The film debuts auspiciously enough today, which just happens to be Friday the 13th. But moviegoers might be in for a letdown.
Part of the problem is the powerful impact the original film had. Wilson and Byrne play Josh and Renai Lambert, who have recently moved into a new home with their three children. Son Dalton inexplicably becomes a conduit for ghosts emerging from an “astral dimension.”
During these episodes, Dalton is comatose, which allows spirits and demons to use him to travel from their netherworld, known as “The Further,” to a conscious state in the present.
In the sequel, the Lamberts are back in yet another new house. All is seemingly well after Josh traveled to The Further in the first picture and rescued Dalton. But now he’s showing signs of possession. But the movie fails because, by now, the plot is all too predictable, according to critics.
The biggest twist in the first movie was the fact that Dalton was haunted and not the house, leading to the line “It’s not the house. It’s Josh,” in the second movie. But fans of “Insidious” already know that.
After “Insidious made $100 million on a $1.5 million production budget, a sequel was all but guaranteed. Wan returned to direct with screenwriter Leigh Whannell, who wrote the first movie.
“A mess from start to finish, though, judging by the ending, this story won’t be over any time soon,” wrote Jeannette Catsoulis in The New York Times. “Insidious: Chapter 2 is the kind of lazy, halfhearted product that gives scary movies a bad name.”
“The problem is, Wan is reaching into the same old grab bag of shock scares, creaky-door sound effects, and ominous baby monitor voices he used in the far better original ‘Insidious,'” adds Entertainment Weekly critic Chris Nashawaty.
Wan himself noted in an interview that “the first movie plays like a classic haunted house film; the second one plays more like a domestic thriller with supernatural elements to it.”
That explains as well as anything why “Insidious 2” is getting a weak reception. It’s really a different film. So far, it’s received a rotten 40 percent rating on rottentomatoes, which tracks movie reviews. On the flip side, 75 percent of those who saw it, liked it.
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