James Wan’s “Insidious Chapter 2” continues the story of the Lambert family’s nightmare battle against malevolent supernatural forces. The film picks up right where the first film left off moving the story back to the childhood home of Josh Lambert. Wan does a great job of bridging the two films story arch with seamless quality. My only issue with “Chapter 2” is the almost grandiose persona that seems to shadow the nature of this family’s tale. At times the context and explanatory content seems a bit forced and over-exaggerated even for a fictional film setting. Even in fantasy and fiction the story needs to carry a bit of believability and realism. You need to think that this could actually happen to someone (given that you believe in hauntings and a supernatural presence in the world). Yet at times “Insidious Chapter 2” comes off more like those stories that get bigger the longer they are shared among peers, like going to a “haunted cemetery” and a sound becomes a presence, becomes an attack and before long someone became possessed and so on…That is how much of “Insidious Chapter 2” came off to me personally.
The effects and suspenseful thrills in the film are pretty effective. At times the shock value aspects worked perfectly with the sound effects to actually make me jump. There some definite creep elements to this film that manage to pull you into the terrifying even though “Chapter 2” carries an obvious overproduced quality. Unfortunately there are times when you should fill spooked or the film tries for an intense chilling moment, it all just falls flat. Over all “Insidious Chapter 2” works at carrying this nightmare to the next stage and works in creating a sort of mythos for this supernatural concept. It will scare enough for some fun moments, but it doesn’t go far enough to allow for replays of the movie that are just as thrilling as watching it for the first time. So really “Insidious Chapter 2” is one of those 50/50 films where it is cool if you like it and it is worth owning if ghost stories do it for you but if you choose to skip it then that is just fine too. I am definitely on the fence about this one. I will buy the DVD because I own the first film but not sure if it will be in rotation during my Halloween ghost story binge because it does walk the thin line between hokey and entertaining.