Logan Qualls | reporter
Audiences flocked to the theaters Friday the 13th expecting a frightening experience from the latest chapter in the “Insidious” series. They were not disappointed.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” delivered a spectacularly spooky cinematic experience.
Beginning in 1986 at the Lambert residence we encounter a concerned Mrs. Lambert (Barbara Hershey, “Insidious,” “Black Swan”) who has called upon the help of a medium, Carl (Steve Coulter, “The Conjuring”) to help with her son Josh (Patrick Wilson, “The Conjuring,” “The A-Team”).
Carl concludes that there is definitely a supernatural presence in the house but lacks the expertise to confront the spirit.
Calling upon the help of his friend Alise (Lin Shaye, “Insidious,” “Snakes on a Plane”), the two decide the best option is to make Josh forget the entire experience as well as his ability to connect with the paranormal.
Twenty-five years later Josh Lambert is struggling to resume a normal life after saving his son from a harrowing encounter with the paranormal.
Trying to put the past behind them proves to be easier said than done as mysterious events begin to occur in the Lamberts’ new residence. Again the family calls upon the help of Carl to investigate the haunting occurrences.
The devil is in the details, especially true for “Insidious: Chapter 2.”
The film, technically seamless, captures the audience’s attention through the seemingly minor details that have a huge impact on the overall production. For a horror film many would expect continual shadows and a pervading sense of dread at all times.
John R. Leonetti, cinematographer, creates an effective performance by finding the balance between light and dark, both literally and figuratively.
This contrast lends power to the already frightening moments throughout the film by controlling the ebb and flow of suspense.
Forgoing the copious amount of blood and gore prevalent in the horror genre, the film masters the use of suspense. As you strain your ears to hear something, anything to stop the growing tension, the slightest sound sends shivers down your spine. The film capitalizes on this scare tactic to great effect.
The film’s score, composed by Joseph Bishara, provides the precise haunting ambiance a horror film needs. The entire soundscape is terrifying by selectively alternating between silence and sound.
From rasping whispers on a baby monitor to the faint twinkling of piano keys, sound plays a major role in fully engrossing the audience in the Lamberts’ plight.
With an ending that leaves audiences hanging, a possible Chapter 3 would not be out of the question.
Regardless, “Insidious: Chapter 2” manages to scare the pants off of viewers while simultaneously creating a believable narrative with characters we actually want to care about.
Director James Wan proves once more that he knows how to make one hell of horror flick.