Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
I lost interest.

One of the more recent horror films that made waves was Insidious, and my very picky nature didn’t really personally like the way they went about it, but there was a lot I could respect it for in terms of scaring other people. The reasons I didn’t really like it were simple: it focused way too much on showing you, showing you, and showing you more. The things they did show you, I wasn’t so impressed with either. I prefer a horror film to not show you anything and let your mind create the monster instead…but I get it, some people just aren’t creative or scared easily, so a movie sometimes has to provide the imagery. It’s not my preference, but I understand the appeal to others. As far as I was concerned, it did an okay job thanks to a very solid and easy-to-follow plot. The sequel, Insidious: Chapter 2 had some interesting element of its own, but overall, I lost a lot of my interest and respect for it.

Let’s go over the plot. For the most part, this film takes place immediately after the first film. Renai is being questioned by police about her husband Josh, who they suspect to be the murderer of the psychic, Elise. You see, they have a hard time accepting the excuse that a ghost did it. Back at home, it would appear that the house is still haunted, even though they supposedly fixed everything, and that leads them to believe that Josh is inhabited by the old woman ghost seen in the first film. Another investigation is set up, and a dark murderous plot is uncovered from the past that may just hold the key to locking all of this up once and for all.

Because I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film, I decided before I watched this film to create a list of things I would have liked to see in the movie in order to make it better for me. I thought that it needed to show less demons. I didn’t think they would, and they don’t…so that’s a no. Then I said, the ones you do show, make them scarier looking…I’ll give this to them. It’s not that much scarier, but I would say creepier at least. I then added that the film needs more astral projection – the last film had most of that in the last few scenes. I’ll give this point to them too, there is quite a bit more astral projection in this film. I wanted them to keep the desaturated grungy look, and as far as I could tell, this was half half. The film starts out looking really colorful, and then it seems to get grungier as it moves along. Mostly, I wanted them to raise the bar of suspense in this film, because I think suspense is a better tool for horror. Did they build suspense here? Yes and no.

You see, the first half of this film really has a good amount of suspense. It really does feel as though it is a horror film at this point, even more so than the original. For the first half of the film, I was seriously considering rating it higher. Then the second half happened. Man am I disappointed in the second half. That’s when all of the answers started coming in, but the problem was there was way too much actually going on in the film to keep track of…too many people, too many demons, too much weird history that’s hard to notice a connection to the family…I don’t know. Then there was the lack of suspense. The rest of the film had no suspense as all it did – constantly, was show the ghosts and demons relaying a history about a crossdressing killer…I liked that better when I saw it first in Psycho.

The best part of the film, and I hold this firm, is when they explained time as something disconnected from “The Further”, or otherwise known as the astral realm. It is like…a time vortex in a way, you can go back and visit previous events in your life. I really liked that, because it went back to the first Insidious, and answered a few questions left open for interpretation. At the same time, that might be a little too much to actually accept by an audience. I found it, at the least, interesting.

The Good:
The film answered questions that the first left open for interpretation; the first half had a good level of suspension; feels complete; the astral realm had no connection to time, etc. These things are good.

The Bad:
Too much to list. For an idea: it’s not scary, too much trying to show us what’s scary, too much plotlines going on at once, and the very fact that it left it open for a sequel. You feel cheated on what could have been a better story.

Memorable Quote:

Ghost Lady: Don’t you dare!

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8 thoughts on “Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

      • Ah, well sound editing/mixing/design has never really mattered so much to me. Sometimes I notice it when it does something crazy like bullet time in the Matrix, but most of the time, I’m way too focused on the movie itself, and I wasn’t so impressed with The Conjuring as a whole. Gave it a low rent at 70%

  1. Oh don’t say that… I went to see this with the lowest expectations possible, because I didn’t really like part one either, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it seemed like he want to put as much content in there as possible, which was not overwhelming but seemed forced sometimes, and the end that hinted to another sequel was totally unneeded and frustrating… But I was enjoying it more than part one. It was not a winner but definitely worth a watch… I still enjoyed your review!! Great job! 😀

  2. It helps if you are a wimp like me.

    Insidious is the kind of supernatural movie that really creeps me out, so I think this is my favourite horror franchise for me. While I don’t get how people find certain films scary, it goes the opposite for this film. Guess it is all about what your phobia is.

    • Hey! Thanks for the comment, and my apologies for the long response:

      Here’s how I see it, my man: Ever since you were young, we all had phobias, as you put it, but here’s the thing…we didn’t know what we were really afraid of, so our minds created imagery for us. We had nightmares. Our mind is the most powerful tool we have, because it can create THE scariest thing you can possibly imagine (which is entirely the point). No movie, ever, can create anything as powerful as your own mind can, because your mind creates something tailored entirely unique for only you.

      My preference is films that literally don’t show you anything, they just tell you legend and lore (not unlike a campfire tale), and then it provides the rest with simple suggestion, letting your mind link to the story before, and the rest is imagination.

      Example: Paranormal Activy (the first one, not the rest). It operated on a single idea: a haunted house, and then there was subtle movements and little noises that escalated until the very end. PA remains the scariest film I have ever seen, and as far as I’m concerned, the only one. Blair Witch does the same thing, and comes close, but that’s where phobia preferences come in. I’m not afraid of witches, I’m afraid of the idea of ghosts.

      So, if a movie can link with your mind based on your phobia and concentrate on those tools of suggestion…well…then you have the secret ingredient…to a true scary horror film.

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