September 24, 2013

"In my line of work things tend to happen when it gets dark."
James Wan is probably one of those directors who is able to deliver real gosebumps into your thick skin and manage to make you sleep under your blanket after (well, not that exaggerating). His ability to conjure low budget into a box-office smasher film is now well-known. His directing technique, as in the spirits' revelation, is impeccable and he's mastered the oldschool-classic horror formula, like the creaking door, swaying chandelier, flickering lights and candles, closet peek-a-boo, squawking radio trasmitter and stuffs. His previous works like Saw, Insidious, and the latest (groundbreaking) The Conjuring were considered bad-ass in the horror cohort. Now, as the expectations rise higher, will he be able to exceed his previous?

Prologue rolls. Then we are back, just hours after the cliffhanging end Insidious has left behind. Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) is being interogated due to the unexpected death of  Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). The polices suspect that her husband, Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) might have something to do with it. But, the polices are not the only one who feels that there's something wrong with Josh; Josh is never Josh after he went back to the astral world to seek for his son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins)'s wandering soul. Meanwhile, even after everything, the haunting still occurs in their house, leaving Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) to seek helps from an old friend, Carl (Steve Coulter) and Elaine's 2-ghostbusters Specks (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). They are trying to contact Elaine's spirit without knowing what is waiting ahead of them ....

There's something I'd like to say first. First : I'm not watching this late. It is true that it was released in Friday the 13th there in the US, but here in Indonesia, it's only been released today, so I'm not a late-watcher slash late-reviewer. Second, I have to inform you that if you haven't watched the first movie, do please watch it before you watch the sequel, because Insidious : Chapter 2 is not like any other horror movies which you can understand fully without watching the previous installments (because the title says for itself, CHAPTER 2). Allright, back to the movie. James Wan once again worked his magic along with screenwriter Leigh Whannell (who also played Specks in both movie), creating a 106 minutes movie filled with jumpscare fest which went in such a high rush; too fast but then quickly faded away. Unlike the first movie, the sequel didn't really build the tension from the bottom; it felt like they were just throwing aghast so fast at us we barely breathed. Evenmore, the first half felt like another world, a completely (new) different storyline, because the 'actual' sequel was only presented 'clearly' at the quarter end. The plot was kinda confusing, with two heavy plot points focusing on The Lamberts and Lorraine with her ghostbusters squad, all with no characters engagement whatsoever. Chapter 2 was shocking all right, but Wan failed on delivering cohesive-ongoing scares; the whole movie felt like a satisfying and well-coated haunted house which didn't stick right after we stepped our feet out of the ride, because we know they were all plastics. Chapter 2 was also provided with a heavy backstory, which unfortunately kinda destructed the whole astral world the first movie has carefully built and it also confused the timeline. Another thing, the jokes thrown by Specks and Tucker didn't really work, because it sort of messing the tension and pace that were already built up. Last but not least, was it just me or this movie felt whole lot cheesier, especially with the more-aggressive ghosts with too much powders on? And that chair-involved climax!

The toppers were definitely getting a lot of portions here. Patrick Wilson still shone his role, maintaning the juggling between Real Josh and Possessed Josh believable. Rose Byrne was a little bit flat and boring, but we couldn't blame her, because her characters caused her to appear so. Barbara Hershey definitely got the portions there, as well as Whannell and Sampson and they were a great (pleasing) distraction. Steve Coulter was a great addition to the cast, making it even broader than before. One thing I dare to provide a single paragraph worth of praising : Joseph Bishara's score! The scores were the sole reason for the keep-rising-oh-god-no tension, keeping the hand-gripping and teeth-clacking pace and the jump-shock moments. HIS SCORES WERE FUCKING SCARY. There. *standing ovation*

Finally said, Insidious : Chapter 2 couldn't exceed its predecessor, but it was a great scare. And there's this cliffhanging end, 95% of which will be resulting a third movie in near years. Recommended for a great clinging scares, but well, it wasn't that scary though.

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