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Sunday, December 29, 2013

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 (Blu-ray)

It's no secret by now that James Wan knows how to make you scared. He's created some truly frightening films over the last couple of years, my favorite so far being The Conjuring, but Saw having influenced a subgenre I think may be one of my favorites (torture porn, you damn haters). Well Insidious came out, and everyone told me to avoid it because it was a "Poltergeist wannabe". That was a load of horse pucky. Did Insidious Chapter 2 fulfill the promise made by Insidious and by extension, this year's release, The Conjuring? Today we're going to discuss briefly the film itself and the Blu-ray release that should find a happy home in the collection of ghostly horror fans.

Synopsis from Film District:

How deep into the darkness will you go to discover the truth? The terrifying sequel to Insidious, follows the haunted Lambert family as they seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. They must rely on familiar allies to exile the demons that follow them and unearth the secret before the evil continues its deadly rampage. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Barbara Hershey reprise their roles in the film directed by James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring).

Trailer:


For my initial review of Insidious Chapter 2 go HERE. 

Insidious Chapter 2 wasn't better than the first installment. That's just fine. I don't think my expectation level was off base when I saw the sequel announced and knew that it would have some tough shoes to fill. Luckily, Wan brought back a cast that made the original movie terrific, continued a solid story line and fleshed out necessary plot holes and even created an even more nightmarish vision that, from an aesthetic point of view, was even more terrifying than the original. Where it fails? It layers on several different stories and builds a mysterious case around the Further and the inhabitants there of which, while entertaining and intriguing, didn't quite scare me as much as the simplistic concept of the Further. I had to think too much. I appreciate an intelligent horror picture, but when the original movie was intelligent AND scary, I'm afraid that I have to want for more (or less in this case). It's absolutely worth the watch, and may even correct some of the major gripes from the first first picture. For one the paranormal researchers (read that ghost hunters) remove their tongues from their cheeks and play a more intrinsic role in the story. Less out and out slapstick nerd humor. More substance in their performance and less camp.

Now on to the Blu-ray proper. As you might expect, this release looks fantastic and captures all the size and scope that I felt when watching it on the big screen. It may even be a bit creepier in your living room, in your home where the heebie jeebies live and breath. It's a Hi-Def 1080p 2.39:1 presentation with 5.1 DTS-HD sound. The extras really flesh out the picture and provide the viewer with the process of creating the genuine frightening imagery you'll see on screen. The behind the scenes featurette, Peripheral Vision is entertaining and let's you into the minds of Leigh Whannell and James Wan. You really get to know this cast (even though you will be familiar with them from the original movie).

Also included:

Ghostly Transformation - see how the makeup and effects folks created the look of Insidious Chapter 2. One of my favorite segments on the disc.

Haunted Hospital: On Location - as a ghost hunter myself (strictly amateur for kicks in my youth) this was like a trip down memory lane. Traveling into abandon Greystone Mental Hospital and then watching actors and paranormal researchers do the same was absolutely hysterical. A real nostalgic treat.

Leigh Whannell's Insidious Journal - Whennell is a funny guy with a perspective all his own. This is a nice way to meet him and understand the many hats he plays in Insidious Chapter 2.

Work In Progress: On Set Q&A - the whole cast sits down to open up about IC2.

Insidious; Spectral Sightings - 3 Part Webisode - while this wasn't exactly my cut o' tea, if you need some more ghost stories surrounding some of your favorite characters in albeit with different actors, you'll enjoy this.

The best part about Insidious Chapter 2 is that it doesn't skip a beat. It's made by the same filmmakers and cast which means you have a continuity of vision and ultimately yields an experience for fans that want to understand better a movie that has some complex, moving parts.

You can pick up Insidious Chapter 2 NOW.

-Doc Terror

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