Insidious Chapter 2 is the sequel to the 2011 supernatural horror film Insidious. The cast has reprised their roles from the previous film and they do a fine job falling back into their familiar situations. The plot has several holes but if you keep an open mind it makes a decent follow-up to the first film. That being said, it is neither as frightening nor as well thought-out as the previous movie.
Insidious Chapter 2 begins with a flashback to 1986 where a young Josh Lambert is getting help for his ghostly troubles. We then flash forward to the last events of the first film. Josh, played by Patrick Wilson and his wife Renai, played by Rose Byrne, have moved in with Josh’s mother after the death of Elise. They soon discover that angry spirits besiege them in their new house as well. Is something more sinister afoot?
The acting is really well done. Rose Byrne brings back her sense of fear and vulnerability from the last film. Patrick Wilson shows some interesting skill in being both a villain and hero in this movie. Even the side characters, such as the tech guys that helped Elise, the medium, bring a sense of entertainment to this film.
The scares are developed by the movie’s atmosphere and an occasional jump scare. If children’s toys are scary to you, I’d avoid this movie because they constantly use toys for scares. The story is strange in the way it glosses over some subjects. For example, the killing of Elise is basically left to the cops and dismissed in the first 15 minutes of the film. There is also a strange aspect of astral time travel, which is cool but creates all sorts of plot problems. I am not sure what the rules are for traveling in the Further because it’s poorly defined in the movie.
Insidious Chapter 2 is an okay follow-up to the first film. For a PG-13 horror film you will feel some good scares and some genuine unease as people walk through places that are lit like the Haunted Mansion armed with nothing but a greasy flashlight. It is certainly the weaker of the two movies and it ends with the promise of a sequel. Frankly if they do a sequel I’d hope that they go the direction they seem to be going, with a new family and a whole new set of scares. Bottom line, this is a good movie and definitely worth seeing.