Do you remember those campy House movies that came out in the 80s—with the Vietnam vet and the caterpillar-dog? James Wan’s Insidious movies have a lot in common with those: the spooky realm just outside the house, the son who needs to be rescued by his heroic dad and, of course, the goofball humor.
Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up where Insidious left off, with Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson, who is also in Wan’s The Conjuring that was released in July to great reviews) having rescued his son from the Further (hooray) but also having strangled the medium, Elise (Lin Shaye) because an unwelcome traveler came back inside him (oops). His wife (Rose Byrne) is understandably skeptical that she’s not living with her husband, but some spirit-infested being.
Focused not on making the audience grip their seats in terror, but on weaving in and out of the present and Josh’s past to piece together a circular plot, the film is part prequel, part sequel and not as scary as the first one. The dearly deceased’s antics grow a bit tired as the movie wears on (how many times can a piano play itself before you just start to enjoy the music?), and Elise’s ghost-tracking assistants also have a bigger role in this film, keeping it much lighter than the first movie.
The Further is still a frightening place, though, and the main villain, the creepy Bride in Black, could make someone lose a little sleep. Let’s hope Wan makes a movie about this character—pre-ghost.
Insidious: Chapter 2, directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Ty Simpkins, Leigh Whannell & Angus Sampson opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow.