James Wan has become one of horror’s most established directors. From creating one of the most controversial sub-genres, with his directorial debut, Saw, to crafting a terrific and terrifying movie once already this year, Wan has solidified his reputation as a master of not only fear, but suspense as well.
Sadly, however, his newest film, Insidious Ch. 2, does little to lead a viewer to believe Wan is as good a director as his other films, The Conjuring especially, would suggest. Hampered by an inconsistent tone, an uneven pace and a few small, but irritating, mistakes, Insidious Ch. 2, is a film with some fine moments that are ultimately ruined by an atrocious script.
The problems with the film’s writing start at the beginning when we are given a rough introduction that never allows suspense to build, in the beginning, due to what feels like a time restraint placed on the movie. Even during Wan’s best moments behind the camera you don’t feel truly frightened due to how rushed he seems to be. Once it moves past this initial act, the pacing does improve quite a bit.
Unfortunately the movie only develops new problems as frequent jokes ruin most of the more suspenseful moments. What makes a film truly scary is the anticipation that grows as you wait for something to happen. In Insidious Ch. 2, however, poorly timed humor prevent most of the best scenes from every creating a real sense of fear for the audience.
Like I said before, however, the film does have some impressive moments. Unlike the first film, the movie improves as it advances and while the merit of the ending may be debated, it’s still an improvement over the beginning of the film. Insidious Ch. 2 is a movie that would have simply benefitted from a script rewrite and being released prior to James Wan’s previous film but if you’re looking for a way to kill some time at the movies, you could make a worse choice. It’s a scary movie that will satisfy the casual movie goer but no one else.