DIRECTOR James Wan WRITER James Wan; Leigh Whannell STARS Patrick Wilson; Rose Byrne; Barbara Hershey CINEMA 13 September
After viewing Insidious: Chapter 2, there are two things that are certain about director James Wan: the first is that he is masterful at orchestrating eerie, slow-burning horrors, and the second is that he is not scared to occasionally let chilling the audience take priority over plot line.
Much like the first Insidious — which revolves around Dalton Lambert, a young boy who slips into a comatose state and becomes an ’empty vessel’ which attracts demonic spirits — the second chapter is driven by its haunting atmosphere, but the theme of simultaneous astral dimensions, which made the first reminiscent of films like Donnie Darko and Silent Hill, isn’t explored further. Instead, Chapter 2 focuses on Dalton’s father Josh who becomes possessed by a malicious lost soul after using astral projection to travel to the Further and rescue his son. As Josh is manipulated to murder his family, the twisted truth about the demon that possesses him is gradually revealed.
Although the plot loses some of its intrigue as it slowly develops, it goes almost completely unnoticed as Wan superbly distracts us with his talent to make the audience feel constantly unsettled. The scenes in which Wan employs the hand-held camera style are also highly successful in enhancing this experience, almost as effectively as Grave Encounters and Jaume Balagueró’s [REC]. Although Chapter 2 fails to live up to its predecessor, this is still an admirable sequel well worth watching.