Insidious: Chapter 2
Direction: James Wan
Actors: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne
A scare-lite sequel to the haunted hous horror flick Insidious (2011), the franchise motivated ...Chapter 2 fails to translate its paranormal premise into an interesting yarn. It also confirms director James Wan, who made his reputation with the first Saw film, as a genre hack who falls back on the same imagery he has used in his previous ghost stories including the overrated The Conjuring, released earlier this year.
Doors bang open or shut of their own volition, apparitions scamper across under-lit hallways and there’s a surfeit of camera chicanery. The second time out, the already convoluted story is further complicated by a series of clumsy flashbacks. To make matters worse, a spiritualist (Lin Shaye) who was killed at the end of the first installment is resurrected, only to be consigned to the netherworld.
Under the circumstances, the fear factor is conspicuous by its absence. We revisit the resourceful couple (Wilson-Byrne) who had warded off a malevolent spirit in the earlier edition. They are terrorised anew by spectres after they move into the house of the family matriarch (Barbara Hershey). Working in tandem with a pair of ghost busters, the old lady attempts to unravel her son’s connection to the spirit world.
The jangling piano-dominated music score is an ear-sore. On the other hand, Wan’s relative restraint is a relief from the usual gruesome horror fare. Abandoning any pretense of making sense of the wannabe spook saga, one of the ghost buster’s also sums up the viewer’s incredulity when he exclaims, “So that’s what it is”. Enough endured already, so spare us Chapter 3, please.