Picks of the Week
Insidious: Chapter 2
(PG-13, 90 minutes, Sony): When we last left the Lamberts in Insidious, eldest son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) had awakened from his comalike trance thanks to a rescue mission by his intrepid father. Like a paranormal Navy SEAL, Daddy (Patrick Wilson) had metaphorically rappelled, under hypnosis, into the spirit realm, where his son was being held captive.
Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up there. Where do you go with a tale that ended so over the top, in a fog-shrouded netherworld called The Further? Apparently, even further.
Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, who collaborated on the 2004 Saw, have made a name for themselves as horror auteurs. Here, they try to outdo what they did in Insidious, piling on plot twists borrowed from a host of other movies that, while in some cases are genuinely creepy, turn Chapter 2 into an overly busy mess.
Poltergeist seems to be the model for both Insidious films, which presuppose a parallel universe beyond the physical one, inhabited by malevolent entities who can drift in and out of our world, and into whose world some of us can also enter, willingly or not.
Insidious: Chapter 2 features a visit to the Further by someone tied to I kid you not a piece of string. Contains frightening sequences, violence and brief crude language. Extras: behind-the-scenes featurette; short on how the actors were transformed into ghosts through make-up effects. On Blu-ray: Haunted Hospital: On Location featurette; Whannells video journal; on-set Q&A; and Insidious: Spectral Sightings webisodes.