About the original Insidious film, it was more of a slow atmospheric horror film that developed its characters more than anything. Some aspects of that film were pretty darn decent. However, most of the movie was not great, it was slow, lackluster and it failed to actually scare you. The one thing that made it stand out was its aesthetic. The film was drowning in color and beauty, every other shot was beautifully choreographed and angled. So it’s fair to say that, the lackluster response that the original film got made the studio want to pivot back to a more rooted horror film. The problem therein lies, because the sequel takes place directly after the events of the first film.
How to Stream or Download Insidious: Chapter 2
To stream or to download the film, click on the Download button at the end of the review.
The Movie Review
The story takes place directly after the events of the first film, leading to Patrick Wilson’s character becoming possessed at the very end. The family now decides to move to Josh Lambert’s mother’s house to distance themselves from the events of the first film. Things seem to be alright at first, however they quickly take a turn for the darkest when their trauma and past experiences are only met with more complications.
The film is faster, more aggressive, and focuses a lot more on the overall occult aspects as compared to the original. There is every conceivable horror trope within this film, and more often than not they don’t really work out well.
I did see James Wan isn’t really the best director when it comes to slow burner, atmospheric horror films. He ended up proving himself as someone who can do a great job with it when he created the first Conjuring movie. The problem however with Insidious Chapter 2, lies in its distancing itself away from that particular slow development towards a more broken, disheveled horror film that relies heavily on cheap jump scares and comedy antics.
The film has little to no long shots, and every other sequence consists of a random jump scare. They aren’t even by spirits or actual terrifying things, for the most part, they’re just someone dropping a cup, or a husband tapping on the shoulder of his zoned-out wife who is unaware of his presence in the room.
This is where the direction of Insidious Chapter 2 fails, it tries to be a horror thriller, when it’s actually written to be more of an atmospheric, horror drama film. Now, to talk about this film’s performances without mentioning Patrick Wilson as the one thing that carries it would be unjust. He masterfully plays multiple roles within the film, including his character of Josh Lambert and the spirit of a character that possesses him. It’s a testament to his skill and experience, he manages to make some aspects of this film absolutely lovable.
Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye also deliver decent to good performances, though Lin Shaye’s role is exclusively very tiny. Actor such as Lindsay Seim who portrays a young Elise Rainier is very uncharacteristic, her performance feels undeserving of any praise.
The aesthetic that the first film managed to create that ended up carrying the film overall, is completely gone in Insidious Chapter 2. The film is by far much, much worse to look at. It’s drowning in lazy colors, boring cinematography and the lighting is as mundane as it gets for a tropey horror film. That was one aspect of the original film that should have by all means been present in the sequel, yet it isn’t here at all and that is honestly very disappointing.
The soundtrack is actually decent though, it rivals up to the first one and at times even breaks that barrier in being much better than the original OST.
The Bottom Line
So in conclusion, Insidious Chapter 2 is a massive downgrade from the already quite average first installment within the franchise. The film breaks apart from the things that made it stand out amongst the crowd, and steers the franchise towards the conventional route. In doing so, it also steers it into a negative direction from a filmmaking standpoint.
This is a film that has quite literally no good aspects, it’s chock-full of lazy jump scares, boring plot devices and terrible acting with Patrick Wilson being a wonderful exception to it. In general, this movie should have been handled completely differently, in the same light that the original film was. In its current state though, this is a boring film that doesn’t do much if at all for viewer engagement.