This is a filmmaker who has not only created some of the most seminal modern horror movies over the past decade but has also managed to craft a sequel that manages to be a genuinely interesting watch rather than a cash grab.
Picking up immediately after the events of the first movie, Insidious 2 builds on a nice little mythology that expands into a fun and terrifying story. Those who’ve seen the first movie will be familiar with the horrific image of the old lady in the black wedding dress who managed to cross over from the Further into the real world. The sequel focusses on this interesting character and we get to know what fresh hell this woman is capable of unleashing into the world of the living.
The Lambert family is once again under stress, as Renai (Rose Byrne) is convinced that her husband (Patrick Wilson) brought back something terrible with him during his astral journey and thus killed the medium. Despite changing houses the bumping noises at night continue, much to Renai’s chagrin, and no one seems to be willing to listen to her side of the story.
Wan pulls a few things from The Conjuring into Insidious 2 and doles up a bunch of scares that are significantly more effective than the first film. By now he’s pretty much mastered the art of making you feel uneasy, and not resorting to cheap tricks for the same. It helps that the plot was written with some effort and not as an afterthought to the jump scares. Even the title sequence is frightening, which is hilarious and unbelievable when you think about it.
The problem with the first Insidious was that the Darth Maul antagonist, despite having an awesome appearance was poorly written and didn’t really add to the story and we never got to know what he wanted. Wan and his writer Leigh Whannel iron out the kinks this time around and give you a villain that is clichéd, but certainly more well defined in intent.
Sure, it gets a little convoluted towards the end but it’s thrilling and fun enough, and definitely scarier than the first movie to keep you trembling in your seat. There’s no need to worry about the lack of Insidious mayhem because the ending opens a door into a sequel, and it’s only a matter of time until Wan finishes his Fast and Furious movie and gets back to filming spooky houses.