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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Insidious Chapter 2 (2012)- More of the Same

Updated: Jan 30

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Released 09-13-2012

Watched 07-04-2023

Reviewed 07-11-2023

Watched on MAX Buy or Rent Now

"What consumes your mind controls your life. It works both ways, negative and positive thoughts"

Insidious Chapter 2, directed by James Wan, continues the haunting saga of the Lambert family that began with the first Insidious film. The premise revolves around Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), who are trying to regain a semblance of normality after their intense face-off with evil spirits who possessed their son. Unfortunately, the horror isn't over yet; Josh is still tainted by the paranormal. Thus, the family must once again dive into the eerie world of the undead to liberate Josh's soul.

The movie retains the atmospheric tension and fear-inducing shocks of its predecessor, which were its strongest points. Wan's exceptional ability to turn ordinary, homely settings into locations of pure terror is still impressive, making Insidious Chapter 2 a genuinely unnerving watch.

The performances by the main cast are commendable. Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson convincingly portray their characters, showing the mental and emotional toll their supernatural encounters take on them. Barbara Hershey as Lorraine Lambert also delivers a solid performance.

However, there's an element of "been there, done that" which the movie cannot entirely escape. It's not that the film is bad; it just feels a bit redundant. Insidious Chapter 2 somewhat stumbles into the pitfalls of many horror sequels - it rehashes what worked well the first time around without adding much new or fresh to the mix.

One of the significant issues with Insidious Chapter 2 is that it tends to rely heavily on the first film for its plot structure and resolution. It often feels like an extension of the original rather than a standalone film, which somewhat detracts from the viewing experience.

Nevertheless, the sequel adds some interesting new elements, including a deeper exploration of the further and the past of the Lambert family. The attempt to connect the dots between the present and the past sometimes muddles the plot but overall adds to the overall arc of the series.

Fans who have kept up with the series will appreciate the tie-ins and chronology that builds up to the fifth installment, currently (July 2023) showing in theaters. The tangled timeline, with the third and fourth films serving as prequels, adds a layer of complexity to the narrative that may intrigue some viewers.

In summary, Insidious Chapter 2 is a commendable sequel, even though it doesn't quite reach the fresh, inventive heights of the first film. The story is still spooky enough to keep you hooked, and the performances are solid. If you are a fan of the franchise, this film should be on your watchlist, as it sets the stage for the succeeding chapters in the Insidious series.

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