BY BRIANNA KELLEY
If I were to make a list of my top 10 horror movies, “Insidious” would be in the top five. It was one of the movies that fueled my fondness for the horror genre, and it was probably the first scary movie I saw in theaters that caused me to sleep with the lights on for a few nights. “Insidious” hit theaters at a time when new horror movies were relying heavily on effects and recycling the same general ideas over and over again. I expected to see a standard possession movie, but it ended up being so much more. The low-budget movie offered creative ideas and a genuinely scary atmosphere. There were people who did not like it, of course, but even they do not mind discussing the film in depth.
I was both thrilled and apprehensive when I learned that a sequel was in the works. I was worried that James Wan, the director, would sell out to some of the more mainstream horror ideas or make a sequel that relied on cheap jump scares. Thankfully, this was not the case.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” picks up right where the first movie left off, so the first 20 minutes of the movie involve stock footage and dealing with the crisis that the first film left unsolved. There are also a few flashback scenes to the father’s childhood, which involve some very bad acting.
But once the movie gets going, it actually starts to produce a few scares here and there. It does throw in a cheap jump scare every once in a while, but mostly the movie’s scare tactics include unnerving things like mental asylums, creepy makeup, dramatic zooms and slow turns. It is somewhat scary, but comes nowhere near the level of terror that the first movie produced.
The best thing this movie had going for it was the story. Not only does it have a unique story all its own, it also expands on the first film’s story and even manages to connect the two in a beautiful array of exposition and investigation. “Insidious: Chapter 2” connected the films in the way that the “Paranormal Activity” franchise could not.
With that being said, the film did have a gratuitous amount of cheesy scenes and bad dialogue. Admittedly, the first film had a little bit of these, but it was not distracting. During the sequel, I laughed so hard I almost had to leave the room during a part that was supposed to be unnerving but failed because it was staged so badly. If it weren’t for these constant goofy moments, the movie would have been able to hold its creepy atmosphere more successfully.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” is not a great movie, but it is worth checking out if you are in the mood for a horror movie. It would probably be easier to enjoy it if you have seen the first movie, but hopefully the sequel will encourage audience to rent “Insidious” for a night.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org