Friday, January 9, 2015

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) Review:

Most of the time if sequels to popular movies are not drastically changed, the movie will either perform just as well or slightly below. Even if reviews tend to be fairly low, some sequels continue to push onward. The very best example of this kind of feat is Michael Bay's Transformers (2007) franchise. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) is no different. After surprising and/or scaring many with his first entry, horror director James Wan returns to conclude where viewers ended with Insidious (2010). The fact that Wan and writer Leigh Whannell decided to continue the story from the previous film is definitely a plus. For some fans, they might think it wasn't necessary while others perhaps wanted to know how it went down. The question is, is it done well? Well, it requires more than a one-word response.

Not feeling yourself today huh?....hmmmm
can't imagine whyyyyy
Like many other sequels, the continuation does not stray far from where the last entry ended. Ideally, the main cast of actors return to reprise their roles. After finding Elise's (Lin Shaye) strangled body by her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson), Renai (Rose Byrne) begins to suspect that her spouse is not feeling himself. Not long after, Renai begins seeing more ghostly figures roaming around. Plus Dalton (Ty Simpkins), their son who can dream outside his subconscious, can also notice differences in his father's actions. Once Josh's mom (Barbara Hershey) becomes aware, she calls upon Elise's helpers Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) to find out what's wrong. If this were the plot itself, there would be nothing wrong. However, screenwriter Whannell begins to slip. The reason is that Whannell piles in too many variables for the story to actually hold. This results into a story that has promise but is overly complex for no reason.

One unfinished subplot to the story was the police investigating Elise's murder. Initially it starts off like it could go somewhere, however it ends up just going cold and shoots itself in the foot. Apparently the hands that strangled Elise was not Josh's hands. Ok so, who's was it? This attacker is revealed later on but not by the police, which brings up the question of why they couldn't accomplish that task. Or why wasn't Josh's handprints on Elise's neck. This is one set of loopholes that doesn't quite add up. Another is that somehow people can still bring physical objects with them into The Further realm. How is that? It's a bit hard to imagine that nonliving objects can dream out of their subconscious too. This flaw also occurred in the first movie, but this time it occurs a little more frequently, thus becoming more obvious.

There's also a slight change in the way the plot is executed. The difference is now the execution will act like a crime scene mystery where people look for clues to get answers. This requires digging through files and searching old records by breaking into abandoned infrastructure. Yet somehow, these significant acts do not have an effect on the characters. Are the police that oblivious? However, these errors mentioned are nothing compared to the next biggest head-scratching component to this movie. Whannell actually brings in the idea of time travel and crossing different dimensions in time. For some reason, it feels like there could've been an easier way to get over this hurtle. The idea here is that somehow The Further realm can now access the memories of other people. This in turn ends up explaining past events that have already happened. It's not that this added trait is bad, but it feels like a lazy way of just solving the problem instead of giving a reasonable answer. Reasonable doesn't have to mean logical because The Further concept itself denies that entirely, but it still should have reasonable laws that define it.

"Like, it's a creepy bedroom Scoob!"
The acting is still good in this installment. All characters are as they were and still have the same amount of charm as they did before. Patrick Wilson also displays his range of acting by showing what he's capable of. The special/practical effects are still noteworthy too. John R. Leonetti maintains steady cinematography and the ghouls continue to look frightening. With regret, the scares are not as strong as before. The way the story plays out, it'll evoke more chills than scares. An actress by the name of Danielle Bisutti plays a ghost and she is perhaps the scariest thing in the film (although she's not the main villain). Joseph Bishara again returns to score the music for the film and again it is effective when it needs to. This counts for either soft tunes or the stings. Bishara has a way of working the strings with no percussion so that they don't sound so typical for like so many other horror film scores. It can still entertain but not as strong of a performance.

There's no doubt that a lot thought did go into making a decent continuation of Insidious (2010). The acting, music, visuals and story are preserved but the screenplay forgets to cover up several of its flaws. Plus it includes methods of deduction that don't quite fit the genre like it should.

Points Earned --> 5:10

No comments:

Post a Comment