After the death of the medium Elise (Lin Shaye), Josh (Patrick Wilson) is the suspect of her murder but the evidence is unable to connect him. The Lambert’s are now living in Josh’s mother Lorraine’s (Barbara Hershey) house where supernatural events begin to happen. The piano plays by itself and voices are heard over the baby monitor. The subtle scares build up suspense as the paranormal events start to increase.
In the meantime, ghost hunters Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) try to solve the death of Elise and bring aboard her former assistant Carl (Steve Coulter) who is able to communicate with the other side by using special dice. This leads them to an abandoned hospital (the truly haunted LInda Vista in Boyle Heights) where Lorraine used to work. She has a flashback of a patient she used to treat named Parker Crane.
While Specs, Tucker, Carl and Lorraine look for answers at the hospital, Josh is being terrorized by a spirit inside him telling him that he must kill. The gorgeous Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) is becoming weary of him as he’s turning into a Jack Torrance.
The team at the hospital find a clue in Crane’s file that leads them into researching a supernatural world predicated by murder, childhood identity crisis and an overbearing mother. The subsequent events explain who is possessing Josh and who killed Elise.
Insidious: Chapter 2 is able to weave a story that ties all the events of both films together and comes back full circle with many questions answered. The movie creates a haunting atmosphere by using minimal lighting, spooky locations and realistic paranormal scenarios. The scene near the end where we find out the truth about Parker Crane is able to show a psychosis that explains why he did what he did and why he wants to affect the living. There’s a disturbing scene that is controversial and deals with gender identification and child abuse that wraps everything up nicely and enables everything to make sense, something rare in a lot of horror films.
Being a paranormal investigator and someone who has studied the supernatural I appreciated the overtones of the film and actually found much of it realistic and symbolic. For example the play telephone that Dalton brings into The Further when he travels on the astral plane to try to save his father represents the silver life-cord that connects to the solar plexus when we astral travel or have an out-of-body experience. Also, when Josh (while in The Further) is outside the house and tries to get the attention of his “In real-time” Josh I think that scene represents his inner demon or ego. There were many other correlations and archetypes that I found throughout the movie and a whole post could be done on the psychology of Parker Crane. There were many layers of the film that dealt with quantum physics such as time travel. I also liked the comedic element that that two ghost hunters brought to the story. I actually liked the film better the second time I saw it and look forward to seeing the third. We’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for the movie but we think that James Wan and Leigh Whannell did a great job of bringing this film to life. We suggest that if you didn’t like the film you see it again and look a little deeper.