The gang’s all back together – ★★★
Like Anthony Hopkins we here at Spooool.ie like spook. With every sequel there is always some trepidation that it will sully the name of the original, not live up to expectations and (generally with horrors) not make any sense.
Insidious burst onto our screens back in April 2011 to rave reviews and reports of people dying in screenings from shock*. It wasn’t that surprising to hear of a second jaunt into the further especially given the ending of the first film. Signs seemed promising when it emerged that all the original cast would return as would the director James Wan.
We start with a flashback to when Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) was a child and being haunted by the Bride in Black, setting up crucial plot points for later. Coming back to the present day with Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) being interviewed by a cop asking why there is a dead woman in her house? Renai suspects it was in fact her possessed husband who killed the woman but isn’t sure and her chief concern is for the safety of her children. The smart device about chapter two is that it all takes place over about 2-3 days after the first film and is well explained – very well explained for a horror sequel. It loses the run a bit towards the end delving into time travel and parallel universes.
The cast are all on top form, Wilson is the main player and does a good Nicholson Shining crazy man and loving husband at the same time. Byrne is believable as defender of the children and becoming more unnerved as the film progresses. Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson turn up again as Specs and Tucker, your friendly ghost busters providing the comic relief. This is too often though and the film devolves into humour more than is necessary, somewhat diluting the tension. That said there are enough tense moments ratcheted up with a knowing score and deft direction. Fans of Wan’s other work can see his hallmarks all over the film. Hopefully after taking a break from horror with Fast & Furious 7, he’ll get back to what he does best.
While not as scary as the first outing it still packs enough jumps, tension and plausibility as sequels go. It must surely be an end to the Lambert family story but don’t be surprised is there isn’t a spin-off to keep the franchise alive. Oh and by the way there’s someone standing behind you.
*This statement is not true
Released nationwide across Ireland on Friday 13th (spooky) 2013