I love a good scary movie. In fact if lights are on, I’ll turn them off before I start it. I’ll do whatever I can to enhance the experience. So when a sequel comes out to a movie that legitimately gave me the willies…you’ve got my attention. Sadly as with James Wan’s first foray into horror (“Saw”) it would appear that this series is destined for the same “sequels equal money” path. It definitely had some moments that got my heart-rate up, but then again so does running up the stairs.
The first film did a great job taking a normal haunted house flick and turning it on its head. It freaked us out because as with almost every other film, the hauntings tend to stop once you move into a different house, but what happens when one of you is haunted? Plus the ending to “Insidious” just made you go, “Well great, I’m never living with roommates again.” and that was that. The sequel starts up right where the first one left off, which honestly detracts from what made the original great but oh well. I think there’s actually a third one on the way so I’m losing hope as I’m writing this. But I digress…
So a quick premise of the first film: family has son who can wander in his dreams, accidentally wanders into Hell or something similar, becomes lost and possessed. Hijinks ensue and eventually all seems well when son wakes up. Ending comes out of nowhere, you need new pants. Ok, now that we’re caught up we’ll move on to the second chapter. Family moves into a new house (a la normal thought process of hauntings) and of course crap keeps happening to everyone, only this time the son isn’t to blame. Without giving away too much plot because it will give away pretty much the entire first film, just know that it’s very sub-par to the first film. The scares aren’t as genuine and they rely on the same “sudden noise” effect that is more related to how high your volume is. Also they tried to give a backstory to the hauntings which I believe rarely works. Much like “Paranormal Activity” it was so much scarier when things were happening and you had no idea why, versus some tortured soul of the creepy guy next door whose house was always the recipient of hurled rotten eggs. That, and by the time it was over they were totally gearing up for the threequel, and knowing Hollywood I’m sure we’re destined for about four more of these as well.
I know this is from the first movie, but it still scares the crap out of me.
Now if you’ve read at least a few of my reviews then chances are that you’ve seen one of my horror pieces. To be honest I think most of them have low ratings from me but that’s because I’ve set the bar rather high when it comes to scaring myself, something that only “What Lies Beneath” and “The Tunnel” can still do on a reoccurring basis. I really wanted to enjoy this movie, and in some ways I did but just not as a follow-up to “Insidious”. First time I watched it was in broad daylight and after it was over I still had to politely excuse myself to go for a good cry. Last night I popped this on while on the couch in pitch black and with the volume at a decent “scare” level, and I still felt like “meh” when I crawled into bed afterwards. The acting was not the greatest and I’m sure the actors just phoned this one in for the paycheck, but then again Hollywood isn’t exactly rolling out the originals these days.
DIRECTOR’S CUT: Definitely watch the first film, it will remain better than it’s follower and most likely all of the films after that. Oh, and the guy on the poster for this one isn’t even in the movie.
FLICKCHART RATING: 731/2057