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Face-Off: Insidious Chapter 2 Vs. Insidious Chapter 3

06.10.2015by: Mike Catalano
The conversation was quite vibrant in regard to our last start of summertime Face-Off which had Prom Night edging out I Know What You Did Last Summer. Some agreed that Jamie Lee's old school slasher had the style and scares to achieve victory, while some defended the evident fun to be found in Last Summer (despite it's crappy third act). All responses were much appreciated!

For today's Face-Off, we are taking a trip to The Further with the recent release of Insidious Chapter 3 currently haunting multiplexes. Again, thanks to my man, Eric W., I am able to provide you with a very timely battle involving a film that has just been released. Hence, if you haven't seen Chapter 3 yet, you may want to beware of some slight spoilers below! So, do yourself a favor and make sure you check out the flick because for a third entry in a series, it is pretty darn good! Okay, enough waiting. It's time for Insidious Chapter 2 to take on Chapter 3!

Family
The Lamberts went through Hell in the first chapter, nearly losing their son. Now, some of that Hell from the Further caught a ride into the real world. Patrick Wilson is the real standout here as the dad battling to get back his very soul. The beautiful and talented Rose Byrne is a perfect match as the worrisome mom. And the two boys playing their sons are definitely not a couple of annoyingly flat kid actors.
The always cool Dermot Mulroney thankfully delivers a solid performance as a widowed father doing his best to raise his daughter and son. Dude brought real emotion and some humor to his role. Young newcomer Stefanie Scott also gave a standout performance, nicely expressing both grief and fear on powerful levels. The kid who played the youngest son was just alright, but thankfully disappeared for long stretches of the movie.
Scares
Despite people's opinions that some of Chapter 2 was a bit on the unintentionally funny side, I still say that it packed a few fine frights. The opening flashback to young Josh Lambert's haunting provides some appropriately tense moments. We also get a few good jolts involving that evil bride in black and all her actions. Lastly, I thought Karl and his "prediction dice" were utilized to a nicely jumpy extent.
Surprisingly, Mr. Whannell keeps the scares fresh and flowing, despite this being the third entry in the series. The frights don't happen so much in the Further as opposed to the real world, which definitely amps up the tension. There are some wonderfully creepy shots that have ghosts suddenly, silently appearing in the background as well as some nicely orchestrated and unexpected jump scares.
Humor
The bumbling ways of Specs and Tucker add some nice light touches to balance out the darkness. It's definitely a trip watching them immediately turn yellow whenever a ghost shows a sign of its presence. The "Hunter, Ninja, Bear" bit was some inspired humor. Their ineptitude and poor plan for taking down the possessed Josh also earned a couple of big laughs.
Initially, we have young star Stefanie Scott's friend providing some nice chuckles to get us all acquainted with the new storyline. Then after a stretch of scares, Specs and Tucker make their debut appearance as a couple of phony ghost hunters and mine some big doses of laughs from their trademark trepidations and bickering. Their apparel alone is pretty damn hilarious. I won't spoil it.
Elise Rainier
We are treated to two versions of Ms. Elise Rainier in Chapter 2. First, we see her younger incarceration as a kind medium looking to help a young Josh. Even here, played by a different actress, she is just such a likable presence. Then, we get to genre legend, Lin Shaye, playing the afterlife version of Elise taking care of business in the Further. A welcome return.
I'd wager to say that Chapter 3 is definitely Elise's film. We get to delve deeper into her back story and get nicely acquainted with an already-esteemed character. It is an outright pleasure watching Lin Shaye take over this franchise, showcasing a full spectrum of emotions. She also absolutely kicks ass and had the audience I saw it with cheering!
Main Ghost
The Bride in Black made her first appearance in the first chapter, but didn't really become the main baddie until, I suppose, the end. Here in chapter 2, she is front and center with her creepy freakin grin and pale face. However, there is a twist in her origin that is pretty f*cked up. Once we know who (s)he really is, some of the scary steam is sucked away, but it still makes for quite the compelling villain.
The evil Man Who Can't Breathe has a very eerie, quiet vibe about him. He's got this plastic breathing mask over half of his face, which really adds to his overall scary demeanor. His dark, burnt-up features resemble the Sloth guy from Se7en (turns out the same dude plays both!). He's pretty skinny, but knows how to pop out from unexpected angles that can really freak you out.
Insidious Chapter 3
Well, it would appear that the third time is the charm in terms of these two chapters! Both flicks are definitely nice horror entertainment and it makes sense that a lot of the categories were close. I know that some were disappointed with Chapter 2, but I still thought it worked. I suppose that Chapter 3 may work just a little better as its own entity with some nice nods to the already established series. But enough on mine opinions. It's time for YOU to take this debate further. So, spit them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com

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