Patrick Wilson’s Not Afraid of no Ghosts.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) 7 out of 10: A horror ghost movie sequel? What could be scarier? Those still terrified after Poltergeist II and III and Blair Witch 2, I have some good news. Insidious bucks that trend and provides a sequel at the same level, or even better than the original movie.
The Good: Patrick Wilson is the key here. Without an actor of his caliber, I am not sure the film would work at all. He is asked to do some hefty lifting, and his George Lutz style characterization would make James Brolin proud.
The film also avoids the inadvertent hilarity that has plagued some of its contemporaries. No-one is naked, wearing a goat’s head in this one.
As an aside, my wife liked this movie. My wife at best tolerates horror movies and often falls asleep in what I suspect is a defense mechanism. But she was engaged and now wants to see Insidious: Chapter 3.
The Bad: I am not afraid of no ghosts. Why are any the characters scared half the time? There is a lot made of how a children’s toy (An obnoxious baby walker that is festooned with lights and noisemakers and was a gift from something evil.) Just makes noises on its own. Well, anyone with kids will tell you those toys will go off on their own on a fairly regular schedule.
Which brings me to the following query. How can ghosts work in a house with cats? I mean, I live in a decent-sized house. But I also have five cats. If I hear a crashing sound in another room, my first thought is not visitors from another realm it’s a feline that is unhappy with the beef mix Friskies offering. If objects are moved around apparently on their own, I assure you I am looking for telltale paw prints, not ectoplasm.
While I like the way the movie doesn’t hand hold, I admit I was a bit lost when threads were seeming dropped and new characters appeared out of nowhere. For example, there is a whole plot point about Patrick Wilson being a suspect in Lin Shaye’s murder at the end of the last film. A plot point complete with police interrogation and stern police detectives that seems like it will play a significant role at the beginning of the movie, only to be quickly dropped and never brought up again. I mean, it is a murder charge, not a traffic ticket. They are not going to drop the charges because you claim the voices have left your house.
The Ugly: Oh goody, comic relief. The comic relief is so broad I half expected the ghost of Jim Varney to show up and start a routine, hey Vern check this out I am going to vacuum one of these Poultry Goosts. Oh no, there are two of them, and they are both trying to pee on me. Oh no, Vern, they have crossed the streams.
In Conclusion: I liked this movie. It is a proper horror movie, yet it is one that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Patrick Wilson classes the place up, but there was good acting all the way around. Plus, this one avoided the sappiness of the first film for the most part and for that I am thankful.