Retread or Worthy Successor?

There's a general rule that remains true 99% of the time with horror movie sequels. Of which rule do I speak? Horror sequels are a big let down; an unoriginal retread of a superior first film that is generally forgettable on its own ....not to mention awful. Besides that, the genre hasn't really had that great of luck in even coming up with buzzworthy original films in a long time...let alone sequels to said films. Three years ago an unexpected surprise came in the form of Insidious. The low budget indie horror film managed to score the thrills it needed to while simultaneously being a modest success with audiences. Those factors in its favor, the film begged for a sequel. But besides that it made sense financially, the story was left on a complete twisty cliffhanger and needed its resolution even more. Thus, a sequel was born. Could Insidious' second chapter defy the odds and be in the one percent of films in that genre that AREN'T that way?? Well the results on that front seem to vary from critic to critic...so the consensus still seems to be a bit unclear (though seemingly more on the negative side,) I have to say as far as I'm concerned it absolutely is the exception to that rule.

Now you might disagree if you hold the first movie in a VERY high regard (read my original review HERE)....or if The Conjuring gave you sky high expectations of what James Wan would do this time around. But for me, who has yet to see The Conjuring,  and who liked Insidious a lot, but felt that it had some flaws (Darth Maul the demon for one...who I had a hard time taking seriously but happens to be completely absent from the sequel,) I really enjoyed what Insidious Chapter 2 brought to the table. It has its moments of retread, but for the most part I felt it was really fresh and worked even better was an homage to some of my favorite horror classics than the first film did [SPOILER highlight to read] definite traces of The Shining and Psycho in there which I loved every moment of! [/SPOILER] Basically, I feel that there was a lot more backstory given to the ghosts...they weren't just random like they were in the first movie and I appreciated that. Plus I found the tension to be extremely high during the whole film, even if there were quite a few moments of comic relief to break it up (the "ghostbusters" take on a more comedic role this time around.)

Yes, this film abounds in cliches, but the way it revels in them is just too fun for me to roll my eyes at. There might not be any BIG scares, but the relentless tension made up for it for me. Patrick Wilson's creepy performance that was set up nicely by the predecessor is one of the highlights to be sure. He definitely managed to terrify me a few times. But the tension was pretty balanced from the back story, scenes in the further, moments in a truly haunted house, flashbacks, as well as the present story. I also enjoyed the way they were able to bring back a certain character from the first film...even if the dubbing of her younger self was quite awful.

So all in all, it might not be THE horror film of the year, but Insidious Chapter 2 is a beyond decent entry in the horror genre and one of the few sequels that isn't an abomination to the original's memory. MY RATING: 7/10. Bring on October


Movie Fanatic said...

Dear Emily,
I have not seen the first Insidious actually, but I am working my way toward that. Your right about sequels, if you look back at the sequels to the Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street franchises, none of which I have seen, but working on that to, there is usually a retread.
I am such a die hard Halloween fan, I love dressing up, I get to dress up at work, my friends always get curious about what costume I am going to have next. I work at a movie theater, have been doing that for 5 years now. I love horror movies, they are awesome, my favorite movie is actually "The Sixth Sense". I love reading your blogs, you seem really cool. Look forward to reading more. Movie Fanatic.

Johanna said...

Well, you know me and horror films. Just not my genre. But I understand that some people love the adrenalin rush.

Still good review.

Sarah said...

I'm not a huge fan of horror films, but I thought The Ring was so cool...and the sequel was so lousy! The first movie tied everything up nicely...and the second one left so many loose ends. Seriously, even though all of those deaths were Samara's fault, she would have been arrested, tried, and convicted for most of them! That sequel was definitely an abomination to the first movie's memory. :)