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Sunday, September 15, 2013


About The Movie:

In the 2011 hit Insidious, Renai and Josh Lambert’s happy family home became a living hell once their young son fell into a coma that tapped him into a realm of deranged ghosts known as The Further. As it ended on a nerve-rattling cliffhanger, a sequel was practically demanded.

At the end of the last film, paranormal investigator Elise Rainier was murdered by Josh (Patrick Wilson) after battling an evil entity for the body and soul of his son Dalton. Then Renai (Rose Byrne) discovered Elise’s corpse and was forced to face the possibility that her husband may be possessed. Just then, Insidious cut to black. Chapter Two picks with Renai and Josh dealing with the aftermath of Elise’s death. A murder investigation is underway, and under questioning Renai is asked if she trusts her husband-- an issue that has plagued her thanks to Josh's strange behavior. The Lamberts have moved into the home of Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey back again) while the criminal investigation is underway, but this does nothing to stop the paranormal activity that plagues them. 

What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:

This movie deserves credit for its ambition here. Rather than throwing another seemingly average family into the peril of poltergeist hauntings, it build upon the characters already created and weave a more complicated tapestry of storytelling that ties the two narratives together in a way that is sure to delight fans.

I typically feel like if a horror movie is satisfyingly scary, it’s done its job. And no question: Insidious: Chapter 2 scared me with its mysterious tale of murder and malevolence. But what makes the film something more than a worthwhile thrill is the cast. My heart went out Renai thanks to Byrne, who creates a complex character torn between her desperate wish to get things back to normal and her fear that this may never happen. She loves Josh, and fears him, making for a dynamic that is literally hair-raising but also heartbreaking. For his part, Wilson is remarkable in his role, deftly handling the dueling sides of his character with an electric sharpness. Whether he’s cradling his kids or menacing a nosey investigator, Wilson is mesmerizing. His classic good guy looks only adds to the movie’s disturbing tone.

To avoid spoilers, I can’t really dig into my favorite element of Insidious: Chapter 2. Suffice to say I found the backstory for the veiled ghost from the first film to be fantastically twisted and terrifically terrifying. The genre needs more movies like Insidious: Chapter 2.

Overall Grade: A

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