Insidious: Chapter 2

CommonSense Star Rating

Common Sense Media | Jeffrey M. Anderson

Common Sense Media Says

Horror Sequel Brings More Of The Same Creepy Scares.

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Quality:CommonSense Star Rating

Theatrical Release Date:   September 13, 2013

Studio:   FilmDistrict

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

Cast:   Barbara Hershey,Patrick Wilson,Rose Byrne

Genre:   Horror

Run Time:   105

Director:   James Wan

What Parents need to know

Parents need to know that Insidious: Chapter 2 is the sequel to 2011's terrifying horror hit Insidious, featuring many of the same characters in similar situations. Like the original, there's little or no gore, sex, or language (a couple of uses of "s--t," plus "goddamn," "hell," etc.), but you can definitely expect a lot of very scary, disturbing, and shocking imagery, as well as some fighting (characters bash each other with household objects). The main young boy isn't separated from his parents in this film, but he is shown to be in danger. Bottom line? If you're not a veteran horror fan, this is the stuff nightmares are made of.

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What's the story?

When Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) returned from the Further -- the spooky world of the dead -- with his missing son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), at the end of Insidious, it seemed like everything was going to be all right. Think again. The medium, Elise (Lin Shaye), is dead, and Josh is a suspect. Josh's wife, Renai (Rose Byrne), starts hearing and seeing scary things again, and even Josh doesn't seem quite right. Meanwhile, Josh's mom, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), contacts Elise's assistants, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), for help, which leads to an incident from her past. Will the family survive another trip to the Further?

Is it any good?CommonSense Star Rating

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 simply presents more of the same stuff we saw in Insidious, and it no longer feels quite so fresh. The "Further," a great idea in the previous movie, is no longer an unknown entity, the characters aren't explored any more deeply, and even the ghosts have no new tricks.   But just because it's not as good as the original doesn't make this sequel a bad movie. Director James Wan continues to develop his touch for truly scary horror. Unlike many of today's camera-shakers, Wan uses smooth, three-dimensional space and offscreen sound to generate his scares. His camera moves freely through houses and buildings, using natural obstacles like walls and doorways to generate prickly suspense. Like his film The Conjuring, it's also refreshingly free of gore, profanity, and sex. The weird, atonal score by Joseph Bishara adds another nightmarish layer. The bottom line is that it's still quite scary.

Explore, discuss, enjoy

  • Families can talk about Insidious: Chapter 2's violence. How much blood and gore is shown? Do you need that stuff to make a "horror" movie?
  • Is the movie scary? How does it compare to other scary movies you've seen?
  • What's the general appeal of horror movies? How is this ghost story different from a movie about, say, a serial killer?
  • How does Insidious: Chapter 2 compare to the original Insidious?
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