Insidious: Chapter 2 starts off lousy and goes downhill from there
Starring Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, and Barbara Hershey. Rated 14A. Opens Friday, September 13
I thought 2010’s Insidious was actually pretty decent—the first hour, anyway. It did a commendable job of building suspense in its tale about married couple Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) trying to rescue their comatose son from supernatural forces. It didn’t start to falter until the last half hour, when its dread-inducing vibe evaporated into silliness once weirdo spiritual advisor Elise (Lin Shaye) showed up and started blathering about a limbolike realm called “The Further”.
Then there’s Insidious: Chapter 2, which is also the product of writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan. It starts off lousy and goes downhill from there. I hereby pronounce it the worst horror flick of 2013.
Next to Scary Movie 5, that is.
IC2 opens with a scene set in 1986, when Josh is just a kid, where a younger Elise (Lindsay Seim) arrives at his childhood home to investigate ghostly images that appear in photos of him. When something in Josh’s dark bedroom closet scratches her arm, that first of many cheap jump-scares forces her to declare: “I’ve never seen such a malignant force!”.
The dialogue doesn’t improve much after that.
Following the opening credits—which feature a blood-red INSIDIOUS logo bursting onto the screen with such ear-splitting overkill that viewers laughed out loud—the film picks up with Renai being interviewed by a cop about Elise’s death in the first film. Turns out Josh is suspected of strangling her with his bare hands, which is totally understandable.
Back at the Lambert residence, zero suspense is created by several sightings of a woman in a long white dress who ramps up the terror level by singing a couple lines of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.
By the time another child falls victim to demonic forces from “The Further”, you’ll have decided, “No thanks, that’s plenty far enough,” but you’ll still have to sit through interminable scenes of Josh’s “dead soul killing the living skin”.
No kidding. It says that right in the movie.