Insidious: Chapter 2

A competent horror movie with good scares but pales to the original in terms of atmosphere and originality. In this installment, horror ingenue Jamees Wan has forsaken mood for fancy camera shots and cheap scares. The fear here is back to the the typical Hollywood-fied scares of jaunty music and sudden, in-your-face kind of scares. Granted, there were at least two or three really good ones, but there isn't much of the slow creeping fear, atmospheric tension that made "Insidious" and "The Conjuring" such stand outs. In addition, the story by Leigh Whannell and Wan, tried too hard to link up the loose threads from the first chapter to the storyline here. And by doing so, they ended up over complicating what could have potentially been a simpler story line. As such, more questions are tossed out here and less sense follows the plotting. Luckily for them, the familiarity of the cast helped to anchor the movie and audience, with Lin Shaye a clear audience favourite, and based on the epilogue, she will be in "Chapter 3". Patrick Wilson gets to play more here than in his previous outings with Wan et al, and he seemed to be relishing it; Rose Byrne was also more tolerable here as it seems she may found her niche calling (Queen of the B-Grade?); Barbara Hershey is extraneous and her storyline here just added more confusion, and without her part, the 105 minutes showtime could easily have trimmed to a more palatable 90 minutes. There are moments where was totally indulgence by the writing/directing team. Music is again by Wan's frequent horror collaborator: Joseph Bishara and the music here is very similar to that of "Insidious" besides the more blatant strings screeching. With Wan already publicly announcing that the won't be directing any more horror flicks, what will this bode for this franchise? Will it go the route of "Paranormal Activity" and "Saw" or "Scream"? Perhaps if the next Fast and Furious crash and burn, Wan might be back.

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