Studios love him because he uses miniscule budgets (by Hollywood standards anyway), and audiences love him because he’s a masterful craftsman of horror. Just a few months ago he gave us “The Conjuring,” which was made for just $20 million and has so far reached $135 million at the box office.
But with “Insidious: Chapter 2,” the sequel to his 2010 low-budget surprise hit “Insidious,” it only took him $5 million to make this film, and it opened to more than $40 million this past weekend.
It would be something totally different if the movie wasn’t as good as the first, but it literally is a second chapter that takes place directly after the events of the first and is really good.
Even though it basically plays out exactly like the first one, that’s not a bad thing. And watching it in a crowded theater is a must. The screams are way more fun, and the jumps, followed by the embarrassing giggles, of the audience, or perhaps your loved by your side, are quite hilarious.
Wan has created a brand of his own liking. You can now tell a Wan film by just watching his trailers. But again, that’s not a bad thing. He’s a skilled director who loves finding new ways to creep you out on screen, and “Insidious: Chapter 2” is chock full of the creepiest scenes ever.
It’s hard to go into the details without giving away plot points, but I will say that the cast is once again top-notch and play the horror and comedy as straight as possible, which makes the movie work. It’s not a comedy/horror film, but there are funny bits scattered sporadically, possibly to let the audience relax after all the dramatic tension and scares interlaced throughout the film.
There was one thing that seemed to stick out in this film though. The script. Actor/writer Leigh Whannell did one heck of a job placing clever bits in the original “Insidious” that he neatly ties up in this one and makes you actually want to go back and see the first one.
Whannell has written most of Wan’s films, but this one seems to have him at his stride and having the most fun.
Overall, the film has a ton of scares, is cleverly written and, most of all, fun. The film completely delivers on all fronts and, on second thought, may actually be better than the original.
Wan won’t return for “Insidious: Chapter 3” as he’s finally moved up to bigger and more expensive franchise vehicles (he’s directing “Fast & Furious 7” at the moment). Hopefully, they’ll find a good successor to carry on what Wan and company have built so far.
“Insidious: Chapter 2” is playing at Rio 6 Cinemas, 806 E. Houston St. in Beeville.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.