Insidious – Chapter 2
As with all good horror films there comes the sequel and so it is the turn of Insidious to get the reboot treatment. Will Insidious 2 go the way of most sequels, offering the same as the first film but with bigger scares? In some ways it does, but the film justifies itself enough to make a sequel.
The film starts right where the first Insidious ends, and it does help if you have seen the original movie first. Be warned if you haven’t seen insidious 1 as I’m going to reveal some spoilers. Having rescued his son from demonic possession there is suspicion that the father isn’t who he seems to be. To rescue his son the father had to travel to an astral plain. Whilst he was there was he himself possessed by an evil old woman? The film is built round this is he/isn’t he plot, a standard in horror films, where good people turn bad, with the reason why being because of supernatural reasons.
Insidious 2 goes into more depth, pans out the world in which the film is set, but is essentially the same film as the original. In this second film we find out about the old woman, who appeared as a fairly peripheral figure in the first installment, only appearing in the end.
Insidious 2 is genuinely scary and it goes for you right from the start. While other films may build up tension to some kind of ending, Insidious 2 gives you scares throughout the film. It doesn’t give the viewer much of a reprieve between shocks as there is no knowing when the next scare will come from and what it will be. And just as the slow build up and supernatural atmosphere create a scare, the music /sound effects come in from nowhere and cuts that tension in two by the sound of screeching strings, which leaves the viewer battered. They are really the trademark of the film franchise. How could the title shot make you jump? Just put some screechy strings on at excessive noise levels coming in from nowhere.
Away from the thrills and spills and haunting tone, there is a bit of humour with the inept ghost busters returning from the first film. Their bumblings, although not laugh out loud funny are able to lighten a little bit of what is a gloomy film, where everyone is playing it so seriously.
Insidious 2 manages to keep all its film references tight together, but towards the end of the film loses itself to cliché and becomes hackneyed as the father goes all The Shining on his family.
What’s fairly unusual about Insidious 2, for a film made nowadays is that there are few special effects. Most of the scares come through traditional methods of camera and actor position. Most of the ghosts are people in make up, Goth- like in their white washed faces and black eye-liner. There is also little gore, the film is only a 15 certificate, which although a bit light suggests a film built on tension.
This film is worth seeing if you are into horror films or enjoy a scare or two. It may not offer much new but its commitment to good old fashioned scares is welcome. Here’s hoping for a sequel.
By Keith Hudson