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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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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!
Strikeback
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7:19PM on 09/18/2013
Arrow, you hit the nail on the head with this review. If anything, I think your rating was generous. The movie just looked bad. Wan's heart was not in this one. Too bad.
Arrow, you hit the nail on the head with this review. If anything, I think your rating was generous. The movie just looked bad. Wan's heart was not in this one. Too bad.
Your Reply:



10:26AM on 09/15/2013
I'm excited to see INSIDIOUS 2 in a couple of days, I'm only commenting to say that I still love reading your reviews even though they've changed quite a bit since I started reading as a kid back when your SCREAM 3 review was posted. They went from out of 4 to out of 10 and there's no longer specific sections for directing and soundtrack because those are all included in the review anyway. Those are just superficial changes and to me, the reviews haven't declined in quality one bit. I'm
I'm excited to see INSIDIOUS 2 in a couple of days, I'm only commenting to say that I still love reading your reviews even though they've changed quite a bit since I started reading as a kid back when your SCREAM 3 review was posted. They went from out of 4 to out of 10 and there's no longer specific sections for directing and soundtrack because those are all included in the review anyway. Those are just superficial changes and to me, the reviews haven't declined in quality one bit. I'm pretty sure I've read every review since that one back in 2000 and will continue to do so. They're just entertaining to read and they let me know what to expect when I go into the movie, I've never felt as if you were trying to sway our opinions. I just felt like I should say something because I see a lot of complaining lately, but I say you're still doing an amazing job!
Your Reply:



2:54PM on 09/16/2013
Thanks a lot for the support BT, I appreciate it man. If there's one guy that is NOT trying to sway anybody and who knows that his opinion is just that... IT'S ME! :)
Thanks a lot for the support BT, I appreciate it man. If there's one guy that is NOT trying to sway anybody and who knows that his opinion is just that... IT'S ME! :)
8:44AM on 09/15/2013
What's wrong with YUP tough guy? And thanks for re-iterating what I said:
"Go see it in theaters this weekend, find out for yourself!!"
Yup, I'm not making decisions for anybody. Not my jive.

What's wrong with YUP tough guy? And thanks for re-iterating what I said:
"Go see it in theaters this weekend, find out for yourself!!"
Yup, I'm not making decisions for anybody. Not my jive.

Your Reply:



1:06PM on 09/16/2013
I didn't mean to offend anyone. It just seems a bit unprofessional to see "YUP" written in an otherwise descent review based on one man's opinion. No hard feelings I hope. Besides, you're the one with the writing job. I'm sure you earned it on merit alone and not because you know Mr. Joblo or anything like that. As far as "tough guy" goes, I'll take it.
I didn't mean to offend anyone. It just seems a bit unprofessional to see "YUP" written in an otherwise descent review based on one man's opinion. No hard feelings I hope. Besides, you're the one with the writing job. I'm sure you earned it on merit alone and not because you know Mr. Joblo or anything like that. As far as "tough guy" goes, I'll take it.
2:59PM on 09/16/2013
Saying yup is unprofessional but hey, I sometimes compare movies to blow-jobs. So there you have it. I'm not Hollywood Reporter, and I don't even consider myself a professional film critic, this is a fan site, and I'm a fan. I write my opinion on movies my way and it has been working for me for 13 years.

No hard feelings bro! You jabbed me at YUP, I jabbed ya with tough guy, we're even :) Happy you dug the movie more than I did! I loved the first one and wanted to love this one too, but
Saying yup is unprofessional but hey, I sometimes compare movies to blow-jobs. So there you have it. I'm not Hollywood Reporter, and I don't even consider myself a professional film critic, this is a fan site, and I'm a fan. I write my opinion on movies my way and it has been working for me for 13 years.

No hard feelings bro! You jabbed me at YUP, I jabbed ya with tough guy, we're even :) Happy you dug the movie more than I did! I loved the first one and wanted to love this one too, but again, just my opinion, it's worth as much as anybody else's opinion!
6:23PM on 09/16/2013
You do a fine job man. I thoroughly enjoy Arrow In The Head and Joblo. In addition, I cant wait to see your film with Michael Pare...I'm a huge fan and I'm envious that you get to work with him. If you see Mr. Pare again, please tell him that he has a lot of fans in Texas, would love for him to drop by Texas Frightmare Weekend sometime. Eddie Lives! Again, I apologize for coming off like a jerk. Have a great one and keep up the good work.
You do a fine job man. I thoroughly enjoy Arrow In The Head and Joblo. In addition, I cant wait to see your film with Michael Pare...I'm a huge fan and I'm envious that you get to work with him. If you see Mr. Pare again, please tell him that he has a lot of fans in Texas, would love for him to drop by Texas Frightmare Weekend sometime. Eddie Lives! Again, I apologize for coming off like a jerk. Have a great one and keep up the good work.
6:53PM on 09/23/2013
Um. The word 'yup' screams unprofessional for you? Really? Did you even bother reading the rest of the review, or any other reviews on this site? I don't think these reviews are written with a hunger for professional (in that snooty sort of way) presentation. What I love about the reviews on this site is that they are entertaining and they contain valuable insight from critics of the horror genre, a genre that usually gets shit on by mainstream critics. And while they may not match the bar of
Um. The word 'yup' screams unprofessional for you? Really? Did you even bother reading the rest of the review, or any other reviews on this site? I don't think these reviews are written with a hunger for professional (in that snooty sort of way) presentation. What I love about the reviews on this site is that they are entertaining and they contain valuable insight from critics of the horror genre, a genre that usually gets shit on by mainstream critics. And while they may not match the bar of professionalism you expect from film critics, these reviews offer refreshing takes on films that seem to be straight forward in scope, often enabling readers to go into horror flicks with the expectation that they are about to see more than just the latest slasher. Finally, I am befuddled by the keying in on the word 'yup' as an indicator that the reviewer has no clue what he's talking about, or worse no right to express it. Clearly, you fall outside of the demographic this site caters to and your little peacocking moment suggests that you are aware of this and you are simply trying to save face for your awkward internet detour.
8:37AM on 09/15/2013

This movie was great....8 out of 10 minimum

Don't let someone who uses "YUP" make important movie decisions for you. See the film for your self, you wont be disappointed. This film was awesome. I had all but given up on being actually scared at the movies. I thought it was impossible. Sure there are some films out there that are disturbing, but they're not actually scary. Then came Insidious 1 & 2. These films are definitely teeth grinders. I have never been so creeped out in my life. I actually enjoyed Insidious 2 more than I did The
Don't let someone who uses "YUP" make important movie decisions for you. See the film for your self, you wont be disappointed. This film was awesome. I had all but given up on being actually scared at the movies. I thought it was impossible. Sure there are some films out there that are disturbing, but they're not actually scary. Then came Insidious 1 & 2. These films are definitely teeth grinders. I have never been so creeped out in my life. I actually enjoyed Insidious 2 more than I did The Conjuring. I opted to see the 1 & 2 double feature and even though I had already seen part 1 when it hit theatres, I found myself on edge and even startled at times.
Your Reply:



2:27PM on 09/14/2013

On James Wan returning to horror

Actually James Wan said on twitter he'd return in so many words. Reviewer Scott Weinberg asked him.

(@Scottweinberg) - - Dear @creepypuppet, no more haunted house. You've done three. All good or very good. Now do slashers. :o)
(@creepypuppet) -- @scottEweinberg if I ever come back to horror (who am I kidding, of course I will), would love to do all-out an SLASHER or ZOMBiiiiEEEE..!!!

On September 13th!! I remember seeing this because I follow them both so hopefully he'll come
Actually James Wan said on twitter he'd return in so many words. Reviewer Scott Weinberg asked him.

(@Scottweinberg) - - Dear @creepypuppet, no more haunted house. You've done three. All good or very good. Now do slashers. :o)
(@creepypuppet) -- @scottEweinberg if I ever come back to horror (who am I kidding, of course I will), would love to do all-out an SLASHER or ZOMBiiiiEEEE..!!!

On September 13th!! I remember seeing this because I follow them both so hopefully he'll come back!!

On the film I'll probably see it next week since I'll be watching the Saul Alvarez against Floyd Mayweather tonight! But I am really excited to see it as I love everything James Wan has done including like you said Deatyh Sentence which I just bought a few months ago and have LOVED since I first saw it when it was released.
Your Reply:



12:36PM on 09/13/2013
I hate to see so many 5 and 6 out of 10 reviews. I thought the film rocked. Great suspense, loved the tie in to the first film. Wish they would have brought darth maul back as well but you can't always get what you want. I guess I just like how different it was from the original.
I hate to see so many 5 and 6 out of 10 reviews. I thought the film rocked. Great suspense, loved the tie in to the first film. Wish they would have brought darth maul back as well but you can't always get what you want. I guess I just like how different it was from the original.
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