ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Insidious Chapter 2(2013)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: James Wan

Starring:
Patrick Wilson/Josh
Rose Byrne/Renai
Barbara Hershey/Lorraine
Angus Sampson/Tucker
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
After the events of the first film, the Lambert family is still being bullied by pesky spirits. But this time it’s not their son that’s haunted, it’s their DAD! Tum, tum, tum! HERE’S JOSH!
THE LOWDOWN
All right. This is going to be a tough one as I’m not sure 100% how I feel about INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 just yet. It's one of those! Kind of challenging to write down one’s thoughts when you still have question marks floating in your noggin as to where you stand, but hey this has to go up 2 hours ago, so here we go anyway, I’ll figure it out as I type along. Pepsi Max cracked open… DO THIS!

Before INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2, I’ve pretty much loved all of director James Wan’s films, yes even the criminally underrated DEATH SENTENCE and the obviously Studio interference filled DEAD SILENCE. This year Wan outdid himself and graduated to Master Horror Director status IMO with THE CONJURING, his best and more mature effort to date and one of my favorite horror movies of 2013 thus far. On that, I had a bad feeling about INSIDIOUS 2 from the get-go; I am not sure why (maybe it was the ho-hum trailers), I just did. And now that I’ve seen the thing, I think my initial gut feeling was right. Bummer.

On the sharp end of the knife; the cast that I loved so much in the first film was back and having a party with it all. Rose Byrne’s “fear face” has to be one of the best ones in the biz at this point. It acted as a hefty punctuation mark to many of the scare bits here. She so sold them! She was also fantastic with the emotional stuff. You go girl! Patrick Wilson got more to chew on this time around and even got to get his “Jack Torrance” on! A very entertaining and menacing, if not slightly over the top, show! On her end, Barbara "I will always love you due to The Entity" Hershey held her own and had more to play with on this second round (Was it me, or was she the lead in this one?). And any amount of Lin Shaye is always a treat! So yes, it was swell to see the lass kick it once more here, even if oh so briefly. She always classes up the joint!

Finally; Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson stole the show with their comedic antics as the bumbling ghost hunters Specs and Tucker. The chemistry was “on” with these two cats and they made me giggle like an Emo sniffing Drano. No small feat! A note on the duo if I may (like you have a choice). In the first film, I wasn’t crazy about the comedy this "Laurel and Hardy" for horror pair brought in being that it lessened the fear-grip the picture had on my big bull-dog balls (that note is mostly for the first cut of the movie I saw at a Festival, as they toned it down for the theatrical cut). But being that this sequel was much lighter in tone and far from as intense as the original, the yuck-yucks were welcomed with zipped down zipper and were one of the main sources of my enjoyment! 

I also esteemed how this sequel went back to the original to tie up/or expand upon some of the shenanigans that had went down (you bet rocker evil dude played by the great J. LaRose popped up again) and the movie did get me at least twice with a couple of well placed fear jabs. That tin-can phone bit was a perfect example of Wan at his best! All about them slow push-ins into darkness. I needed more scenes like that! The pace was fairly even throughout as well (the last act in particular flew by), Wan showcased a handful of fly shots (I actually jolted down notes in terms of some of his shots for my own benefit, I'm that guy! ) and Curse of Chucky alumni Danielle Bisutti was simply stellar as the new villain-ess in the mix. She be angry!

Which brings me to my peeves...

The story was a bit too all over the place for my liking (still trying to wrap my one brain cell around the time-travel angle they went with) and the whole didn’t flow as smoothly or tightly as the original. The first block somewhat came off like it was killing time, stringing a series of semi-creepy set pieces together and the second block was basically all about peeps wandering around. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was engaged throughout, but there wasn’t enough steak for me to BBQ on for the first hour or so. Then we had the visuals/camera work which were more restrained than in Wan’s past efforts. Dead Silence, Insidious and The Conjuring blew my mind in terms of greasing my retinas oh so right! I just didn’t feel that as much here and being the style whore that I am, I was let down. Moreover, the tone was much lighter than the original, hence the ride was less intense. Although I applaud the boldness it took to go the more “out there” and “humorous” way, it wasn’t what I was craving from this movie. Think picking up a hot chick at club and then finding out she's a Tranny! Nough said!

So there you have it! My simpleton thoughts, for what they are worth i.e. not much. The bottom line for me is simple: I know that I will re-watch INSIDIOUS down the road, it’s the kind of movie that I will go back to, hey maybe I’ll tap it this Halloween! But I doubt I’ll ever watch INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 again. I do have a feeling this sequel will polarize people though and that it will prompt some solid horror convos. So go see it in theaters this weekend, find out for yourself and spit your own drivel about it below! Happy Friday the 13th!

GORE
We get some macabre imagery and some rotten cadavers. Bloodshed was not this one’s game.
T & A
Nada hermanos! NADA!
BOTTOM LINE
What POLTERGEIST 2 was to POLTERGEIST, INSIDIOUS 2 was to INSIDIOUS! Yup, POLTERGEIST 2 kept popping in my head as I clocked this one. Both sequels brought back beloved characters from the original, slapped them in a wilder yet less frightening story and threaded more on the fantasy path then the horror rocky road. On that, the flick moved at an even pace, had groovy performances (Wilson was hungry for scenery!), it slyly tied its game up with the original, had a couple of intense bits and doubled down on the laughs (When can we expect the Specs and Tucker spin-off?). Alas the story was too light and all over the place for my personal affinities, the bulk of it all wasn’t very scary and the visuals/camera work not as kinetic as I had hoped. So yup, a semi let down for me. What did ya think? PEACE!
BULL'S EYE
Where the f*ck was the darth maul ghost from the first film? I missed that crazy, eccentric bastard!

It seems Wan's done with horror! And I quote: "I’m going to go on record and say I am finished with the horror genre. “Conjuring” and “Insidious 2″ are my two last scary movie… I spent the last ten years of my life doing this. It’s time for a change, for goodness sake!" Bummer, we'll miss ya pal! Godspeed sir!
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