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[Review] – ‘Insidious: Chapter Two’

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: 13th September 2013
 
Director: James Wan
 
Writer: Leigh Whannell [Screenplay, Characters & Story] - James Wan [Story]
 
Cast: Patrick Wilson - Rose Byrne - Barbara Hershey - Ty Simpkins - Andrew Astor
 
Direction
 
 
 
 
 


 
Writing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Performance
 
 
 
 
 


 
Sound & Music
 
 
 
 
 


 
Cinematography
 
 
 
 
 


 
Editing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visual Effects
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
2/5


User Rating
5 total ratings

 


0
Posted September 22, 2013 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Review:

When I first saw the trailer for James Wan’s second installment of Insidious, I thought it could be interesting. The sequel has retained the same cast and crew that saw the first film achieve relative success, so I thought, why not give the sequel a chance? – What a mistake!… ‘Insidious: Chapter Two’ was an enormous disappointment.

The narrative of the film is a direct continuation from the first; The Lambert family must continue to fight through their haunting, as they try to uncover the reason why they are so attracted to the spirit realms.

Here lies the first problem; the films narrative and writing. The story is long, drawn out and convoluted. It combines different styles and narrative constructions like flashbacks, memories, found footage and surrealism in an attempt to build an intricate narrative; which unfortunately just looks rushed and amateur. In addition to this, the dialogue throughout the film is also fundamentally poor. Conversations appear wooden and unrealistic, greatly adding to the overall amateur feeling the film sadly portrays.

Having said this, there was one aspect of the writing I did enjoy; the way in which the two films linked. ‘Insidious: Chapter Two’ used scenes and narrative points from the first film, and put them into a different or a more understanding context. For example, you may remember a scene from the first installment in which a male spirit is standing behind the baby’s cot. A scene used as nothing more than a stinger in the first film, that gains more narrative purpose in the second – watch out for it if you do choose to go and see it. It needs to be stated however, that while this is a positive, it in no way makes up for what the films writing lacked.

Another issue comes from the films performances. While the leading roles by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are adequate, the rest of the cast are less than impressive. Particularly the weak, cliche performance from Lin Shaye. These weak performances combined with the clunky dialogue greatly hinders the film as a whole; performances and dialogue are one of the most important things in any film; the basics should never be neglected.

In addition, one of the main aspects I liked about the first ‘Insidious’ was the visualization. In the first installment, the spirits and setting where very sinister, particularly in the place known as ‘The Further’. This dark, disturbing visualization greatly added to overall suspense throughout the film…an aspect unfortunately lost in the second film. While they attempt to keep to this same sinister style, it simply comes across as, for lack of a better word, cheesy. In certain situations some of the protagonists even appeared comical rather than frightening, something that should never occur in a horror film.

The fundamental question is a simple one; is the film frightening? A horror film has to scare an audience, otherwise it has failed to achieve its goal. ‘Insidious: Chapter Two’ is full of stingers that make you jump, but does not actually frighten you. This lack of lasting fear, combined with the poor ascetics of the film, make ‘Insidious: Chapter Two’ a waste of time in my opinion. Yet another horror to drop into the sea of failed sequels & prequels.

 

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