Director James (Saw, Death Sentence) Wan reunites with screenwriter and friend Leigh Whannell to bring moviegoers the second installment to the 2010 hit film, Insidious. Stars Patrick (Watchmen, Lakeview Terrace) Wilson, Rose (Damages, Bridesmaids) Byrne, and Barbara (Hannah & Her Sisters, Beaches) Hershey reprise their roles as they try to race the clock and save their beloved husband and son from being the latest victim of the dreaded "Bride in Black," the vengeful spirit of an infamous serial killer with a mysterious connection to the Lambert family. The movie's twists and turns are only outweighed by the sheer terror presented on the big screen, giving audiences the first genuinely scary film in almost a decade.
The film centers on simultaneously giving flashbacks to the story only hinted at in the first installment as well as telling a very high-stakes thriller of paranormal proportions set in modern times. Byrne's acting in the first film was that of the stereotypical scared woman foolishly running around like a chicken with its head cut off, but she is no longer willing to play the victim in the second film, obviously and realistically stepping into her role as an over-protective mother bear who will do anything to protect her cubs. Wilson plays two characters perfectly, but there is something terrifying about his still-charming bad guy side that shows he really is an actor who is interested in bringing the genre up a notch. But it is Hershey who outperforms the rest of the cast in this film, taking center stage as arguably not only the most important, but also the most interesting character in the whole series.
The few issues moviegoers and critics had with the first film are resolved in this one, and it shows that the director/actor team of Wan and Wilson (who worked together just this last summer in The Conjuring, also a genre-redefining hit) are truly a force to be remembered and revered. There are more than enough "jump" scenes, but very rarely are they "cheap shots" or "fake-outs." The genuine scares pile on as the film's mystery slowly and expertly unfolds, leading perfectly not only into sequel territory, but to the ever-important realm of a franchise. This is, by far, the best horror film in years. It delivers what horror fans have been desperately seeking since the 1980s: a perfect combination of smart story, good directing, and A-list acting.