Insidious: Chapter 2 – Film Review
Piranha 3DD was a trashy, cash-in, cheap-ass piece of crap sequel that was meant to be a subpar knock-off.
Insidious: Chapter 2 wasn’t supposed to be any of those things, and yet it’s somehow worse.
Sequelitis evidently doesn’t care if you reassemble the entire cast and production team.
TL;DR Replacing horror with exposition, Insidious: Chapter 2 is nothing more than a big wank. Throw in some spectral time travel, and the mess is complete. At least Barbara Hershey gets more time to shine in this one. 2 out of 5 stars.
She is the queen.
The plot jumps in where the first Insidious left off. Patrick Wilson, having successfully rescued his son from the Further, is now inhabited by the spirit of that evil old woman who used to follow him around as a child. Through endless, slogging marches of exposition, we find out the backstory of the bitch: she’s actually a man who used to be a serial killer because his mum was a psycho who tried to make him into a girl as a child. Barbara and Rose Byrne work with the Aussie Ghostbusters, an old psychic friend, and the ghost of Lin Shaye to defeat Mr Misgendered, and they do.
There are no cool, 80s demons this time, though.
What really brought this sequel to its knees is the slavish devotion to Parker Crane’s (Mr Misgendered) backstory. That’s really what the entire movie is about. Yes, Patrick grumps around and does some evil stuff a bit. But it’s not scary because Parker is such a nerfed villain.
If Rob Zombie’s Halloween taught us anything, it’s that spending half the movie explaining in full detail why the villain is evil is not a good way to keep things scary.
Insidious: Chapter 2 spends the entire movie explaining why Parker’s evil.
Why I hate this movie:
And the revelation that he had a bitch mother (Danielle Bisutti from Curse of Chucky) is, like, who cares? So your mum made you wear dresses as a child. Omg, so frightening. I don’t want to know about the killer’s childhood psychological trauma if I have to spend the whole movie looking for it. Just save that shit for a 3rd act motive rant and let the rest of the movie actually be a horror movie, maybe? God, I miss 90s slashers.
Nobody dies. The body count is 0. Unless you count Lin Shaye, but she died in the closing moments of the first movie, so no, you don’t count her.
There’s some pseudo time travel stuff that Patrick does while in the Further so he can communicate with his younger self. It makes things all neat and circuitious, which is nice, but time travel just destroys your credibility.
I’m pretty sure the young version of Lin Shaye’s character is dubbed with Lin Shaye’s voice. It’s fuckin’ distracting.
Lin’s neck injuries do not match Patrick’s hands, so he is excused as a suspect in her murder. What the hell? We know he did it. I thought the point of being possessed was that it doesn’t alter your physical state, only your mental one?
Once things start becoming serious, Rose suggests they should move house again (keep in mind that now they’re staying at Barbara’s house, that makes 3 different houses they’ve already been in since this shit began). Bitch, that didn’t work last time. Idiot.
Carl, Lin’s old psychic sidekick, decides the best way to deal with what happened is to end the movie by “permanently” suppressing Patrick and Dalton’s astral projection abilities. Yeah, because that worked so well last time, too.
Oh, and Dalton, the astral projecting son, gets a few scenes shoehorned into the movie so he can use his powers to help daddy. It feels forced.
But it’s not all bad:
I’ve got to give Insidious: Chapter 2 some respect for bringing back the entire main cast, director, writer, and producers. It’s a shame they all decided not to give a fuck.
Barbara Hershey is rivalled only by Jessica Lange in the “fabulous, elder actress bitch goddess” stakes. Maybe Jessica could be in Insidious 3?
The young versions of Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye in the flashbacks are insanely good matches for their older selves. Minus Lin’s voice.
I appreciate the attempt that Insidious: Chapter 2 made to expand on the things introduced about Patrick’s past in the first film. I only wish it hadn’t gone so fatally overboard in its pursuit of exposition.
Patrick’s body starts rotting because he has Parker’s spirit inside him. It’s disgustingly effective.
The Ghostbusters play a variation of scissors/paper/rock called “hunter/ninja/bear.” I love it.
Mother Monster’s ghost bitch slaps Rose into unconsciousness.
Barbara used to be a doctor in the past, which is where she encountered the then-alive Parker Crane. Not a nurse, a doctor. Barbara motherfucking Hershey doesn’t settle for being a nurse in her backstory, baby.
Best line of the movie goes to Rose, who is skeptical of Patrick’s recovery from possession. She listens to him play a song she wrote on the piano, and her fears are alleviated: “I should have known it was you. Only you could play it that badly.” He just got back from being a rotting corpse while possessed by a serial killer’s ghost, but Rose DGAF.
The movie ends with the Ghostbusters, supported by the ghost of Lin, taking on a new case. And although she’s already seen everything she has, whatever she sees off-camera right before the credits roll makes her absolutely terrified. I will be watching.
Oh, and easily the best thing about both Insidious movies is the ridiculous sting that plays when the opening title shows up. It is divine.
Having the whole crew from the first one back here and still fucking it up so badly is just insulting, and such a wasted opportunity. Maybe excising most of the characters will make number 3 more bearable. What a goddamn disappointment. 2 out of 5 stars.