Sunday, September 15, 2013


Remember "Insidious," that extremely clever (and truly terrifying) horror movie that came out of nowhere and gave audiences hope in the haunted house genre again? Well, also remember earlier this year when critics hailed that director James Wan (who's next signed on to direct "Fast & Furious 7") had delivered again with his "The Conjuring," which received rave reviews and dominated the box office?

Well, I've had the sad fate of seeing this director's other horror effort this year, shame on me. It's "Insidious: Chapter 2," everything the first chapter could've been and absolutely wasn't. This braindead, sorefully unscary follow-up is less a sequel than it is a perfect example of taking something good and dashing it to bits.

Things pick up exactly where the first one left off. Renai (Rose Byrne) and her husband, Josh (Patrick Wilson) have escaped their demon-ridled house and taken recluse at the no-less haunted estate of Josh's mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey). They know it's not the house that's haunted but they flee nonetheless. Last time it was their son's out-of-body demon inflicting evil onto the Lambert family. Who is it this time, you ask? Well, the options are limited and recall for a moment who entered that undead-filled dark realm they like to refer to as The Further.

The story here, which woefully follows last outing's comic relief for the duration of the film undercutting any and all frights, is a mess from start to finish. It clings to horror movie tropes and doesn't twist them in any fun or interesting way. Although there's no denying the film is handsomely shot, the use of a shaky handheld camera exploring an old, creepy hospital is borrowing from "Paranormal Activity" more than probably intended. And then not to mention "The Shining" in the film's other key plot device.

As I mentioned earlier, Wan is hanging up his horror directorial cap to move on to an action blockbuster. Good for him to get out while he can and let somebody else take over for the inevitably clunky third installment that the ending of "Chapter 2" so unabashedly promises.

My review of "Insidious"

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