Written by / 9/15/2013 / No comments / , , , , ,

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2

year: 2013 cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Angus Sampson rating: ***
Having avoided the first INSIDIOUS, this is an attempt to review CHAPTER 2, a haunted house horror flick that goes beyond sudden jolts and cheap thrills with a creative, multi-layered storyline…

Centering again on the Lambert family, we begin with Patrick Wilson’s Josh as a young boy. Like the poor kid in SIXTH SENSE he sees dead people, and, according to paranormal expert Ellise, played by Lin Shaye, one wraith has stubbornly latched on, making the “Why don’t they just move out of the house?” question completely futile: The scares are effective, and most importantly, so are the chills. The difference being: scares occur for the moment while chills are omnipresent. But what really makes this work is the eclectic cast, sharing equal time in a story building mystery along with terror and, thanks to neurotic ghost hunters Specs and Tucker, a few worthy laughs as well.

As Josh goes under a spell from the formidable lead ghost, whose presence is revealed further in, the changeling makes him a dead ringer for Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in THE SHINING, including a frantic door-bashing scene sans the ax, and Rose Byrne as wife Renai is the perfect Shelley Duvall: Her sheepish aura helps boost Josh's frantic intensity, and the multiple back stories – gliding smoothly to the forefront while a few confusing layers taper off – lead to an ambitious third act when a few characters enter (or reenter) a misty spirit world that, although resembling the exterior of Disney’s Haunted Mansion, makes for a satisfying, unpredictable experience...
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