James Wan, the master of suspense brings us back to the Further in order to finish the horror that was started with Insidious (2010). Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) starts right where we left off in the first film. The Lamberts are back together but something in their lives is still not as it should be. When the new horrors start to surface, they are forced to head back into the Further, realm of the undead, in order to fight of the evil attempting to kill them.
If you’ve seen Insidious (2010), then you need to know going into this film that it is presented in a different way. Whereas the first film took its time slowly building a lot of tension before bursting with scary moments, Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) is shown in a more mainstream horror movie fashion. It starts off almost right away with eery scenes and carries on with more scares than the first film. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re expecting that same level of tension from Insidious (2010), you won’t really get it. At first I was somewhat disappointed in this change in approach, but once you look at this film as being able to stand on its own, you’ll realize it actually works.
It is still very much a real horror film in that it doesn’t use countless CGI as a crutch to create scares. Many of the scariest moments in the film are created by masterful camera movement and prop work. By far one of the best aspects of the franchise is the use of these real techniques to create the sense of dread. The audience knows there is someone there in the dark and not just some fake animated creature. These techniques are even further highlighted by the use of great audio.
As with his last few horror films, James Wan has built his camera work around some of the best horror audio work i’ve heard. There is a great range of techniques, from very low rumbles to give you some sense of unease, to the loud shrieking of violins during the really tense moments. Every element builds on top of one another to depict a world that is truly frightening.
The only reason this film does not receive a 5/5 is that going in, I was expecting something more like the first film. While this is mostly redeemed by the end, the beginning of the film was not as enjoyable because you are just thrown into the terror without build up. Now in a back to back showing, these films would be absolutely wonderful, accenting each other perfectly.
I still recommend seeing this film in theaters, because it will definitely lose some of its punch on a small screen. So grab your loved ones, and hold them tight while you travel back into the Further with Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013).