Insidious 2

Baby kidnap GO!
"It Will Take What You Love Most."

Good morrow to you my fair friends! It's that time again! Today's Tagline comes from the horror quadrant. Today we'll be talking about Insidious: Chapter 2, the sequel to the 2011 film Insidious (see my thoughts on it and some other films I enjoyed here). Released this past September, Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up immediately after the end of the first movie, when Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson, see him also here in The Conjuring) had to cross over (with John Edward) to retrieve his astrally projecting son. Unfortunately something followed him back, and murdered his friend and super badass medium Elise (who has a lot of juice in the supernatural department). Things have calmed down since, except for perhaps the ongoing investigation around Elise's death. That being said, it doesn't take long for weird shit to start happening in the house the Lamberts are now occupying (the house Josh grew up in, which is spectacularly creepy looking). You know the kind of stuff, pianos playing themselves, stuff getting knocked over. Just the regular routine. His wife Renai (Rose Byrne here she is as a crazy person) starts to notice something is up as well (given that all the poltergeist shit is happening mostly to her) and decides to seek help.

Worst dating sim ever.
The source of the problem quickly becomes apparent to everyone (including the audience). What is it? IM NOT GONNA TELL YOU RIGHT NOW. Anyway, with this new/old danger, Josh is forced once again beyond the veil in an attempt to protect his family. There are markedly fewer spirits in this film (in the first movie it was basically ghost party, with all sorts of weird shit following his son around) but I thought in general that we were presented with a tighter narrative. There was also a lot of really clever bits of plotting, particularly during the second act, when the astral projecting kicks into full swing. The movie finds clever ways to link itself to the first Insidious, and also explores some interesting almost science fiction angles on non-linear time, and the relationship between the dead and time as we experience it. I can see how a lot of people (especially those who are NOT enthusiastic about high concept stuff like that) might not have found it so cool, but I found the climax of the film to be creative, different, and enjoyable. I didn't find the movie to be especially scary (and I felt that way about the first movie as well) but I did find it very entertaining and thought that it attempted to create a more original plot than a lot of horror movies.

Mom of the year award!
Of course, not everyone shared my sunny attitude on the matter. Actually, Insidious 2 scored substantially lower than the first movie, it has a solidly rotten score over on RT for instance (37% which is almost half the score of the first film). I was curious as to why critics who had enjoyed the first film had no fondness for the second. What I found was not surprising to me, generally the attitude was a kind of "been there done that" which I see a lot when people are criticizing sequels to films. If a movie is similar to the first entry, then it's suddenly a piece of shit, because it didn't somehow completely recreate and reinvent itself. I can see this after a point being valid (after all you don't want to watch the same thing over and over) but I don't really feel that was the case here. While it is certainly dealing with the same style things, I thought Insidious 2 did clever things with the premise of the first, and honestly I thought it was overall a better movie than the first actually, and particularly that it ended on a really strong note.

Good old fashioned nightmare fuel.
In general when a horror movie doesn't emphasize jump out at you scary, I think people tend to just write them off as garbage. I've talked before about how I enjoy movies that are horror second and plot first, and that probably best explains what I liked about this movie. People also seemed to feel like the sequel was totally unnecessary, and I think I agree with them about the proposed second sequel, but I don't think this movie felt like a cash in. It certainly isn't like Saw 17000 or Paranormal Activity 6: Live Free or Activity Hard. I think if you make a movie that's decent, you get at least one mulligan in the sequel department, and these guys did a pretty decent job.

That's all on this matter! Join me again for more exciting movie times!

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