Insidious: Chapter 2 attempts to defy the laws of sequels. Whilst few have surpassed their predecessors in quality, most have been quick cash-ins. Such films can be readily seen with little passion or money spent. Thankfully the makers behind Insidious: Chapter 2 have realised this. A direct continuation, it expands on the strong characters introduced in the first outing. Conjuring a few genuine scares, it proves a well thought-out follow-up can be done if care has gone into crafting a decent story.
Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) are a couple who have been through the wringer. Noted mediums, their work has recently seen them ward off some very evil spirits. Thinking their job has finished, they look forward to some peace. This never eventuates as ghosts from their past return to haunt them. Again fighting a hoard of spectral nasties, their abilities are stretched to the limit as the netherworld threatens to drag them to an early grave.
Slightly less scary than its predecessor, Insidious: Chapter 2 remains interesting. Most of this is due to the strong concept. The idea of a family of mediums burdened by their gift is an intriguing one. This is utilised very well in this sequel as their supposed success in the previous movie turns out to be a mirage. How they handle the fury of malicious spiritual entities forces them to work together in an unusual version of family bonding.
Insidious: Chapter 2 doesn’t always work with its slower pace diluting the tension. When it does work, the series’ spooky atmosphere is captured. Whilst continuing plot strands from the first film, the writers make it stand-alone enough for new fans to come on board. In some ways the Insidious franchise is reminiscent of the Nightmare on Elm Street series with dreams and reality converging. This creates an ambiance of unpredictability enabling viewers to remain engaged.
Not as terrifying as the first instalment, Insidious: Chapter 2 should ensure some chills arise. It logically moves events along whilst doing some new things, which is part of the aim of any sequel wanting to improve on its illustrious forerunner.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 6