Insidious: Chapter 2

Insidious Chapter 2
    
Director: James Wan
Cert: 15A
Genre: Horror
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Well, this is disappointing. Less than two months after securing a deserved word-of-mouth hit with The Conjuring, James Wan serves up a turkey with this confused, crudely staged sequel to a film that deserved a little better.

There are some decent shocks here, but the picture suffers from an all-too-obvious desire to launch a continuing series in the style of Wan's Saw saga. It's open at both ends. Too much pseudo-scientific paranormal hokum is layered on with too hefty a trowel. Silly, uninteresting subplots are triggered. Wan & co eventually carved their way bloodily towards seven Saw films, but the team will be lucky to manage half as many Insidious pictures.

You may or may not remember that the last film ended with lovely Josh and Renai (lovely Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) depleted after experience a particularly violent haunting. Though Chapter 2 does wave around those unwanted complications, the core story remains pretty much as before.

Seemingly uneducated by their experience, the couple and their son move in with Josh’s mom (an undeniably committed Barbara Hershey) and settle down for a weekend in which – all going well – no apparition will manifests itself, no toys will take on uncanny life, and no growling will play through the baby monitor. Let us know how you get on with that, guys. Okay?


The geek ghost hunters (Leigh Whannell and Angus Simpson) have worked through all their gags and now cone across as genuine irritants. The ghostly manifestations too often seem like the sort of cosy horrors you might have encountered on a 1970s ghost train in Lahinch. The medium who delivers his judgment by shaking lettered dice onto any convenient surface is, however, an unexpectedly peculiar creation.

Who’d have thought that the dead would chose to communicate via Boggle? It’ll be Buckaroo next time.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist