December 9, 2013

Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
How James Wan keeps making these ultra-effective Horror flicks on such minuscule/modest budgets, we may never know.

Insidious 2 cost about $5 million to make, and has grossed $155 million worldwide... as far as Hollywood is concerned, the guy can basically write his own ticket at this point.

That's not even counting what the film will earn when it hits Blu-ray/DVD & VOD on December 24th.

There's just something about the guy and his movies that obviously rings true with Horror audiences. 

We gave Insidious a B+ back in 2011 (Review HERE), finding it to be an enjoyable, yet flawed experience. With Insidious 2, James Wan and his crimey Leigh Whannell improve on the original, and managed to creep us out far more than Wan's The Conjuring did.

Insidious 2 starts out way back in 1986, with a Mother trying to figure out what is haunting her young son, Josh. Yes, Josh from the first Insidious. A young Elise is called in to make sense of it all, which serves only to get her scratched on the arm while playing a rousing game of Hot & Cold (Ghost Edition), and hence she and Josh's Mother decide to make him "forget" his creepy his creepy "gift." I'm assuming that's somehow done via magic of some sort.

Let's not go where he's pointing.
Back in the present day, the story picks up following the events of the first Insidious, in which old Elise is dead, and the Cops think that Josh killed her. Josh has been acting very strange since coming back from "The Further," to the point where his wife Renai thinks he's a creep. Add to that the fact that Renai keeps experiencing all kinds of ghostly incidents around the house, and it's safe to say that things are not well in the Lambert family.

Poor Rose Byrne. What did she ever do to anybody?
To give much more of the plot away here would be a disservice to the movie and those folks who want to experience it unspoiled, so let's just say that from this point forward the story involves some Serial 
Killers, a creepy Mother-Son relationship, time travel, an ominous doll, a bunch of flashbacks, and a guy with some supernatural dice.

Above-average PG-13 Horror hi-jinks ensue.

That spells "You're on your own, bye!"
Aside from a few minor flaws, Insidious 2 works just about perfectly for what it is. Wan/Whannell took this sequel in a few interesting directions that I hadn't anticipated, and I thought it was all fairly clever. The movie has plenty of scares to go around (although most come in jump-scare form, musical cues and all), it's atmospheric as hell, and it even gives us a few scenes that made us laugh.

James Wan has had a pretty good 2013 with both The Conjuring and Insidous 2 being monster hits. While we think that The Conjuring is a better film overall, we find that Insidious 2 worked better for us as a Horror movie. It definitely creeped us out more.

I loved how Rose Byrne got to kick some ass in this one, as her scenes were some of the best in the movie. It was nice to see Jocelin Donahue show up in this one too, as we loved her in House of the Devil.

James Wan apparently has a thing for creepy dolls.
The plot for Insidious 2 felt over-complicated at times. I'm not sure if that's a truly bad thing or not, but there was just a lot going on in this movie, and it was way "busier" than I thought it would be. I mean, there's a part of the movie that deals with time travel... and if that doesn't seem like a crazy add-on for this type of movie, I don't know what does. It all worked well for the most part though, so, not biggest deal in the world. It's just a really, really busy movie.

The one thing that really bugged us about this movie we're the jump scares. James Wan seems to use them to good effect in most cases, but they are ever-present in his films, and they still annoy us on some level. The fact that they almost always seem to be paired with crazy loud, jarring musical cues only serves to make them that much moire annoying.

We agree. Enough with the musical cues!
Insidious 2 is filled with plenty of grisly imagery, but none of it is all that graphic.

With scenes like this, who needs gore?
PG-13 = no nudity. Besides, James Wan doesn't really make the kinds of movies that require nakedness, now does he?

The whole sequence in which Rose Byrne got knocked out cold was pretty great, but the "Hey, what's under all those sheets?"' scene was probably our fave.

This is the point at which I scream "You're on your own, bye!"
James Wan is a wizard. Also, so is Leigh Whannell.

Insidious 2 is a creepy, tense Haunted House story that brings a lot more to the table than just some scary ghosts jumping out and saying boo! Sure, it's over-complicated at times, and most of the movie is scary ghosts jumping out and saying boo!, but there's something about it all that we just couldn't help enjoying. If you love the feel and formula of James Wan's other movies, then you'll most assuredly love this one too.

Movies like Insidious 2 work best for us when we're watching them at home, where all is quiet and a bunch of strangers don't constantly break the mood for us. For this reason, grabbing a copy of this one when it hits Blu-ray/DVD in a few short weeks is a no-brainer for us.


Rose Byrne and Jocelin Donahue are a hauntingly hot duo! *Alright, it's been a long day, and I've got nothing else save for that lame, half-assed pun. It happens.


  1. I thought the horror sites critics/sites were unfair to this one. I think this will actually hold up better than the original.

  2. I agree, Marcus. This was a solid flick.

  3. I enjoyed this one, and it was good to see a film with ghosts screaming without that whole black out eyes and mouth BS. However I think I am watching too many horror films as I found the evil ghost mother to be kinda

  4. It's a shame Wan has left horror :(

    Just as he was perfecting his style of horror.