Friday, May 6, 2016

Don't Watch This Alone!: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2

Welcome to the another installment of DON'T WATCH THIS ALONE, where we review the best, worst, and everything in between in the world of horror.  This week we review the 2013 horror sequel...INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2.

Horror films have always held a special place in my heart, ever since the first time I watched (and was terrified by) Nightmare on Elm Street at age 7.  We've gotten some great flicks in this genre over the last few years, such as Mama, The ConjuringThe Witch, and 2011's Insidious, the sequel of which we'll be reviewing today.  Filled with great scares, interesting storytelling and a wonderful cast, Insidious: Chapter 2 is definitely one of my favorite horror movies of 2011.

Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up mere hours after part one, showing the characters dealing with the events of the first film, including the death of paranormal investigator, Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye).  We are also treated to a short flashback to 1986, during Josh's childhood, which gives us some insight as to why the Lambert family is being haunted.

Returning to the director's chair for the sequel to his 2011 film, Insidious, is James Wan, who is no stranger to the horror genre with such successful films as the Saw franchise and The Conjuring.  Teaming up with writer Leigh Whannell (who worked with Wan on Saw 1-3, Dead Silence, and the first Insidious), this duo took a standard haunted house/paranormal movie and turned it on its head.  Many people have compared the first film to Poltergeist, and if this is true, then the newest installment is like a combination of Psycho and The Shining.  Sprinkle a little time paradox on there and you've got Insidious: Chapter 2.  I know this sounds confusing, but don't worry, you're not left with many questions in the end, just enough to set up for a third installment.

All of the main characters from the first film make their return for the sequel.  Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reprise their roles as Josh and Renai Lambert, the main protagonists of the first film.  We also see the return of Ty Simpkins (Dalton), Lin Shaye (Elise), and Barbara Hershey (Lorraine).  Even Elise's assistants Specs (played by the writer, Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) are back in action.  

Rose Byrne gives a great performance in this film working side-by-side with Patrick Wilson (who I personally really enjoy as an actor).  I love the chemistry they have with one another.  Patrick's portrayal of Josh Lambert takes an interesting twist from the first time around, going from the hero to the threat and back to the hero.  It's fun to watch him play both sides of the coin in the same film.  

Fulfilling the roles of the comic relief are Specs and Tucker.  While I enjoyed Whannell's performance as Specs, Sampson left something to be desired.  His character seemed unnecessarily doofy and, at times, completely pulled me out of the movie.  Luckily, the rest of the cast gave strong enough performances to pull me back in.  Specs and Tucker gave a little too much comic relief, in my opinion. When I watch a horror movie, I want to be scared and stay scared.  I want to feel the adrenaline pumping through my body.  Some of their scenes completely took away from that feeling.

All-in-all, Insidious: Chapter 2 delivered what I hoped for, which was a great follow-up to a great horror movie.  A must see for any fan of the original, and if you haven't seen the original, go check it out right now.  You won't regret it.

The Merc's Score:  8/10

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