INSIDIOUS Chapter 2 Review
Insidious Chapter 2 is not a rehash of the previous installment and James Wan doesn’t try to top himself with the thrills and chills of The Conjuring. You can put your worries away because what we have here is a fantastically weird, go for broke approach that delivers good old fashioned creepiness and fun.
Before events pick up where they last left off, we are taken back to 1986 where young Lorraine portrayed by the extremely talented Jocelin Donahue meets a young clairvoyant named Elise. The backstory expands on the mythology laid before and examines the origin of Josh’s history with astral projection in a clever way, setting up the rabbit hole that gradually spirals into full blown insanity. Time travel elements are introduced to take us back between past and present to give us different explanations, so the better you pay attention, the more you will be rewarded. I would even recommend revisiting the first film to refresh your brain with the bride in black mythology and everything will be left here to pick up where the events left off.
Antagonist duties are split this time between Old Parker and the possessed Josh Lambert which slightly takes away from the villian iconography left in the previous film. Joseph Bishara who portrayed the ‘lipstick demon’ only came back for orchestral duties this time, however he delivers the goods in that area just as before. The return of Specs and Tucker was a hilight for me, I enjoyed their ghostbusting comic relief before and this time they have more screen time to display their shenanigans. These two provide a good counter balance to James Wan’s trademark setups that he continues to have fun with, such as out of the box camera angles and hypnotic visual cues. Some developments had to be sacrificed in order for Josh to be possessed by the vengeful spirit from ‘The Further’ and he is partially played for laughs. There is a scene where he is gazing menacingly in a doorway that comes off like he was channeling Terry O’ Quinn on a bad LSD trip.
I normally can’t tolerate alot of exposition, but since we’re dealing with so much backstory and time travel it mostly made sense to include it. The most important thing that I feel this film has accomplished was that it passed the sequel test, which means it didn’t copy it’s predecessor and it was never boring. The craftmanship of Mr. Wan is still evident in his workand he made a bold choice to go down a different path this time. It shows skill to manipulate an audience while leading them in a new direction.