By Taylor Griffin
A collective sigh of contempt among horror enthusiasts is the best mental picture to describe this new scare flick. Another notch in the proverbial bedpost of horror flicks, “Insidious Chapter 2” was essentially nothing more than a collection of the first film’s outtakes and deleted scenes that never made it into the movie.
The film picks back up with the Lambert family and their life post-possession, or so they think. Delving into the father’s forgotten past, the film reveals that everyone must deal with their own demons, no matter how delightfully creepy.
The title should present a bold-faced clue about its style: lazy and underwhelming.
All of the familiar horror devices show up at one point or another. The squeaky floors, creepy baby dolls, a lady in white traipsing about the Lambert house: the list continues.
It doesn’t necessarily devalue the original, but its pointlessness is evident from the start. Not only does it reiterate information and scare tactics, it fails to headlock the audience in a mind-numbing state of fear synonymous with the franchise.
Without spoilers, the aforementioned women in white, for example, is more ghastly than ghostly and resembles a snotty baby sitter, not a “mother figure.”
While it’s easy to dog on this movie, glimmers of light peak through the rubble. What sets the franchise apart is that it channels the essence of horror movies past. Rather than conform to today’s cheap standards, “Insidious” recognizes the potency of slow camera zooms, high-pitched violin tremolo and compelling dialogue.
Yet despite the strong-willed performances echoed from the first installment, the plot settles into soft instead of spooky. Then again, what great and powerful shocks did audiences expect from a story that sufficiently wrapped up the first go-round?
Though the cleverness in juxtaposing and intertwining with important elements from the first film, it never reaches the frightful impressiveness that was expected. A few simple jolts here and there are all that were conjured.
Production companies—particularly with their horror flicks—have an undeniable problem with overconsumption: if they like it, then they put a sequel on it.
This movie gets props for rounding out a story (albeit unwarranted), but it can’t redeem itself from the “follow-up fate.” On a lighter note, not a chord of “Tiptoe through the Tulips” is plucked.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrn and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense terror and violence.