In 2010, Insidious crept quietly onto the cinema screens and eventually scared up the most profitable film of the year. This is the much-anticipated sequel that directly follows the events of the original film. What makes this a unique sequel is that the entire cast and crew return to their roles.
Josh (Patrick Wilson) Renai (Rose Byrne) and their children, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) and Foster (Andrew Astor) move in with Josh’s mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), after the murder of ghost-hunter Elise (Lin Shaye). Immediately all is not well and it seems that the family still has a dangerous connection to the ghost underworld known as ‘The Further’.
Lorraine and Renai begin to suspect that the evil spirit that has followed Josh since his childhood may have possessed him and then used his body to kill Elise. Lorraine seeks the help of Elise’s associates, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). The group must delve into the dark underworld of the past if they are going to rescue Josh before it is too late.
Returning director, James Wan, gives the film a slightly darker tone than the original. Making use of spooky locations such as shadowy mansions and a creepy abandoned hospital. While the original film was criticized for having a weak third act that over-used special effects, this sequel downplays any CGI visuals. Whannell’s screenplay is expertly written as it cleverly weaves the history of the characters with the present, growing the story from the first film.
The return of the main cast adds much needed gravitas to the proceedings, giving Hershey an expanded role. In the horror genre scary sequences can be derailed if not well played out but the cast takes the material seriously and it adds to the horror of that unfolds onscreen.
This is a film well worth visiting for fans of the original or of the horror genre. The story is dark and sweeping, with genuine chills that are played by a professional cast. The only down point to the film is that it leaves the door open for another instalment which seems unnecessary.
Insidious: Chapter 2 is in Australian cinemas from 7 November through Sony Pictures.