106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2013
First of all, let me just say that The Conjuring, Insidious, and Insidious Chapter 2 are all very effective and well-done horror movies. James Wan is on a roll, and honestly, so is Patrick Wilson because he is the common denominator in all 3 of these movies. Quite frankly, in my opinion, it is thanks to these movies that have successfully breathed life back into the horror genre. This is refreshing after sitting around for the last decade and a half watching campy, slasher, gory, and extremely bloody so-called scary movies that have left me nothing but disappointed and anything but scared. I was wondering when Hollywood was going to realize that tons of blood splatter is just like any other over-used effect; there's nothing really that special about it. I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what's going to happen next if I can already expect a masked killer, a home invasion, tons of teen sex and drug use, contraptions of torture, or a documentary-style horror film that looks like someone just grabbed a video camera, took it into a dark backyard or the woods, cut on the night-vision, and relied on heavy breathing and running away from unseen forces to move the audience. All of that is lazy, mundane, and it shows lack of creativity as well as originality. I am sick to death of that crap. As a horror movie buff, I thought it was virtually impossible to make a scary movie these days, or at least try to make a movie that pushes the envelope a little bit...dare to be different if you will! I know there isn't much that many of us can say we haven't seen before, but how it's executed is what's important in my book.
This movie starts right at the end of the first one (smart move). The audience is thrust right back into the evil that is STILL following the Lamberts from the first film (another smart move). If you want to keep me interested in something; please don't ignore the film's predecessors just to make money. Those films still have merit, and have laid the foundation for what comes next. Anyway, it's clear that there's still a murder to be solved (another smart move), and there's something seriously off about Josh. The film also includes more interaction with the Lambert children this time around. The dead spirits are more aggressive, so it's clear they aren't there to mess around.
This movie also didn't drag around for the first 40 minutes like the first film did. However, what I loved most about this movie is that it answers all your questions about the previous film (gigantic smart move). Nothing from the first movie is what it seems. I'm so glad this movie didn't start off with an entirely different entity before they expounded on what the first one was in its entirety. I wanted to know the story. I had already figured out the ending from the first film that some overlooked because they were so focused on the music and the look of the red-faced demon. The fact of the matter is that the target never was the little boy; the target was the dad all along. The child was just being held hostage and used to lure the dad back into the Further so the dead spirit that almost had him while he was a child could successfully take his body which was originally intended. The boy was the bait. Don't get me wrong, the red-faced demon with the hooves was going to take the boy's body too; he just wasn't the primary focus. Red face was just ensuring Dalton stayed out long enough to be possessed as well. I don't think some people got that; it was a win/win situation for both entities who wished to live again. Knowing that, it all makes perfect sense.
I don't want to give too much of this movie away, but you will be surprised to see what this thing is that has been following Josh since his childhood which just shows how tenacious and persistent these entities can be. It also gives you more insight into how deep Josh's gift of astral projection really runs. Josh and Dalton's out-of-body experiences play an interesting role in this movie, and adds something a little different into the mix instead of a typical family battling the paranormal. I appreciate that! Dalton proves to be quite useful and clever in this one, and he handles his gift like a seasoned pro. I had to mention Ty Simpkins because he did great in both films.
This movie is just like The Conjuring in the sense that there is something for everybody and it plays on your worst fears:
Afraid of the closet...check!
Afraid of the dark...check!
Afraid of the things that go bump in the night...check!
Afraid of ghosts, possession, and dead demonic spirits...check!
Afraid of harm coming to your children...check!
Afraid of being a prisoner in your own body and your home...check!
My suggestion is that you have to see this movie at least once.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
[I bought the combo and here is my review]
I really hesitate to call this totally original film a franchise. James Wan creates a film that is a superb experience in the cinema, and is brilliant on the Blu-ray delivery in all respects. Thankfully, it is not a sequel in the traditional sense, and delivers the scares with both barrels. I would expect that you probably know the story by now, if not, you should see INSIDIOUS first and then come back to INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2. This film starts with scares right from the beginning, and takes you on a tremendous roller coaster ride with the original cast.
The extras on Blu-ray are brilliant again. The work in progress: onset Q&A deals with story issues and last 23 minutes. Peripheral vision: behind-the-scenes is a great bonus and last 15 minutes. Insidious: spectral sightings are supposed to be web-i-sodes, which I hope is self-explanatory, but if you have not seen it this is next level freaky, even from the point of view of INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2, mainly because it is so intense and in a few short minutes Lynn Shaye delivers more of a power packed punch than she does in the main film. I think that if you enjoy insidious chapter 2, then insidious spectral sightings is going to be something you love. The extra HAUNTED HOSPITAL: ON LOCATION is kind of so-so but one item in it may give you a spine tingling fright. GHOSTLY TRANSFORMATIONS is about the makeup and is intriguing but would've been better in a wider documentary. Leigh Whannell's Journal is actually quite enjoyable but at eight minutes it is way too short. Overall, whilst I would've liked a commentary in the bonus, I think that what we have at the moment is pretty fun. I hope you enjoy this roller coaster ride as much as I did, or even more; I know I'll be watching it a few more times the volume up and the lights turned down... Pleasant dreams.
I rarely write a review of the films before the DVD or Blu-ray is out. I had no expectations of what the sequel would bring to the party. After seeing the promo I was won over. Anyone who has seen the promo/s will have an idea of what I mean. The one thing I do agree on is that any comment on this story would give away too much, but not to mention by word-of-mouth that this is a great supernatural horror film would be a disservice. As many horror films as I have seen,I sometimes think I am a little jaded, or even more accepting of the spook type of films. Lucky for me I had about 15 young people sitting in the row behind me, and every time I got spooked, they screemed or more, and this was a good barometer. For a truly scary film this one touches all bases, and if James Wan is leaving horror, then that is a big loss to supernatural horror. If you have ever walked through an old house late at night which you thought was haunted and felt the chills, then this film is for you. Even if you have ever seen what you thought was a ghost, or just a shadow casting a weird caul across your eyes, then this film is for you. Forget what people with negative comments have said, this film checks all the boxes... Pleasant dreams.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
I used to hate horror movies because of how easily I get scared. I slowly worked up the courage to see a few modern scary flicks before checking out the original Insidious. It blew me away. I was in sheer terror the entire time, and yet there was a smile on my face because I was so impressed at how effective it was. When the second one was announced, I was a little surprised but pretty intrigued to see it. I knew it couldn't possibly be as good as the original, so I kept my expectations as low as possible so as not to be disappointed. And once again, I was blown away. While not as scary, the tension and suspense are back in full force in such a manner that only the great James Wan could create. What really stood out to me (aside from Patrick Wilson's excellent performance) was the story. It truly does what any great sequel is supposed to do: take elements from the original and blend them into new material to build off the storyline. So in short: not as scary or quite as effective as the original, but a very good story and thoroughly chilling overall. Highly recommended if you enjoyed the first Insidious as much as I did!
29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
Contrary to what others have said on this product, Insidious 2 is quite good, and is as good as the first if not better. Others have commented on the use of loud music, this is quite purposeful and is an excellent example of incidental music in the horror genre something so many horror films in the past ten to fifteen years have done poorly if at all.
Insidious and the Conjuring are not gory movies, they don't have scenes depicting some guy in a skin mask wielding a chainsaw or a guy in a striped sweater with knives on his hands. If this is your definition of a good horror film, these two are not for you. They deal with the paranormal in a way different from the likes of Paranormal Activity, Grave Encounters, and other films. They rely heavily on atmosphere and the use of sound to create a strong emotional response to go along, appropriately, with the images on screen. I have watched hundreds of horror films, they are my absolute favorite genre, and I've seen all the campy classics, all the slashers, all the torture, zombie, and mass murderer films out there. These two movies, along with the Conjuring(also by Wan) are some of my absolute favorites because of the overall excellent execution of classic horror style.
Everyone is different, and what scares people, or what entertains them is almost never the same. If you like Paranormal and Horror, give the James Wan films a shot, keep an open mind and let the atmosphere envelope you. If you go into it with the words of critics who may not watch horror films or of those who expect more action and gore you probably won't enjoy it.
Five out of Five stars, one of the best horror films of the year.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2014
I saw this film in the theater with a friend, we had both seen the first and enjoyed it. But this one is an incredible stretch of the first's plot and of the actors talent. It fills in the blanks of the backstory of the first film and then some. Good film can suspend disbelief in the audience but there is only so much that it can do. The plot goes in so Many directions and is confusing at best. The actors are either excruciatingly earnest or ham it up (particularly the bumbling paranormal investigators). To be perfectly honest if my friend hadn't been enjoying it I would have walked out. So many people did like it maybe it's just me....
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
I'm a big fan of horror movies. I prefer the atmospheric movies over the over-the-top blood and guts kind. Insidious was a good example of that kind of movie and did it very well. Insidious: Chapter 2 was, in my opinion, a bit of a mess. The continuity made it very difficult to follow. There were still a few jump out and scare you moments, but mostly my brain was trying to figure out why I was seeing a particular scene at a particular time. There are movies of this genre that I keep in my library of films to watch again and again. Insidious: Chapter 2 is not one of them. Unfortunately, it is a highly forgettable film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Insidious: Chapter 2 more than delivers on the promise of the first film; it doubles up on this strange, terrifying astral dreamscape that perhaps only Carl Jung could have conceived, and even then only in a fearful mood and having ingested a psychedelic.
Sort of picking up where it left off--Wan is too singular in his style to go for the trappings of beginning, right away, where he ended--we see that Patrick Wilson's character is still very sketchy indeed, as we had presumed, and Dalton is not anywhere near a cure. The green and red hues, the lighting, the Carnival of Souls-esque (probably a tribute by Wan) psychic trips and scares are as blood curdling as anything in the original, and the way Elise's character does what she does redeems her most compromised position in the first one. There's Argento here, Tobe Hooper, all the greats of horror, and Wan wraps them into a hybrid completely of his own making. Brilliant film, ignore the detractors if you love horror.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
I wish, I wish, I wish that Wan had the foresight and sensititvity to go deeper into the Parker Crane character; it would have made this a much richer movie. The character of Parker is deeply pathetic and I was feeling sorry for his predicament and for his short time of happiness with his new family. It was inevitable that his mother would destroy any sense of comfort or joy for him, but did Wan have to portray him so unsympathetically? He might as well as had him storm through the cellar door shrieking, "Heeere's Johnnie!" I understand what kind of movies Wan makes and they are never about just one character, they are about the movie as a whole, the characters are always 2 dimensional and secondary to the thrills and shocks that are the main event of his films. Perhaps witih a different director and maybe with a better script, a better movie could have been made about the character of Parker, about his child abuse, life after death and his second chance to get it right. I liked Patrick Wilson's depiction of Parker as really trying, playing games with the children, albeit awkwardly, but trying all the same. It's a shame his portrayal had to be reduced to just another maniac busting down doors and terrorizing women and children, like we have seen a thousand times already. It could have been a much better movie and Wilson could have really pulled it off. As I said, it's a shame.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
Wow, what a change from the original Insidious! I had been looking forward to seeing Chapter 2, but it left me seriously disappointed. It was all over the place and just not scary - I never was able to get into the movie and ended up starting and stopping three times before I could finish it. I need to remember to leave well enough alone and avoid sequels.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Insidious and The Conjuring are in my assessment two of the best horror films to come along in quite some time,.In fact The Conjuring might very well be one of the 10 best horror films ever made. It had me feeling convinced that James Wan may very well be the new master of horror, it's that good in my opinion. 'Saw' was not everyone's cup of tea, but for a directorial debut it was a very impressive first outing. Insidious is generally considered to be a very good if not -superb horror movie.The vast majority of viewers considered it one of the better horror movies they had seen in awhile, I know I did. It had plenty of good freights, lots of truly horrific moments, plenty of creepy chills, and everything we always hope for but never quite get in most horror movies that have come along this past 20 years.
I'm convinced The Conjuring is perhaps the third best Horror movie since the Exorcist and perhaps the Shining. I can't think of one better except those. If someone can think of one let me know. But what happened here with Insidious II? It felt totally derivative and predictable of a lot of poorly written and poorly executed horror film sequels. Since Wan is in charge you should expect more mastery, craftsmanship, originality and a carefully constructed script and execution. Instead what I see here is a cheap shot script that simply doesn't have the unique and intelligent qualities that chapter one did- Saw or The Conjuring. It instead seems to swerve into lazy scripted ideas and less than magical movie making this time. It's not as if Insidious Ch. 1 doesn't have a few little weaknesses, it does, but they are hard to notice. This reminds me of too many first efforts that had mediocre part II's. A good example is actually The Exorcist, Exorcist II, which was a disaster, and Exorcist III, which was not as bad as II but nowhere near as good as I. In my opinion Wan's Insidious ch. II is in about the same territory as Blatty's Exorcist III. Pretty good, but basically an average horror movie. Insidious was a way above average horror film, and Conjuring is I think as close to a horror masterpiece as I have ever seen. So with that kind of opinion about Wan's most recent films, you'd have to wonder why I was not all that impressed with Insidious II. Speaking simply, it's just an average horror film that is fine on it's own merits but simply does not live up at all to the original. Not an epic fail at all, but an epic fail for a master film maker like James Wan.