and their past to find the answers that will rid them of the ghosts that still haunt them.
Having a great deal of Chapter 2 focus on this purgatory area was a huge risk to take, but Wan elected to explore this part of the Insidious universe and succeeds in tying the two films together in some interesting ways. To make the portions of the movie shot in this area really stand out, the film embraces its more comedic and campy sides — a change that many fans of the original may not be into.
However, those who are open to the change are in store for a pretty great horror comedy that looks back to a different generation of horror movies like Evil Dead for inspiration.
If you were a fan of the sequences that featured the two over-the-top comedic paranormal investigators Elise (Lin Shaye), Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), the amount of screentime dedicated to these two is much heftier in this outing.
Though there are still some good scares to be had, the horror element after the halfway mark loses nearly all momentum and becomes scattered. Instead, the flick fully embraces its campy humor and transforms into a slasher film. Throughout the humor feels like it hits the mark, it’s too bad that the other aspects aren’t as on point as the first film.
Those hoping to find the unsettling scares that made Insidious may be disappointed, but anyone hoping for an entertaining horror film that’s just as fun as it is scary need look no further.