In the aftermath of Elise’s death, the Lambert family are trying to get back to normality despite one of their members having been a prime suspect. We find out that Josh, who travelled to The Further to bring his son back to the real world, has had his own spirit captured and his body possessed as a result. The movie unravels around this discovery and the attempts to help him and protect others from him.
The story has the potential to be intriguing, revealing itself through secrets hidden in a distant past, but the dramatic turns are predictable and clichéd. The main problem is that Insidious 2 is supposed to be a horror movie but it’s only creepy in its being bizarre, not frightening. The characters that should scare the hell out of viewers are mere circus-freak figurines reminiscent of the cast of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun music video. In addition, the poor acting and the inconvenient script create hilarious rather than frightening scenes.
Most actors are unconvincing, Patrick Wilson (Josh) above all. His facial expressions and gestures don’t strike terror in the least, serving rather to make the audience burst into laughter. He is nonetheless in good company with the uniquely redeeming Rose Byrne as Renai who genuinely conveys the distress she is going through.
Winking at the likes of The Shining and The Blair Witch Project, Wan perhaps wanted to secure the movie’s fame and reliability but only succeeded in making it weaker. All the abrupt close-ups of the distorted grins of weird characters in fancy dress are simply ridiculous and incapable of portraying authentic dread. So is the Ghostbusters-inspired spectre-hunting team: two funny guys who deliver slapstick humour with their bungling efforts to assist Elise and her clairvoyant buddy Carl in their investigations. The soundtrack is also trite and trivial, with typical horror sound effects predictably matched to the scenes, and thus taken for granted.
The only noteworthy thing about Insidious 2 is how well this second chapter’s story has been connected with its predecessor. All the missing pieces in the puzzle are perfectly integrated and provide a reason at least for this otherwise unnecessary new chapter of the saga.
Insidious 2 is released nationwide on 13th September 2013.
Watch the trailer for Insidious 2 here: