Friday, October 24, 2014

The MONTH of HORROR - Day 24: Insidious: Chapter 2

In the horror genre, it can be fairly difficult to make an outright bad movie because there are so many degrees of "awfulness", and a lot of the time it can fall into the "so bad it's good" category, or it can be tongue in cheek, cheesy, corny. 'Insidious: Chapter 2' is none of those things, instead it is a full on, aggressively bad flick.

Now, I wasn't a big fan of the first in this ongoing series (the 3rd is on the way!) but at least the original had actual story structure, and a narrative that made some sense. Here? Not so much! That's not even the greatest sin committed either, not by a long shot. The worst thing that a horror movie could ever be accused of is not being scary, and here it almost seems like writer, and co-star Leigh Whannell, actively tried to skirt any sort of tension, dread, and suspense. What good is a scary movie that isn't scary at all? Of course, the blame doesn't entirely fall on Whannell's shoulders, not at all because director James Wan did a very poor job of staging many scenes that I assume were supposed to be frightening but are instead unintentionally funny--'The Conjuring', this is not.

The blame goes all around here though, from the filmmaking, to the acting as well. Patrick Wilson, and Rose Byrne are both very appealing actors but they aren't left with much here, and on several occasions their line delivery is just atrocious. I swear they were more three dimensional characters in the first film, and even though I felt it went off the rails in the last act, I still at least cared about the outcome. Here though? Nope! Rose Byrne just wanders around acting (unconvincingly) terrified, Patrick Wilson is possessed by some ridiculous cross dressing demon (no joke) who irrationally lashes out until the finale where he goes full "Jack Torrance" on his family. There's also this bizarre attempt at humour running throughout, mainly surrounding the duo of paranormal investigators who are constantly bumbling around like a couple of dim witted stooges, and none of it works.

That really does sum up the movie as a whole: none of it works. After all was said and done, and the credits began to roll, I wasn't sure what it really was that I had just watched. I knew it wasn't good but did it add up to anything? I don't think it did. Yeah, no one is possessed any longer by the end, I guess that's something but the way that whole story line is handled is goofy as hell, and the resolution is the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. You may like it though, and that's cool, I guess 'Insidious' just isn't for me, and I can live with that.

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