Back in 2010, we saw the first chapter of this series, and we didn’t like it so much. In fact, we actually completely and totally hated it. Still, we tried to not let that color our judgment for going to see Chapter 2, and, truth to tell, we are quite glad that we did see it, as this second installment turned out to be much better than the first. Part of the reason for that is that it had a real back story, and moved beyond the “hey, something scary is happening in my house” trope. In this episode, the haunted Lambert family has moved in with Josh’s mom, Lorraine (Hershey while the cops are investigating the mysterious death of ghost hunter Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) — which happened at the Lambert’s house.
Unfortunately, the hateful spirit that was after Josh’s son, made its first appearance in Josh’s old house, when josh was his son’s age. Now this spirit is using Josh (Wilson) as a portal to re-emerge into the corporeal world. Needless to say, this is seriously freaking the bejesus out of Renai (Byrne), Josh’s wife, as well as the rest of his family. As Renai and Lorraine seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. Josh slips closer and closer to the edge of madness as he is slowly being possessed buy the evil spirit.
What this story does, is not only incorporate how it was Elise and her then partner Carl (Steve Coulter) who not only investigated the original haunting, but put up memory blocks so that Josh wouldn’t recall what had happened, but re-introduces us to ghost hunters Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) — from the last film — who are not only back on the case, but this film totally sets up for (along with Shaye) staring in the follow-up film which has already been announced). Meanwhile we are following a triptych of stories as Josh sinks deeper into the madness of being possessed, Renai and Lorraine and company attempt to discover just what the Hell is going on, and vignettes of the past as it is revealed just who is haunting Josh and his family, and why.
If we have any complaint with this film it is that with all the cutting back and forth between the stories (most specifically between Josh and Renai and Lorraine), it is that these two threads seem to be occurring at the same time, yet Josh’s side of the tale is happening during daylight hours while Renai and Lorraine’s side is occurring at night. A minor but annoying glitch, but noting too terrible. Again, we rather enjoyed this outing and are actually looking forward to the next chapter as it (apparently) shifts the focus away from the Lamberts and onto the ghost hunters, (perhaps and hopefully) moving the story in a new direction.
Read a review of Insidious.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.