Insidious: Chapter 2 ***

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“Insidious: Chapter 2” is the sequel to the 2011 sleeper hit. The first film was genuinely frightening and was made on a shoe string budget. The sequel isn’t quite as good but has an engaging plot and actually ties in to the first one quite nicely. Opening on Friday the 13th kind of adds in to the appeal as well.

The plot picks up right where the first one left off. Patrick Wilson plays Josh, a husband and a father of 3. In the first film, one of his sons was haunted by a demon and Josh had to enter the land of the dead to bring him back. This time it is he who is haunted. Time is running out for his family as the demon possessing him wants to inhabit his body permanently.

What is different this time is how much plot actually exists in this movie. The evil spirit has a fairly rich history that is fully explored making some of the events even more terrifying.

All the usual tricks of a haunted house thriller are here. In fact the first hour of the film was slightly disappointing due to the amount of cliches the filmmakers seemed to be falling back on. I think I have had my fill of seeing characters wander around a house at night investigating strange noises. But the second half of the film really went in to a different direction while ratcheting up the tension dramatically.

I can see this series continuing on like such franchises as “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity”. I hope that is not the case because this film actually rounds out the story of the first film rather well but it is running out of steam. I enjoyed this movie but like most sequels it tries to recreate a few too many things that worked so well in the original.

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