Cinematic Releases: Insidious Chapter Two

Some horror directors have it and some don't. Fortunately for us, James Wan is one of those rare directors that can take an original story and can wholeheartedly expand on it with a film that not only respects the original but builds upon the already established mythology with more back story and character development than was featured in the first. Insidious: Chapter Two is one of the rare instances that a sequel almost trumps the original with a more definitive and expansive story line than its predecessor. Although the first Insidious was not perfect by any means, it came at a time when horror lacked the chills needed to entice audiences in to movie theater seats. I'm glad to say that Insidious: Chapter Two offers more scares than the first and ups the creep factor big time.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne once again use their skills as dramatic actors to portray the fear riddled main characters in this latest entry in the Insidious franchise. Trust me when I say franchise, because the way this thing ends, you know another one is coming. Both being higher caliber actors adds a certain sense of quality and respect that most low budget horror films lack. Both Byrne and Wilson take the material they're given and deliver spine tingling performances that many of today's bigger name stars would definitely shy away from. They seem to enjoy the fear driven dynamic that this type of work offers while they throw themselves into deeper, darker territory than in the last Insidious.

Insidious: Chapter Two picks up right where the last story left off and never lets up until the end. This time around we get a multi-tiered story that takes us further in to the netherworld where the dead are not resting peacefully and provides us a history lesson in the evil events that took place during Josh's childhood. Somehow, Wan pulls it off with much ease. Usually when directors try to transpose a story this vast to a short run time, things tend to get a little dicey. Not with Insidious 2. Everything Wan does while unraveling the mysteries and evils of this world he's created, he does with fluidity and perfect clarity. This is definitely one of the better horror movies of the past couple years, or since the first Insidious.

If you're a horror geek like myself, definitely check out Insidious: Chapter Two. In the dregs of early fall offerings, this is going to be one of the standouts. Wan weaves an intricate web of scary ghosts, haunted houses, and lost souls with something that a lot of modern directors lack. I call it vision. Wan definitely has it and knows how to put his ideas to film while creating another good film in what is sure to be an ongoing franchise.

- Review by Chris George