“Insidious Chapter 2” fails to live up to original

Evan Trainer, Staff writer

Australian filmmaking duo James Wan and Leigh Whannell return with their fourth collaboration, which, unfortunately for us, is not their greatest work. Opening two years after it’s predecessor, “Insidious Chapter 2” fails to live up to the scares of the original, but tries to overcompensate for it by telling a more cluttered story.

The film picks up not long after the events of the original, and eventually takes the viewer back through some events from first film (oddly similar to “Back to the Future Part II”) from different perspectives. Right as the Lambert family is recovering from the events of the first film, they come to realize that, while they might have their son back, there is something definitely wrong with Patrick Wilson’s character Josh as ghosts continue to haunt them. Meanwhile ghost hunters Tucker and Specs return to seek help, for the Lambert family, from Lin Shaye’s psychic character Elise who (spoiler for first film) died in the final scene of the original.

This is Director James Wan’s second film this year and it is nothing compared to his first. Back in July James Wan’s “The Conjuring” proved that horror films can compete with summer blockbusters when it went on to gross $200 million more than its production budget. The film was an amazing throwback to ‘70s horror, and was beautifully directed and shot by Wan. What that film lacked in story, was more than made up with chilling visuals and plenty of authentic scares throughout.

By the time Wan came around to making “Insidious Chapter 2” he must have been worn out, because all of the charm of “The Conjuring” is gone here. Wan is so much done with horror that he is moving on to direct next years “Fast & Furious 7,” and from the looks of it is closing his door to horror on his way out.

What “Insidious Chapter 2” lacked in scares and atmosphere, writer Leigh Whannell tried to make up with telling a bigger story than the previous installment. 2011’s Insidious mainly focused on a family being haunted by demons, while it’s sequel basically follows Scooby and the gang in the mystery machine trying to find out the spooky secret behind the bride in black. The film had some very good suspenseful scenes that, unfortunately, just lack the punch of the scares to accompany them. Other than that “Insidious Chapter 2” is a decent film.

If you are a fan of the original this sequel beautifully ties up all loose ends while bringing back all of the characters we loved. Of course, what kind of book only has two chapters, so the very tacked on cliffhanger ending leaves us (including me) looking forward to chapter 3.