Could James Wan be the hardest-working director in horror right now? Less than 2 months after his previous work The Conjuring was released in cinemas here, the filmmaker is back with the scream-fest Insidious: Chapter 2, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Insidious.

With dramatic zooms (both on a dolly and off), immaculate art direction, throwbacks to old horror films in scenes of dreamscape peppered with copious amounts of fog foreboding, as well as detailed occult paraphernalia, the sequel to Insidious did not let fans of the first movie down.


Chapter 2 picks up where its predecessor left off, with the Lambert family evacuating their home after the murder of family friend Elise (Lin Shaye). Dad Josh (Patrick Wilson) is unscathed after entering dreamland to save his older child Dalton (Ty Simpkins) from the clutches of a monster resembling the love child of Aragog (A giant arachnid in Harry Potter) and Darth Maul, but mom Renai (Rose Byrne) is convinced that not all is well with her husband. Meanwhile, Dalton has started having strange dreams again, and his grandmother (Barbara Hershey) seeks the help of a pair of bumbling ghost busters to solve the horrific mystery that threatens the very fabric of her family.

The Lambert Family

Wilson, who plays Josh, the head of the household, deserves every form of commendation for his impeccable performance of his multi-faceted role which required the actor to both understand and not realize the trouble his family is in.

UrbanWire also has our eyes on young actors Simpkins (Dalton) and Andrew Astor (Foster), who play the roles of the Lambert children. In spite of their youth, the duo’s on-screen chemistry shines through with the viewer believing them to be siblings off-screen. Both Simpkins and Astor show versatility in their role as they portray their roles that required much childish innocence with surprising professionalism.

Unlike horror flicks that resort to terrifying its viewers on a superficial level, leaving the plot easily forgettable the moment one leaves the movie theater, Insidious: Chapter 2 showed a screenplay that required the viewer to work his/her brains to process every line that each actor has that ultimately haunts the viewer long after the movie is over.

This, however, is the movie’s Archille’s heel. The plot is heavily reliant on its forerunner, making references that would only have made sense to a viewer who has watched Insidious.

Peppered with moments of awkward comedy at opportune moments, Wan and Leigh Whannell (who plays a minor role in the movie as well) has created a nail-biting sequence bound to have the viewer cowering in his/her seat, dreading yet excited for what is to come.

The perfect marriage of Asian and Western horror, Insidious: Chapter 2 appeals to both audiences by their usage of seemingly everyday, nondescript items as vessels for supernatural beings. Their seamless editing of one’s transport from reality to dreamscape leaves UrbanWire in awe, making the movie all the more thrilling yet terrifying.

In all, the movie can be comparable to the acclaimed Thai horror flick Shutter, as ghosts of the Lambert family’s past haunt you into the night, festering at the corner of your brain, in your dreams.

Here’s the trailer:

Rating: 4/5
Release Date: Oct 3
Runtime: 106 minutes
Language: English
Censorship Rating: PG-13
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: James Wan
Main Actors: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey