”The Conjuring” was in the making a little early for us to assume this film was greenlit on the back of it’s success, but it certainly was on the back of the success of the original ”Insidious”.
A sequel wasn’t originally planned, but it very much looks on screen like the whole franchise was conceived from the get go as one long saga – the film starts the instant the last one finished, with Josh (Patrick Wilson) coming back from The Further after rescuing son Dalton.
Everything seems well as the Lamberts move to a new house and try to put the horrors of The Further behind them, until strange noises through the baby monitor and a kid’s toy that moves by itself prompt the inevitable and horrible realisation that they’ve been followed. Worse still, it might not have been Josh that came back out.
Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) are called back in, along with a paranormal researcher colleague from Elise’s younger days, and Josh’s pallor turns chalkier as it becomes more obvious he’s still stuck in The Further, and the monster stalking the family has come back in his place.
It means going back in (courtesy of an old, departed friend to guide them) and finding out the true identity of the thing that wants to comes back to the real world and hates the Lamberts so much.
I saw ”Insidious Chapter 2” at a cinema and didn’t find it as scary as the original was on DVD, so hardcore fright-hounds might be disappointed. It was also played more for laughs because of the expanded roles of the bickering ghost hunters Specs and Tucker.
But it referenced, called back and stitched itself to the first film so perfectly and seamlessly it looks like the pair were shot back to back from one long, single script. Genre aside, it continues and wraps up a very complete story – no wonder Whannell called it the ”Back to the Future II” of horror movies.