The film starts out with a flashback of Patrick Wilson’s character Josh’s younger self. It is when Elise is first introduced to Josh and Lorraine and we see how Josh has no recollection of his haunting’s as a boy. Flash to the present and it takes place a few hours after the ending of the original film. Josh is a prime suspect in the case of Elise’s (Lin Shaye) murder. Though Josh’s wife Renai (Rose Byrne) remains confident that Josh is innocent. At this point in time, Josh and Renai, along with their three children are now living with Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey). But when the strange occurrences begin to happen again and Josh begins acting strangely, the family must re-enlist the help of Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson), along with Carl (Steve Coulter), an old friend of Elise’s, in order to end the nightmare once and for all.
After the great success of the first it apparently seems only natural to make a sequel, and of course throw in a backstory. While this may work for some horror sequels, it certainly doesn’t work for Insidious: Chapter 2. The film is as atmospheric as it’s predecessor, but it definitely does not provide the scares of the first. The scares in the first film worked brilliantly because of how unexpected they are, in the sequel I was able to sense them coming. Not to mention, a lot of the scares seemed like they were stolen from James Wan’s recent hit ghost flick The Conjuring, but only tweaked. The acting was well-done, especially by Patrick Wilson’s character. As Josh’s behavior escalates, Wilson brings a very terrifying performance to go with it, making the viewer as fearful of him as the characters become. Along with Wilson, is Lin Shaye, whose return as Elyse is one of the films very few saving graces. What mostly makes Insidious 2 just so awful is the story. It is nowhere near engaging as the first film’s, and it is just flat out boring. It brings nothing new to the table, and it only sends the characters on a wild goose chase to figure things out. When the secrets were revealed, I found myself thinking: “you better be kidding”. The backstory they give to the occurrences is so ridiculous and makes a complete mess of the original’s story. Not only that, but the backstory of the main ghost is so laughable you can’t take it seriously in any shape or form. The film also suffers from way too many unintentional AND intentional laughs.
While Insidious: Chapter 2 is backed by some creepy atmosphere and solid performances by Patrick Wilson and Lin Shaye, it doesn’t prevent the film from being one of the worst sequels I’ve ever seen.
My rating: 4/10