The true essence of a horror movie arises not so much from the plot or the sudden moments of scary “going bump in the dark” pop ups, but rather the ability to truly get under your skin, cause a sense of constant unease and dread bringing forth the onset of Goosebumps before you even know it. All of this was something the diminutively budgeted ‘Insidious’ managed to pull off handsomely despite a plot was wobbly at best in the second half. It put director James Wan back in the limelight after having tasted initial success with the original ‘Saw’ but failure with everything after that. Now after the excellent ‘The Conjuring’ and this good but not great sequel to ‘Insidious’ he’s moving on to the brawny madness of the fast and furious franchise.
At the end of the first chapter, Dalton (Ty Simkins), was free of the eerie realm known as the Further. Josh (Patrick Wilson), it seems is trapped in the further while having invariably exchanged his physical real world body with a demon. Josh's wife, Renai (Rose Byrne), adds two and two together and understands what plagued them the last time is alive and kicking again and unless she does something about it, it’ll consume her family. Only Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), knows about a dark secret from Josh’s childhood related to his suppressed supernatural abilities and holds the key to save them all.
Some decent scares are littered through the movie and Waan tries to emphasise on creaky doors and inanimate objects that seem to have a life of their own just to creep the hell out of you, unfortunately everything has been seen and done before and though well done in parts has little or no novelty value. The reliance on boo moments rather than building effective atmosphere reduces the movie to a series of sudden scares designed most of the time to add little to the plot rather make audiences jump out of their seats.
Insidious Chapter 2 has some genuine chills and thrills but is largely derivative of Waan’s previous efforts and the plot seems pointlessly convoluted. It’s honestly a step down from the first part and ‘The Conjuring’.