In 2010 the Lambert family suffered a supernatural crisis when eldest son Dalton, (Ty Simpkins) having fallen into a coma, became a passageway for an evil spirit to return to life.
When dad, Josh (Patrick Wilson), reluctantly agreed to allow psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) to help him hypnotically transport to the nightmare realm holding Dalton prisoner, he was able to rescue his son and return them both safely to a normal existence.
But Josh and Dalton Lambert didn’t return alone.
Insidious: Chapter Two allows the seed of the evil befallen the Lambert family to grow to mysterious fruition. Via flashback to the ‘80s when Josh was a boy dealing with his own supernatural problems, the insidious evil is given a face, a name and a history.
The only question is, “Do you want to know it?”
We say, “If you’re gonna see Insidious 3, you might as well see this one.”
TAYLOR: I saw the first film. I thought it was all right. It had some better-than-average creepiness. This film was both more interesting and less scary than the first. Where the first film showed you some ugly old lady with too much makeup, smiling impossibly from the shadowy corner, in Insidious: Chapter Two she pulls off her wig, charges out at you and slaps you upside the head with giant man hands. This might sound like a good thing for a horror movie. It is and it isn’t. The direction the story takes by explaining the inter-connectivity of the characters is very interesting, but it takes away from the other-worldliness and puts the Lambert family in more immediate danger: Namely, trying not to be killed by Josh Lambert.
HOWE: I really enjoyed it. I thought director James Wan did a very good job on this. He made it feel like an ‘80s style horror (think Poltergeist, journeying into another realm.) I’ve said it before, I’d rather watch something like this, which gives you goosebumps on the back of your neck, rather than some deranged killer chasing and hacking teenagers to death with a Dremel.
TAYLOR: I saw the film surrounded by teenagers, which is the best way for a critic to see a horror film. Nothing is better for gauging the success of scares than a scream-o-metre. Unfortunately, the scream-o-metre score for Insidious: Chapter Two is low. Worse yet is the fact that kids were laughing at the film. They weren’t laughing at jokes, nor laughing at themselves for being scared, this was mocking the film for being bad. There were moments of bad acting and bad writing.
HOWE: Sometimes that has to be overlooked. You have to ask yourself, did the overall movie succeed in what it was meant to do? It did, a little. The bad guy/lady was beautifully made up and looked even scarier than someone or something in a mask. I would have given this a little bit of a higher score, but after watching The Conjuring a few weeks ago, it would take something really special to get close to reaching that bar.
— Taylor give Insidious: Chapter Two 2 tin can telephones out of 5.
— Howe gives it 3.5 dice out of 5.
The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.
– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film critics based in Vernon, B.C., whose column appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.