Stop right here if you have not seen Insidious, because you absolutely will not understand the second movie if you have not seen the first. If you have not read my review of the original Insidious movie, click here to read it now.
To start off my review of Insidious: Chapter 2, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie. One of the great things about the movie is that it did things that most paranormal-themed movies do not. Not only that, but the whole movie was told with an artistic flair that is often skipped over in "scary" movies.
I saw the second movie at an old movie theater that does not get big crowds like the others in town. It was a rainy, wet day and I was essentially the only one in the showing, so it all combined to make a pretty interesting experience. Overall I will say that I enjoyed Insidious 2 for a variety of reasons, although I will say that I do still like the first movie a little more.
The second movie starts up right where the first one left off -- literally. It wastes no time in jumping right into things, instead of the buildup that takes place at the beginning of the first movie. Of course there's no reason for a buildup since you are flung straight into an intense scene where Elise is murdered by Josh, or his body that is inhabited by the mysterious woman in black from the first movie. The movie overall is not about a family being terrified by spirits in their home, but instead is about a family grappling with the reality that the father is possessed by a completely malevolent force.
Unfortunately there were a few things for me that did not quite work. Most of this had to do with plot holes and important details that were glossed over. I guess if I had wanted to get hung up on those points they would have ruined the movie for me. But in all honesty the holes were not as big as the ones you find in most scary movies (The Ring, anyone?) so I did not have a problem overlooking them while watching the movie.
Insidious 2 is a pretty creepy movie. There were a few points of the plot that seemed contrived, mostly the last scene of the movie and the scene at the old hospital, but it was still well worth going to see. While it could not be as revolutionary as the original, since we already know about the Further and all of that, it still features an overall original plot that you won't find in every other movie.
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I do have to say that the script did not do a very good job drawing the connection between Josh, Parker Crane and his mother. I followed the connection, but it seemed a little strained to me. I enjoyed the connections drawn to Josh's past and portraying what was going on in the Furthers that impacted part of the first movie. The last scene of the movie seemed pretty strained and out of place, other than to establish to the audience that a third movie is in store. That being said, I'm pretty skeptical about what a third movie will be like, but I'll wait and see what director James Wan has in store instead of already deciding that I hate it like so many movie critics seem to have already determined.