On DVD & Blu-Ray: December 24, 2013



Would it be farcical to say I found the second chapter of James Wan's Insidious films to be more frightening than his runaway summer hit, The Conjuring? Most people seem to have found that film to be the breakout horror flick they've been waiting for to rejuvenate the genre, but while it was a nice exercise in the standard set-ups of haunted house flicks Wan and his creative team have found a way to make a film that both legitimately continues the story from the first film while providing authentic scares that are hard to come by these days with Insidious: Chapter 2. It is important to know that I very much enjoyed the first film, but was somewhat disappointed in what direction it decided to go. I thought the first half was well staged and set up an interesting dynamic between Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne's husband and wife that had them going down a path they never saw their lives taking after their oldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), slips into a coma for no apparent reason. That these fears and unexpected turns were amplified by the fact there was clearly something creepy going on with their made for an eloquent yet horrific family haunting. The scares were blunt and startling, but they never took over the sense of care we developed for the family at least until the last half hour of the film when it went into overdrive and just piled on the people in mountains of make-up and gothic costumes to the point it was more humorous than scary. I didn't buy into the strangeness of "the further" as it seemed too great a tonal shift from the quieter, grey-hued family study I thought we were getting that would elicit fear from the presented scenario. With all of that in mind I went into this second chapter with none too high expectations, but a good amount of interest as at least the first film gave us a cliffhanger of an ending that we could hold out hope for something to justify the weirdness that the latter half of the first film introduced. For me, Chapter 2 did more than justify the need for explanation as it delivers both plenty of new elements while cleverly revealing reasoning for some of the questions left over from the first one. Not to mention being one of, if not the scariest theater experiences I've had in a long time. Full review here. B+

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