James Wan has become the go to director when it comes to profitable horror movies made on a small budget. Wan first came on the scene directing Saw which spawned a huge franchise. Then Wan hit box office gold back to back with Insidious (made for $1 million) grossing $54 million dollars and The Conjuring which became one of the surprise hits of the summer taking in $135 million dollars. These are impressive numbers for a little ghost story in a summer full of blockbusters. The paranormal king, Wan, is back at it again this week with the sequel Insidious: Chapter 2, but I’m starting to wonder… Does Wan have any original scares left for the audience after revisiting the supernatural genre again and again?
Insidious: Chapter 2 starts out with The Lamberts (Patrick Wilson & Rose Byrne) trying to get their lives back in order after Josh Lambert saved his son from the spirit world or “The Further”. Their son is back in the world of the living, but dear old Dad had a hitchhiking evil specter return with him from the spirit world. No sleepy, spooky kids this time around. Instead, we get Patrick Wilson in full possession mode. This makes for whole new array of creepy scenes in Insidious: Chapter 2 that even gave this sick puppy goosebumps. What’s great about Insidious: Chapter 2 is it hits the ground running and picks up immediately where it’s predecessor left off. No character development or doors slamming for 20 minutes. Just a shell-shocked family left with no grace period as the madness starts again.The audience isn’t left with a retelling of the first movie’s actions for 35 minutes. That’s the sign of a good sequel. Give our characters from the original something to deal with that is familiar, but with a new twist.
The element I enjoyed the most about Insidious: Chapter 2 was the handling of the spirit world this time around. Some viewers did not like the turn the first film took into “The Further”, but I enjoyed the trip into astral plane. I spoke earlier that all good sequels need a good twist and boy does Insidious: Chapter 2 have a great one when it comes to the realm of ghosts. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say it would make Doc Brown from Back to the Future reexamine his space-time continuum model. The twist in Insidious: Chapter 2 actually makes the first Insidious an even cooler film, looking back with its interlacing stories.
I may not have been impressed with James Wan’s The Conjuring, but I really enjoyed Insidious: Chapter 2. After the chills and jumps I received from watching Insidious: Chapter 2, Wan proved to me that he hasn’t gone to the scare-well-one-too-many times. I thought Insidious: Chapter 2 was better than Insidious and will now make the first film better with future viewings. The twists and turns of Insidious: Chapter 2 were suspenseful and I liked the idea that maybe not all things that go bump in the night are there to hurt you. They may actually be there to help you. Insidious: Chapter 2 earns my rating of 3 out of 4 potatoes.
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