Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious was heavily inspired by Poltergeist and writers Leigh Whannell and James Wan, the latter whom directed the movie, didn't really try to hide it.  Despite that there was enough creativity in the story they developed that, although the way the scares were handled was similar, there was enough divergence in plot.  Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins) is a young boy that falls into a coma and it turns out that he is really lost in a realm called the Further, a sort of limbo for spirits that haven't completely passed on.  It is revealed that his father Josh (Patrick Wilson) could once travel as he does and must now overcome the memory blocks added by psychic Elise (Lyn Shaye) to rescue him.

While Josh is successful Elise is killed, and initially the suspicion falls on Josh, with even his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) wondering if he may have done it.  He also seems to be different than the Josh who went in, but still is a loving father trying to protect his family.  While the police investigate what happened the Lamberts move in with Josh's mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), but soon everything begins again. 

While the demon that held Dalton captive may have been banished a new threat arises in an old woman (Danielle Bisutti) who is now tormenting the Lamberts' youngest.  Concerned for the family Elise's former associates Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) enlist her old friend Carl (Steve Coulter) in contacting her.  Unfortunately it turns out they are in touch with something much darker.

This one starts a bit bumpy but soon picks up the pace.  Part of the problem is Patrick Wilson is a so-so actor and can't do subtle very well.  This kind of ruins some of the suspense, but wisely the story mainly focuses on Carl and his efforts to aid help the family with Elise gone.  Another uncanny part is in the beginning a young Elise (Lindsay Seim) is introduced with Lin Shaye's voice dubbed over her.  It doesn't quite work too well and is in fact one of the more distracting parts of the movie.

There is a bit more humor this time with Specs and Tucker semi-competently taking over for Elise and Barbara Hershey gets a bigger role as well.  There are also some time travel aspects that help explain many of the occurrences in the first movie.  

It is a tiny step down from Insidious and, unlike the third film which serves as a prequel, doesn't really work as a stand-alone film.  It is still decent enough, and quit entertaining, but it's best watched along with the first as the two movies work better as one. 

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Time: 106 minutes
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lyn Shaye, Steven Coulter
Director: James Wan



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