Usually when a horror movie is met with good critical reception and box office success, it produces a poorly made money-grabbing sequel.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” is no exception to this rule. It is mired by poor acting, cheesy lines and is full of trope, cliché and an over-reliance on jump scares. Hidden in this undoubtedly bad movie is a certain charm and, in the end, “Insidious: Chapter 2” is a fun but not entirely scary movie.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” starts with a flashback to when, as a child, Josh Lambert, played by Patrick Wilson, experienced supernatural occurences. The audience is introduced to Lambert’s mother and the psychic Elise, played by Lin Shaye, who promises to make Josh forget he can communicate with ghosts in his sleep.
In the present, the ghosts are back and Elise has been killed by a mysterious force in the Lambert house. Josh takes his family to his mother’s house, where the flashback took place, and the hauntings follow them there.
Soon, a typical series of events that are intended to scare the audience take place. The piano plays when no one is there, inanimate objects move on their own, and supernatural beings make apparitions.
All typical scary story moments seem to happen. Even the chief antagonist is the ghost of a woman in a white dress. Despite the predictability, the film does have good aspects.
The settings and shots have a very creepy feel, and the camera work is good for the most part. It feels like a professionally made movie rather than trying for a found footage aesthetic that many recent horror movies seem to do.
There are also a few genuinely scary scenes. The first couple of times the apparitions appear, a nervous sound emitted from the audience and created tension in the theater.
Unfortunately, these were short-lived and the film mainly relied on startles and jump scares. More than once it seemed like some parts were unintentionally funny. Even though the scares fell flat, the movie was enjoyable.
The mixture of the cliché elements with the cheesy lines and unintentional humor felt like watching old horror b-movies.
Furthermore, the vibe of the fellow moviegoers in the theater made the movie. Like only a crowd at a horror movie can, the audience being scared at certain scenes and laughing at others was enough to make the movie a collective experience. “Insidious: Chapter 2” was a fun and worthwhile experience.
The verdict: Go ahead and see it. Don’t watch it alone, not because it will be too scary, but because it will be impossible to fully enjoy. Moviegoers may become overly consumed by its flaws and it will be difficult to fully appreciate the grand scope of the film.
Go with a group of friends or bring a date. Bring that friend you have that easily gets startled and screams. “Insidious: Chapter 2” thrives when it is watched with people who are just going for a good time. It might not be very scary or very good, but seeing the movie can still be fun.