Less nerve-jangling than nerve-nudging, Insidious: Chapter 2 nontheless tweaks horror conventions with verve and surety of craft, taking the sequel into the realm of confrontational thrillers with a supernatural twist.
It is a very bizarre realm, indeed.
James Wan has directed a string of genre movies since Saw in 2004, including 2010’s Insidious, and has clearly learned a thing or two. ‘Chapter 1’ set up a wild premise in which a child falls into a long coma, only for his parents to learn that he has actually traveled through astral projection to a sinister realm referred to as The Further that coexists with the known world.
The main action of the sequel begins immediately after the apparent resolution of that situation. Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) and their three children have temporarily moved into the home of Josh’s departed mother Elise (Lin Shaye). Renai is still shaken to the core by horrific recent events, while Josh and the kids all seem fine. (Maybe a little too fine, if you take my meaning.) Renai’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) still senses sinister forces afoot, however, and she comes for a visit along with Elise’s paranormal investigation partners Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). It quickly becomes apparent that someone — or some thing — has traveled from The Further into the realm of mortal humans, posing a grave danger to the Lambert family.
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The Conjuring opens wide throughout the Metroplex on Friday, September 13.