‘Insidious’ sequel delivers scares, laughs

The Associated PressSeptember 13, 2013 

Patrick Wilson returns to the horror screen as Josh, a man haunted since boyhood in “Insidious: Chapter 2.”

PHOTO PROVIDED

  • IF YOU GO

    What: “Insidious: Chapter 2”

    Rating: PG-13

    Where: College 9, UEC Theater 12, Roxy

    Info: insidiousch2.com

Three years after “Insidious” introduced moviegoers to the Lambert family and its troubling connection to the spirit world, the stars and filmmakers have reunited for another installment. “Insidious: Chapter 2” picks up where the first story ended, but the sequel has enough scares, laughs and a story of its own to stand alone.

Like its 2010 predecessor, “Insidious 2” is a haunted-house tale with supernatural elements. The typical horror-movie tropes are at play here: creaky doors, creepy apparitions and long, dark hallways explored by flashlight. There’s also a haunted piano that repeats the same eerie melody and an outrageously loud and colorful baby walker that spontaneously lights up and moves around.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne return as Josh and Renai Lambert, well-meaning parents who moved into a new home after fearing their last one was haunted. Their eldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), has recovered from a mysterious coma (a reference to the first film), but he’s still plagued by nightmares. He doesn’t just see dead people; they want something from him. When the frights become too much for Renai, the family decides to stay with grandma for a while.

Lorraine Lambert (Barbara Hershey) has been through this kind of thing before, when her own son, Josh, was haunted as a child. She knows who to call. Josh was treated by ghost specialists as a child, and a flashback to his youth reveals even more about the source of his troubles.

Carl (Steve Coulter) is a serious ghost hunter, while his assistants, Specs (screenwriter Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), provide much of the comic relief, including the always-amusing tranquilizer mishap.

Directed by James Wan (“The Conjuring,” “Saw”) from a story created by Wan and Whannell, “Insidious: Chapter 2” deftly juggles various responsibilities: It offers a good dose of non-gory scares, tells a story of supernatural time travel that recalls elements of “Inception,” and pays homage to the genre Wan and Whannell love. In a tribute to its horror lineage, look for thematic and visual nods to “Pyscho,” “Poltergeist” and “The Blair Witch Project” in “Insidious: Chapter 2.”

The film is also self-aware and self-referential, rewarding viewers of the original film with additional explanations in the sequel. And, like its predecessor, “Chapter 2” leaves open the possibility of more to come.

Centre Daily Times is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service