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Insidious: Chapter 2

The scariest thing about Insidious: Chapter 2 is that there will probably be a Chapter 3. Full of cheap scares, loud noises that are more obnoxious than jarring, and obvious visual cues (red = evil!), it’s an expected downgrade from the lo-fi charms of the surprisingly decent original. James Wan (who’s also responsible for spawning the Saw series and this summer’s The Conjuring) applies the same formula here as he did the first time around: It’s not the house that’s haunted, but the person. The one meaningful difference is that now it’s Josh (Patrick Wilson) rather than his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) who’s being followed from house to house and world to world. As in the original, Chapter 2’s sequences involving the Further—its vision of the netherworld—are far and away the most engaging; there’s something charming about the austerity of the place, which consists of little more than LED lamps and smoke machines. But for every good scene, there are two or three bad ones, with ludicrous plot developments hampering what little momentum Wan has established. If you want to see Barbara Hershey (who reprises her role as Josh’s mother) in something really unsettling, you’re better off seeking out Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space.
  • Genres: Horror
  • Release Date: Sunday, September 13, 2020
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Intense Seq of Terror/Violence, Thematic Elements ]
  • Critic's Score: C-
  • Starring: Patrick Wilson [Josh Lambert], Rose Byrne [Renai Lambert], Barbara Hershey [Lorraine Lambert], Lin Shaye [Elise Rainier], Ty Simpkins [Dalton Lambert], Steve Coulter [Carl], Leigh Whannell [Specs], Angus Sampson [Tucker], Andrew Astor [Foster], Danielle Bisutti [Michelle], Hank Harris [Young Carl], Jocelin Donahue [Young Lorraine], Lindsay Seim [Young Elise], Garrett Ryan [Young Josh], Tom Fitzpatrick [Parker Crane]
  • Directed by: James Wan [Director], Leigh Whannell [Screenwriter], Jason Blum [Producer], Brian Kavanaugh-Jones [Executive Producer], Oren Peli [Executive Producer], John Leonetti [Cinematographer], Jennifer Spence [Production Design], Kirk Morri [Film Editor], Joseph Bishara [Original Music], Kristin Burke [Costume Designer]
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