Insidious Chapter 2 is a sequel to the indie horror hit Insidious. For those who haven’t seen it – and you should! – Insidious was one of the best horror films of 2011; the story revolved around a couple’s son who enters into a coma and becomes a vessel for spirits. The first film got many things right with suspense and pacing in the first half, but totally lost the plot in the second half of the film. A sequel was never planned for Insidious, so when Chapter 2 was announced based on how well the first film performed in the box office, I was curious to find out where the story would go.
Insidious Chapter 2 picks up the story from where the previous film left it, with a seemingly familiar ghost-follows-family-to-new-home plot. And while this has been done many times, what shines is how well the sequel’s plot meshes into events from the first film. It’s pretty impressive for a retconned storyline. I also liked the frequent use of colour red throughout the film – through red-coloured objects, door, and lighting – to add an eerie atmosphere in every scene. Joseph Bishara’s score, especially the use of piano sonatas, complements the sense of tension throughout the plot.
I never quite understood though why Insidious – and this sequel – sometimes turns to slapstick humour through the characters of two paranormal investigators during intense scenes. It almost feels like a formulaic decision made by the studio to ease tension during highly strung scenes. If there’s one thing that detracts this film from being “great”, it would be this.
I confess I’m a huge fan of director James Wan’s work: Saw is a perennial favourite among horror films for me. Insidious Chapter 2 is heavily influenced by The Conjuring (PS – I fucking hated that film), another recent Wan film, as he has confessed himself. But while The Conjuring felt mainstream, I loved how Wan presumably had the freedom to try out a bolder story in this smaller budget film. I don’t have high hopes for the planned third film the Insidious series, but for those who liked the first film, Chapter 2 gives a well-rounded to closure to the story.
Rating: 3.5 / 5