So I liked this movie. I liked it a lot. Something to say right off the bat: I STRONGLY recommend seeing the first one before you see this one. You will feel lost throughout this movie if you try to just jump into this story. So throughout the review I will compare the two. It would be impossible not to do so. By the way I'm not sure if you caught it before but I said story. One of my main complaints against the first one was that it did not have a very coherent story. Well, they do a far better job with the story this go around. There are some plot holes (like, and this isn't a spoiler because it's pretty vague, but what happened to the baby in the ENTIRE second and third act?) but they are far fewer this time around. So that's good. Another cool thing about this movie is that it has a very unique and interesting concept. To quote IGN's review of Chapter 2, this movie is not afraid to explore its mythology. It explores many of the points that the first movie brought up, as well as the consequences of the final scene of the original. (Remember what was in the picture at the end?) What results is a slightly more believable movie, but the side effect is a far more predictable movie. The suspense and scares are created through the ol' fashioned 'don't open the door!' type scares as opposed to 'what is gonna happen next?' which is a far scarier scare. I don't think that's grammatically correct but whatever. From what I have heard, The Conjuring does that second scare very well. I bring this up because James Wan directed both of these movies. Because of this, the critics are struggling to not compare the two because this is Wan's next horror flick after that. Fortunately for me though, I don't have to because I haven't seen The Conjuring! Yay!
Brace yourselves: here comes my brief Patrick Wilson plug. This is my man-crush. He is so talented and gorgeous, and I have loved everything he's done thus far in his young career. And this is quite possibly the best performance I have ever seen from him. There were times when, at the height of the scares surrounding his character, I had to remind myself that it was Patrick Wilson I was seeing on screen He was so good!!!!! Oh right, there were other actors in this as well. Rose Byrne is great too. She is an extremely underrated actress. Barbara Hershey puts in a good performance, as well as the "comedic relief" ghost hunters. They had several very funny exchanges. That's another thing this movie has going for it: there's more comedy to offset the suspense. But Wan found the perfect balance here to ensure that there's comedy to ease the tension, while simultaneously not having the comedy become a distraction. But overall, the acting is great. Everyone takes this movie's concept very seriously, and it shows on screen. One thing that was sorely missing to me though was that the score. In the original the score brought something terrifying to the movie, and Tiny Tim's Tiptoe through the Tulips was and still is one of the best song selections in a movie in the history of mankind. That was a joke at over-exaggeration if you couldn't tell. But it was a great element of the original! Here however, music takes a backseat. Tiptoe through the Tulips does not make an appearance in the film at all, despite showing up in almost every piece of advertising. I was kind of shocked by this.
Still, at the end of the day, you go to a scary movie to be scared. And this movie certainly delivered in that aspect. So, as I discussed in my review of the original, I can forgive some of the plot holes this one contained. I was just glad to see that there were fewer of them. In short, if you are a fan of Insidious 1 you will enjoy Insidious 2 just as much. Or more, in my case. And if you were on the fence with Insidious 1....this one will probably win you over. It was a fun time.
The Critique: a fun, scary horror flick with a rather interesting premise. One of the best horror films of the last few years. Excluding The Conjuring.
The Recommendation: this is a bulletproof plan to cuddling guys, so take advantage of it! Also any horror fan or Insidious fan will find themselves right at home with this movie.
Where to See it: the movie theater is the place to go for this one. There is nothing like being scared with a room full of people.
The Verdict: 8/10 Great
Now to try to figure out how to sleep....