Insidious Chapter 2 – (movie)

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A good horror film is not centered around blood, gore, boobs, and the like. I’m always amazed at the volume of poorly made horror movies. It’s like they are being made in a sweat shop by little Asian kids…except Asians usually excel in the horror genre. However, in America, every so often…like the roll of the dice…we will fall on a winner. I was a fan of the first Insidious movie and although I had some expectations, they remained low. Here was my evaluation of the supernatural tale.

Without going into full review, Insidious was about a young boy going into a mysterious coma while creepy events began to materialize around his family. It had the class of the original Exorcist, the excitement of Poltergiest, and the fear factor of the original Amytiville Horror.

With Insidious Chapter 2, I was expecting watered-down repeats of the first film, that would be entertaining but not add much to the structure of the first film. My psychic abilities were way off that day.

The movie begins at the tail of the previous movie. Without spoiling too much, there’s a murder that took place in part 1 that is now being investigated in part 2. Fans of the 1st know the “where” and sort of the “who” but are left with a big fat greasy “how” and “what.”  Great way to start a movie.

The movie waste no time in throwing the supernatural elements in and establishing the back story, but it goes a step further. The entire movie is frosting on top of the delicious first movie. It wedges itself into the cracks of part 1 and explains things that you didn’t even realize you wanted the answers to. The two movies are so perfectly woven, it was like watching an hour of really awesome deleted scenes. It was a mystery unraveling and exposing itself (in a good way) making sure the layers made sense.

My friend (that betrayed me by watching it first without me) said that it was a very cerebral film, and he did not exaggerate.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as the parents are once again helping elevate the quality with their acting (not to mention they are probably one of the best paired couples I’ve seen awhile). Lin Shaye reprises her role as a psychic/medium who helped the family in the first movie (she was sort of the Tangina of Poltergeist for this movie) and, she is a delight to watch. Meanwhile, in a flashback, her character is played with equal grace and intensity by Lindsay Seim. It was perfect casting. The rest of the cast does not fail to accomplish their jobs, such as Barbara Hershey as the well-meaning grandmother. Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson are just as fun as the psychic’s sidekicks.

If I had a criticism, it was that I didn’t find myself particularly scared for any real length of time. The first film gave me tension and a few good jumps. This was was much more “open” and didn’t give me the claustrophobia I need to be on edge.

Still, it was a quality film, with a finely executed concept. I’m really hoping for a third installment, though I may be asking for the horror sequel curse by doing so. You know…The Grudge was great. Grudge 2 was tolerable. Grudge 3 was a pickpocket with his hand in your coat. Poltergeist was an instant classic. Poltergeist 2 was fun. Poltergeist 3 was an std you discovered too late. Halloween was the cool older cousin on a motorcycle. Halloween 2 was that fun aunt and uncle you only see on holidays. While Halloween 3 was your great grandmother who escaped from the home and is wandering down the freeway looking for her kitty, Bumpkin, that has been dead for 15 years. It’s like Wrong Turn is…Okay! Okay! I’ll give it a rest.

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