Insidious: Chapter 2
This was the official website for the 2013 horror film, Insidious: Chapter 2. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reprising their roles as Josh and Renai Lambert, a husband and wife who seek to uncover the secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
The film was released September 13, 2013.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
The famed horror team of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell reunite with the original cast of Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye and Ty Simpkins in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, a terrifying sequel to the acclaimed horror film, which follows the haunted Lambert family as they seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of terror and violence, and thematic elements)
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: James Wan
Written By: Leigh Whannell
In Theaters: Sep 13, 2013 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Dec 24, 2013
Runtime: 106 minutes
Insidious: Chapter 2 - Trailer
James Wan and Leigh Whannell return to deliver this follow-up to their low-budget successful creep-out, Insidious, which focused on a family who were haunted by a demon.
RottenTomatometer 39% Critics | 56% Audience
October 4, 2013
Wesley Morris / Grantland / Top Critic
Supernatural horror movies usually don’t make any sense. Half the time I’m not sure their makers even know what they’re up to. But the director James Wan and the screenwriter Leigh Whannell have made enough horror thrillers, separately and together (the first Saw and Dead Silence were theirs; Wan made this summer’s sleeper hit The Conjuring), to have figured out how to keep improving them. Insidious: Chapter 2 works according to its own logic, and it’s fun watching the movie’s hokey premise come together in the final act. You stick with it in part because Wan is confident enough with his staging to actually use the camera frame to tell a story. Most of his peers shoot a bunch of scenes and let the editor make a smoothie. Wan no longer relies on visual gibberish. He has become a classicist in that sense.
This is a possession movie starring the characters from the original hit from two years ago. This time focus is on Josh (Patrick Wilson) and the killer ghost that wants to take him over and use him to slay his wife (Rose Byrne), mother (Barbara Hershey), and sons (Ty Simpkins and Andrew Astor). Josh and his elder boy, Dalton, both have some kind of extrasensory perception, which the father has suppressed and the boy is struggling to ignore. But this movie argues that the problem with ESP isn’t seeing the dead, it’s the dead seeing you. They’re so needy.
Chapter Two is a good time, and a cheesy one, too. Red blares from all the décor like a siren. It’s in the ironwork, the sofas, the lampshades, and the walls. You can’t believe that a home this rife with unhappy souls would also have a pane of scarlet stained glass in a staircase window, but that’s the kind of movie this is. There’s also the acting of Steve Coulter and the wonderful Lin Shaye as a couple of veteran paranormal experts. These two give this movie its earnest late-’70s, 1980s soul. I appreciate the ongoing teamwork required of Hershey, who has scenes with Byrne and Wilson but also with Angus Sampson and Whannell as ghost-hunting geeks. Oh, and there’s indoor floor fog, too!
What’s confusing about most possession thrillers is confusing here as well: Why? How? Who? Who else? Who’s that? But the movie uses humor, production design, and horror allusions to keep the nonsense within the realm of its own logic. It doesn’t quite scare you, but it’s got some not-entirely-cheap moments that goose you. At some point, Byrne puts her hands over her mouth and pretty much over her ears. I didn’t see her put them over her eyes. But the night I saw this, some easy-to-scare girls to my left did that for her.
By a wide margin, Chapter 2 was no. 1 at the box office last weekend, which isn’t saying much. Horror films are the cat videos of the U.S. film industry: They can’t be denied. But this is one of the few whose popularity makes sense. The most terrifying movie now playing has no chance at that kind of success, not only because it doesn’t have the clever marketing of the Insidious movies, but because its transparency feels too real.
September 17, 2013 | Rating: C+
Jesse Hassenger / AV Club / Top Critic
Insidious (2011) was a refreshing gearshift from horror director James Wan and screenwriter/actor Leigh Whannell. The pair let the grimy and slapdash Saw series loose upon the scary-movie landscape, only to chase it away with the deliberate pacing and careful compositions of Insidious’ ghost story about a comatose child coveted by evil spirits.
Wan followed Insidious with two more haunted-house pictures starring Patrick Wilson: this summer’s critically acclaimed smash hit The Conjuring, and now, right on its heels, Insidious: Chapter 2. In light of The Conjuring’s success, the first Insidious now looks both underappreciated (Wan did it there first, on a smaller budget, and without religious overtones) and inconsequential (it’s like a sillier dry-run for the later movie). Similarly, this sequel feels like both a good-faith effort to further develop the first film’s story and a hasty continuation no one realized The Conjuring would render irrelevant.
Wan revives The Conjuring’s period-horror flourishes with ’80s-set flashbacks that fill in all of the unnecessary details of the Insidious-verse. The follow-up splits up the first film’s cast into two teams: Barbara Hershey, as Wilson’s mother, leads an investigation into her son’s haunted past with the help of paranormal investigators who also provide middling comic relief. Meanwhile, Wilson himself has just returned from saving his son in the “Further,” a netherworld between life and death—and his wife Rose Byrne begins to suspect that he’s come back not quite right.
Wilson, surely the Jimmy Stewart of suburban hauntings to Wan’s carnie-barker Hitchcock, has displayed remarkable range in his horror career. He and Byrne make a dream domestic-horror couple; he usually looks stricken with guilt, and she usually looks just plain stricken. Here, Wilson flips his wheelhouse role from the first Insidious—the slightly ineffectual yet well-meaning husband—into a figure of restless menace. One memorable shot frames his darkened figure against a doorway, blocking out natural light, and the movie uses subtle make-up effects to mess with Wilson’s handsome face.
The techniques of the movie, then, are sound. Wan still moves his camera and composes his shots with a patience that belies his dank Saw origins. But the cinematography isn’t as virtuosic this time around—or maybe there’s just a limit on how many unbroken shots traveling down a dark hallway can summon the requisite dread. The movie also undermines its own technical grace with ugly words; characters in Whannell/Wan screenplays speak with the first-draft expository bluntness of a cheap ’50s thriller, letting the characters step on some of the best reveals.
While the climactic scenes set within the Further were a weak spot of the original, the complicated mechanics of this netherworld (and how it threads into our world) provide some of the sequel’s cleverest elaborations. Chapter 2’s Further is a tricky mélange of memory, dreams, ghosts, and time travel—almost like something out of Terry Gilliam or Charlie Kaufman, though Wan and Whannell never push it that far. They could have distinguished their sequel by going crazier; instead, the movie’s best and weirdest moments are overpowered by respectability.
September 13, 2013 | Rating: 2/4
Simon Abrams / RogerEbert.com / Top Critic
"Insidious: Chapter 2" is a puzzle movie with too many unnecessary pieces and not enough essential ones, but it's superior to its predecessor in a few basic ways. The first sequel to James Wan's "Poltergeist" homage/ripoff features a couple of set pieces that are thoughtful enough to be scary. This goes a long way in a film where characters constantly explain why and how supernatural happenings occur. And unlike its predecessor, this sequel doesn't overuse jump scares and loud noises. For better and worse, screenwriter Leigh Whannell has brought the same klutzy ambition to the "Insidious" films that he did to the first three "Saw" movies (Whannell did not script "Saw"s 4-7, though he did co-write "Chapter Two"'s story with Wan). His ideas for "Insidious: Chapter 2" are spectacularly misconceived, but they're also the main reason why the movie isn't that bad.
"Insidious: Chapter 2" starts where the last film left off. The Lambert family is still haunted. The body of Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) is possessed by the spirit of a mysterious bride in black, and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) doesn't know it—I mean, she should know it, after looking at a ghost-revealing photograph taken by Elise (Lin Shaye), a dead medium, but Renai is presumably not in her right mind after seeing this photo.Elise previously warned Renai that moving is pointless since her son is haunted, not the Lamberts' home, but Renai and not-Josh move back into Josh's childhood home anyway—which is also odd since Renai is told, both in the last film and "Chapter 2," that Josh was also haunted as a child. So, to avoid a haunting, the Lamberts return to the site of an earlier haunting. But once household items start moving on their own again, Renai, and ghost-busters Specs (Whannell), Tucker (Angus Sampson), look to retired psychic Carl (Steve Coulter) for answers.
Unfortunately, looking for answers in a Whannell-scripted film is more trouble than it's worth. It's easy to ignore the generic illogic of some plot points: Why is a group of adults searching an abandoned hospital at night? Why are characters recapping the events of the last film to each other? (Specs to Tucker: "You and I have first-hand knowledge that there's something beyond death.")? It's harder to overlook the way Whannell selectively plugs up the plot holes he's created to let Wan achieve certain effects.
This sometimes results in effective set pieces, like when Renai's group discovers a roomful of corpses; at that moment, you don't need to understand what's going on. But watching characters exhaustively explain why they can and cannot do certain things grows tiresome. It's easy to ignore the fact that Josh is inexplicably lost in "The Further," an astral plane where his soul is struggling to reconnect with his body, but not after he reminds viewers, "I am getting weaker the longer I am trapped from my body." At that point, Whannell inadvertently puts a loose plot thread in viewers' hands and hopes we won't pull too hard. (Wasn't it established in the first film that Josh is/was a gifted astral-plane traveler? Why is he so lost? Why can't he get back into his body?).
Wilson deserves guarded praise for his sometimes-effective performance. When he's allowed to cut loose, he hams it up like Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund playing Jack Torrance. And while the movie's mythology is needlessly convoluted, at least it paints both Wan and the film's game cast into a much bigger corner. The fact that the film is set in more than one haunted house gives Wan more freedom to try new things, and to perfect some old tricks, too.
****½ January 25, 2014
I had the opportunity to see both movies back to back at the cinema and it was the ultimate horror experience. Chapter 2 is an absolutely terrifying sequel to one of the scariest movies of all time. This sequel is more visceral and twisted than the first movie. Directly continuing from the first film the Lambert family think the worst is over, but moving into Josh' Mum's home they encounter an even more malevolent and parasitical entity that has killed before and will kill again, and there's something not right with Josh.
Once the first film ended with that jaw dropping cliffhanger, I was so eager and excited to find out what would happen next, and the payoff was worth the two year wait. The story in the sequel uses time travel and flashbacks to uncover unanswered questions from before, you understand who and what the old lady is and the past of Lorraine, Josh and Elise. For fans of Insidious every question and open link is connected and cleared, leaving you ready for the scares in store that James Wan has constructed ready to make you scream. Insidious 2 is almost too scary, it is absolutely jam packed with shocks so powerful you'll flinch like never before, especially when Renai is attacked by The Mother of Parker Crane, the most terrifying looking and most malignant entity I've ever seen in a film, brought to life by a spectacular performance from Danielle Bisutti. Objects move, doors slam, the undead scream and ghosts appear in split seconds, this is a horrific movie superbly shot and directed by James Wan.
Chapter 2 covers more locations and travels deeper into the Further where the undead are even more vicious and desperate to enter living vessels, the characters venture so far they uncover the home of the Mother of Death, they discover the lady in black and much more paranormal entities. This is pure horror, the atmosphere and tone are perfect and the whole world of Chapter 2 seems haunted and uneasy, and yet again the finale is absolutely shocking and had me gripped. Elise who is on the other side witnesses something that we all thought was long gone after the events of the first movie, in comes the gasp and close up and then the titles burst in, I want Insidious Chapter 3, I crave more of this franchise.
**** Kitty L
January 25, 2014
I thought it was creepy; I think they do a good job going with the first one. :0)
***** Corrinne F
January 25, 2014
BRILLIANT FILM AND LEAVES ROOM FOR A THIRD
***½ January 24, 2014
I really have to say that i was pretty sleepy and bored at the begining of this movie. but dawnnn it got good.. Great movie.
** Reece L
January 24, 2014
There's a level of ambition to the plot that's commendable and the visuals are artful, but the dialogue is rough and the scares just aren't there.
***½ January 24, 2014
Insidious Chapter 2 has everything you could possibly want in a horror sequel. The jumpscares are more frequent and in your face than the first film and the humor is easier to notice, but none of that takes away from it being a suspenseful and intriguing mystery. Patrick Wilson gives an outstanding performance reminiscent of The Shining's Jack Torrence, and the rest of the returning cast also does extremely well. Though the tie-ins and references to the first film may diminish a little of what made the original so scary, they are so clever and interesting that I couldn't help but appreciate them. This is the second time I've come out of a theater as excited as could be, and the first time was for the original Insidious. James Wan and Leigh Whannel can seemingly do no wrong.
½ * January 23, 2014
Patrick Wilson. I thought the trailer was far more interesting than the movie itself. I should never have seen the trailer before I saw the movie. Once I saw the movie it was. complete and utter let down. The trailer had all the exciting parts in it. But when yin watch the movie in its entirety you feel completely let down. The acting is disappointing. Especially from actors such as Barbara Hershey and . Their acting in this movie is for lack of a better phrase like they are in a beginner's acting workshop. I am sorry and you will be to if you pay to see this movie.
***½ January 10, 2014
Dont get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it was really predictable and in no way scary. Actually it was more funny than scary. It was entertaining to watch but come on, are the studios confusing the "horror" & "Comedy" genres!? (6.8/10)
***** Liam R
January 10, 2014
Best PG-13 movie scary movie I have seen. Thought they went a little off the part of being scary for the second half but good for story and some very good scares that had me jumping out of my seat.
** Joe O
January 10, 2014
I often get an overwhelming desire to watch horror films despite my better judgement. Insidious wasn't all that bad and it had one clear moment I still think of as a truly clever moment. This film. Sad. It neither embraces humour like Cabin in the Woods or You're Next but never dives deep into the depths of despair like in the remake of Evil Dead or Kill List. It's also needlessly convoluted, desperately scrapping together a story that ties to the previous. Having said all that, it's clearly trying quite hard, which is nice, it's not utterly lazy.
**** Disappointment W
January 10, 2014
Loved this! Big fan of horror, and this movie was a lot of fan service for those who wanted to see further into The Further!
** Paul C
January 10, 2014
Kinda dull...And very anti-climactic
**** Tasheena S
January 10, 2014
I loved the style of the first movie and thought this was a great sequel/prequel!