Movie Review #673
FilmDistrict & Entertainment One present…
…in association with Stage 6 Films…
Uncredited Studio: IM Global – Room 101
Distributor: FilmDistrict – Stage 6 Films
Spoken Languages: English
Directed by James Wan. Produced by Jason Blum and Oren Peli. Screenplay by Leigh Whannell. Story by James Wan & Leigh Whannell. Characters by Leigh Whannell.
Rated PG-13 by the MPAA – violence, mature themes. Runs 1 hour, 46 minutes. Wide release in the USA on September 13, 2013.
Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shayne, Barbara Hershey, and Andrew Astor. Also starring Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Hank Harris, Jocelin Donahue, Lindsay Seim, Tyler Griffin, Garrett Ryan, Brynn Bowie, and Madison Bowie. With uncredited appearances by Kimberly Ables Jindra and Tim Padilla, as the Bride and the Ghoul, respectively.
When I first watched “Insidious”, I was joined by my maternal grandmother. I’m not usually scared by horror movies, but that one kind of shook me up. Which meant that she, with her heart problem, was scared to death. When the movie was over, she looked me straight in the eyes, her own eyes filled with pure horror. And she spoke a few quivering but no less prophetic words: “They’re going to make sequels.”
I didn’t believe Granny at first. I mean, I believed there would be sequels, but I believed that her fearful state was simply in reaction to the movie. After seeing “The Conjuring”, I was positive that director James Wan had a tightly closed hand on haunted house horror. There was no way in hell he could go wrong with it.
Now, I have to believe that she’s something of an Oracle. Because “Insidious: Chapter 2” is a low-budget movie and a sequel–two great factors that guarantee a box office success. When you know everybody’s going to see your film, it’s just too easy for a director to take a vacation and make money when he comes back for the world premiere.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” is a movie on autopilot. The script is horrible, with constant “I startle, you jump” moments. None of which work, by the way. So much of Wan partner Leigh Whannell’s screenplay is filled with awkward silences. Often times, though, deus ex machina will come to the rescue.
There’s screeching violins in the opening credits. Minimally, minimally scary, and even that is killed off by comedy. That’s what I expect from a horror comedy. “The Cabin in the Woods” opened with virtually that same method. I don’t expect it from a pure horror movie.
If there’s one thing truly obnoxious about what we hear in the movie, though, it’s the sound mixing. There’s so much emphasis on contrasting the loud noises that quite a lot of dialogue is difficult to hear. When the loudness comes suddenly and draws on extensively, headaches ensue.
Pinning “Chapter 2” at the end of the title doesn’t make much sense. It refers to a book, and I’ve never in my life read a book where the first chapter hooks me and the following chapter is complete, divergent trash. (It’s also pretty much a remake of “Chapter 1,” except where in “Chapter 1,” Dad was possessed, in “Chapter 2,” everyone but Dad is possessed, Mom is obnoxiously psychotic, and Dad stands around, just an asshole waiting for everything to end.)
I guess in some sense, though, “Insidious: Chapter 2” is an acceptable title. Just like a book, there’ll be at least five more chapters before it all ends.
At the midway point everything gets worse. The characters fall flatter than crepes. (This would be when the mother goes psychotic.) Oh and everything that was hilarious in the first half becomes ridiculously boring. How sad that the inevitable twist ending is a precise replica of the last-minute spin in 1978’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. That’s a twist ending, if you can sit that long. “Insidious: Chapter 2” is barely over an hour and a half long. So that means that I could watch this twice and it still wouldn’t be as long as if I’d have watched “Das Boot” once? I never would’ve guessed.
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