Insidious: Chapter 2 made its way through the nether and possessed all of South Korea’s empty vessels this past weekend during its Eastern début. Unfortunately, the sequel to James Wan’s favored first entry is the kind of scattered rush job that would send demons vaulting back to hell. Why? Even a titillated Lucifer with blue horns would raise an eye-brow at how impotent this flex is.
Furthermore, while James Wan wasn’t involved in the follow-up to the piece that put him on the map in 2004 (Saw), the first entry was so pronounced that another film was rushed, edited and spliced together with extra footage from Saw and, finally, renamed Saw II. The result was an unrelieved jumble.
Unlike the Saw II calamity, Wan both wrote and directed this sequel. Immediately, because the stench is so strong from the get-go, one may think of the Seinfeld series finale, where Larry David proved to everyone how much he had come to hate the show by creating a turd to permanently stain TV’s door mat. Did Mr. Wan do this to Chapter 2 because he was forced to, or did he, similar to how Larry David hated his creation, come to resent Insidious? A firm yes wouldn’t nearly suffice.
First, Insidious summoned fragments from every horror film made between 1960 and 2000, as though Dario Argento and Stephen King had successfully copulated a little, baby reel of their own to show Earth’s civilizations. The finale was poor, but audiences seemed to largely let it slide because the frights along the way were bona fide. For instance, when Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) is walking through her house, and a giggling boy jumps out of her closet, it is pure screw-ball terror. The viewers were either wide-eyed or cringing through their fingers due to their lack of knowledge at the time.
Insidious: Chapter 2 has lost that edge. Rather than coming up with one or two freaky ideas to captivate horror fans throughout, like what The Conjuring (also by James Wan) did with the clapping and the relics, I:C2 seems to have taken every cut or deleted scene from the original Insidious and flung them together as though they were random numbers pulled from an adrift barrel. There’s no sense of order, and the topsy-turvy equation is about as easy to follow as an elongated tentacle with Viagra in its veins at a hentai themed orgy.
What will keep the evil, lost souls and demons at bay though is the announcement that Insidious is the new Saw. It’s a sad possibility to consider that this franchise may have a future where dimwitted scripts are sacrificed to the silver screen each Halloween before being resurrected briefly as a lump of coal for Christmas in Asia. No soul, wandering or otherwise, wants that gift.
Chris Patton is the best-selling author of Mormons in the Attic. It tells the story of an aged, senile Barak Obama, who allows Mormon missionaries to enter his house and share their testimonies. When he forgets to take his medication, the former President halucinates and mistakes the Mormons for George Bush and Geraldine Ferrarro. What transpires is best described as haunting. You can read more of Chris’s stories at WASDUK.com and LaserLemming.com