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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Insidious: Chapter 2 
Review: Insidious Chapter 2
2.5/4 stars

Insidious scared the crap out of me. Back in 2011 when I left Insidious' big screening room, it struck me that James Wan (who made this year's fantastic The Conjuring. And Dead Silence...) is a true talent. He understands tension - what creates it and how to build it. He earns his scares. He establishes a dreading atmosphere that oozes with grueling horror and intensity. Insidious: Chapter 2 is his latest work, and I really don't know what to call it. It's something else.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that James Wan's Insidious: Chapter 2 is one of the strangest things I've ever had the pleasure of watching. It's not a terrifically good or well crafted film - it's flawed up the rear-end - but it's for sure an entertaining one. It's weird, silly, sometimes terrifying, hilarious (both intentionally and unintentionally), and really, really stupid. It reminds me so much of The Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage. This film isn't THAT bad in any regard, but it's so strange you sometimes can't help but laugh at (and sometimes with) it.

I don't want to bother explaining the plot because I don't quite understand the plot - which is ultimately one of the film's problems. The script, written by Leigh Whannell, is so uneven and messy, it's ultimately hard to follow some of the film's most important plot threads. It's too dense and convoluted for its own good, up until the climax where things go absolute bonkers as the story unfolds into weirder and dumber territory. Insidious had a simple premise with good characters and building tension. That's all you need. Why ruin it by incorporating a bunch of confusing crud?

But Wan doesn't hold back with the scares. It undeniably delivers the goods in those regards, so I can't hate the movie. There's a few jump scares, but they're crafted effectively and are built by quietness. The most intense element of the film is kind of a rip off of The Shining, but I enjoyed it because of Patrick Wilson's electrifying performance as not-Josh Lambert.

Insidious: Chapter 2 is enjoyable for its share of scares and high laugh factor, but don't go in expecting to be floored like you were when you saw The Conjuring. This film is a big lumbering idiot, but it's a lovable big lumbering idiot.

2.5/4


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