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Insidious: Chapter 2: A transitional chapter

Insidious: Chapter 2 serves as a mediocre gateway to a third chapter

The Spectrum

Film: Insidious: Chapter 2

Release Date: Sept. 13

Studio: IM Global

Grade: B-

Debuting a horror film on Friday the 13th is a risky move.

Hailed by horror fans as a holiday, Friday the 13th is associated with Jason Voorhees, and competing with that classic horror series is close to impossible.

The second installment of 2011's Insidious held its own with an impressive $41 million debut - over $20 million more than the original's debut. Movie theaters all over Buffalo were selling out of tickets on opening night.

Insidious: Chapter 2 continues the story of the Lambert family from the original film. Patrick Wilson, of this summer's blockbuster horror film The Conjuring, reprises his role as Josh Lambert. He is the father who was haunted in his youth and is now watching his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins, Iron Man 3) experience the same thing.

The film starts with a flashback to Josh's youth when he visited "the further" with his astronomical projection abilities. His mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey, Insidious) and a medium named Elise (Lin Shaye, Crazy Kind of Love) agreed to make Josh forget he had these abilities. The film then jumps to present day, where Josh is a suspect in Elise's death. The investigator doesn't believe a ghost or a spirit from a dark world committed the crime.

The eerie occurrences don't stop haunting the Lambert family when they move to Lorraine's and they're forced to deal with "the further" once more.

Director James Wan (The Conjuring) knew he had to make the second chapter bigger and better after the success of his past two films. Wan stepped up by continuing the story with a more intriguing plot. In the first Insidious, the main story seemed scattered. The second chapter is the better of the two with more advanced camera techniques that made the audience jump and scream. Some suspenseful moments were predictable - as most horror films are - but the tactics worked and still scared viewers.

Insidious: Chapter 2 hasbrought in an impressive amount of revenue thus far, but the film is not horror genius in the slightest. Wan's The Conjuring was far more entertaining and contained more planned-out scare tactics.

The actor performances were the focal point throughout the film. Wilson's experience in The Conjuring has molded him into a perfect horror film actor. His behavior was creepy and threatening at the right times in the film, especially when he showed no concern over the ongoing presence of ghosts. Shaye also put on a notable performance. She put herself into her character fully and became a medium. Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne, The Turning) developed, as well, into a mother who was going to protect her children no matter what. Her inner strength was showcased often and provided a strong woman figure in the film.

The Insidious series is nothing like Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween but it is a staple in today's popular culture. The film ended with an obvious introduction to a third chapter in the future. Let's hope they don't bring that Darth Maul looking demon back - he wasn't terrifying at all.


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