Yesterday evening I went along to a double screening of Insidious and Insidious 2 at Cineworld, and thank God I did (but why do I even use that phrase? I’m an Atheist). I first watched Insidious two years ago on DVD, and remember getting a little bored, so it was almost like watching a different movie. The first film was genuinely good to watch. It didn’t rely entirely on cheap jumps either. But this is a film by James Wan, who is possibly the biggest and most successful horror filmmaker in Hollywood today, so expectations are high and he does deliver.
Insidious 2 falls victim to the sequel curse. It’s just not as good. Mainly because it is more confusing and I felt like they were trying to do too much considering the first film’s basic premise was so effective. But the strength of this film is balancing a loyalty to its predecessor whilst finding that spark of individuality that makes it watchable. Like Saw I & Saw II, Wan weaves the narratives together and, without spoiling too much, they brilliantly run the two stories adjacent, explaining phenomena that were previously left unexplained from the first movie. It is a clever, intelligently made horror movie, and a definite must.
But let’s not kid ourselves, this film is hugely unlikely to be nominated for any Oscars. The Academy do not warm to horror films easily. But so what? It doesn’t need Oscars to gain credibility, unlike other films that build their awards credentials into the promotional campaign. But personally I think we are overdue an Oscar-nominated horror, and the genre seems to be finding its feet again.