Insidious: Chapter 2

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Insidious: Chapter 2
Insidious – Chapter 2 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by
Screenplay by Leigh Whannell
Story by
  • James Wan
  • Leigh Whannell
Music by Joseph Bishara
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Edited by Kirk Morri
Distributed by
Release dates
  • September 13, 2013 (2013-09-13)[1]
Running time
105 minutes[2]
  • United States
Language English
Budget $5 million[3]
Box office $161.9 million[3]

Insidious: Chapter 2 is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. It is a sequel to 2010's Insidious and the second installment in the Insidious film series. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reprising their roles as Josh and Renai Lambert, a husband and wife who seek to uncover the secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. The film was released on September 13, 2013. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was a massive box-office success, grossing over $161 million worldwide against a budget of $5 million.


In 1986, Carl calls his friend Elise Ranier to help discover what is haunting Lorraine Lambert's son, Josh. After hypnotizing Josh, Elise attempts to find the location of Josh's "friend", an old woman who appears in photographs of him. After warnings from Josh, she makes her way to his bedroom closet and is scratched on the arm. As a result, Lorraine, Carl and Elise agree that making Josh forget his astral projection abilities is the best thing to do.

Twenty-five years later, Josh's wife Renai is under questioning by a police detective about the death of Elise. Unsettled, Renai rejoins her family as they relocate to Lorraine's house, where Renai witnesses strange occurrences. She suspects that Josh is inhabited by the old woman. Josh begins hearing female voices urging him to kill his family in order to stay alive. The next day, Renai sees a woman wearing a white dress sitting in the living room. Following the cries of her baby throughout the house, Renai faces a woman in white and is knocked unconscious. Lorraine visits Elise's colleagues, Specs and Tucker, to seek an explanation behind the strange events.

They call Carl, who attempts to contact Elise using word-dice. Through the dice, they are told to find answers at the "Our Lady of Angels" hospital. Led to the ICU, Lorraine recounts a story of a patient named Parker Crane, who was admitted to the hospital for trying to castrate himself and eventually committed suicide many years ago. In Parker's home, they find a secret room with 15 corpses in it. They also find a black wedding gown and veil as well as newspaper clippings about a killer referred to as "The Bride in Black," who kidnapped and murdered several people while dressed as a woman. It is then revealed that it was not Elise speaking through the dice, but actually Parker's mother. Meanwhile, Josh's body begins to slowly deteriorate.

After Renai recovers, Lorraine insists that she, Renai, and the kids get away from Josh. Carl arrives to drug Josh, while Specs and Tucker monitor from outside the Lambert house. Josh deduces that Carl knows he is possessed by Parker, so Josh attacks Carl and after a struggle Josh begins to choke Carl from behind. Hearing the struggle, Specs and Tucker enter the house to help Carl. Josh manages to fend them off, incapacitating Carl, Specs and Tucker.

Carl awakes as a spirit, where he meets the real Josh and together they go out into The Further to seek Elise. While in The Further Josh and Carl are directed to Josh's former house to where an evil spirit is going after Josh's infant daughter. Josh enters the house and goes into his daughter's room where the evil spirit is approaching his daughter. Josh intervenes and struggles with the spirit but Josh is overpowered. Fortunately for Josh, Elise appears and banishes the spirit from the house. These events correspond with the mysterious incident from the first film in which the front door is repeatedly opened and the alarm sounds; it is Josh's astral self trying to enter the house to help his daughter.

In the real world, Josh - possessed by Parker - ambushes Lorraine and Renai when they return to the house. He attempts to choke Renai but is knocked over the head by Dalton, who had just returned to the house with his brother. Renai and the children escape to the basement. Dalton falls asleep and returns to The Further to rescue his father.

In The Further, the real Josh, Carl and Elise proceed to Parker's house, where they witness his mother, the woman in white, abusing him as a child. Parker's mother had raised him as a girl, calling him Marilyn, for reasons unexplained in the film. She is violently abusive whenever he acts as a boy or refers to himself as Parker, the name his "father gave him." It is further revealed that Parker had killed his female victims at the behest of his mother's spirit who had also told him that killing Josh's family would sustain his new body (because it was rejecting his soul). Josh eventually finds the room filled with standing bodies—assumed to be Parker's victims. Upon finding Parker's mother, the two engage in a fight. Just as Parker is about to kill Dalton's physical body and Parker's mother is about to kill Josh's spirit, Elise saves Josh. After the three escape, they meet Dalton, who assists Carl and Josh to return to the living world. Josh and Dalton wake up as themselves, and their memories of their astral projection abilities are forgotten through a process of hypnosis facilitated by Carl.

Some time later, Specs and Tucker proceed to go to a family whose daughter, Allison, is in an unexplained coma. Unbeknownst to them, Elise enters the home and approaches Allison, though the family's younger daughter Annie notices Elise. She hears a crackling sound (the sound that alerts the Lipstick-Face Demon's presence) and gasps as she sees something in the shadows.




"It’s a direct continuation from the end of the first film, so it’s the same characters, same actors coming back. But where the first movie plays like a classic haunted house film, the second one plays more like a domestic thriller with supernatural elements to it."

—Wan, on the shift in genre[4]

After the financial success of Insidious in April 2011, discussions for a sequel soon followed. With producer Jason Blum insisting on the return of director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell, a treatment script did not arrive until nearly a year later. "As long as there was a chance that James and Leigh were gonna write the second movie and direct the second movie, I didn’t want to do it with someone else," said Blum. "They kept saying they might do it, they might not do it, which was why there’s quite a bit of time between the two movies."[5] On February 2, 2012, it was announced that director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell were in talks to return for the sequel.[6]

While promoting The Conjuring (2013) at New York Comic Con in October 2012, Wan described how he and Whannell were working closely on developing the story and the script for the follow up to Insidious, explaining to, "I think the sequel to Insidious is kind of my reaction to Saw where for my own reason I wasn't as involved in the sequels, and so I felt with Insidious, think it would be good to shepherd it and keep it more in track to the version I had when I made the first film so that it doesn't detour too far."[7]

The film received the title of Insidious: Chapter 2 because it is a direct continuation of the first installment.[8] However, the tone of the film was to be more grounded than in the first film, with Wan citing his work on The Conjuring as an influence to how he and Whannell approached Insidious: Chapter 2.[4] "I pulled things from Insidious that I applied to The Conjuring, and what I learned from The Conjuring I applied to Insidious 2," said Wan. "So for me, I feel like it's a cumulative filmmaking experience that I've gathered over the years."[9]


On November 19, 2012, it was officially announced that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins would reprise their roles from the first film.[10] The following month, it was announced that Barbara Hershey would also be returning.[11] In February 2013, Jocelin Donahue and Lindsay Seim rounded out the cast as younger versions of Hershey and Shaye's characters, respectively.[12][13] It was also confirmed that the film's screenwriter Leigh Whannell and actor Angus Sampson would reprise their roles as Specs and Tucker, respectively. When asked about the return of the two characters, Whannell explained, "There was this hatred that spewed out from fans saying 'I hated those guys! They sucked! They ruined the movie!' so there will probably be a lot of people out there who will be disappointed to hear that the Specs and Tucker characters will be coming back."[14]


Principal photography for Insidious: Chapter 2 began on January 15, 2013 in Los Angeles.[10] Having a slightly higher production budget than its predecessor, the film was captured over the course of 25 shooting days.[15] A bulk of the film was shot at a house in Highland Park, Los Angeles,[8][16] which served as the location of Lorraine Lambert's house. Another location used for filming was the former Linda Vista Community Hospital, which was redressed as a hospital setting and used for the construction of interior sets (including recreations of sets from the first film).[17][18] "I’ve never shot in Linda Vista," said Wan about the location. "It's kind of funny because Leigh and I have always heard so much about it. For research on the first one [Leigh] came here to do a bit of ghost-hunting. And I think a lot of that inspired us when we needed a hospital set."[18]


The musical score to Insidious: Chapter 2 is composed by Joseph Bishara,[19] who previously collaborated with director James Wan on the first installment as well as The Conjuring. "Finding the right range and tone for the feeling is an important part," described Bishara on generating tension through sound. "James is very particular with sting placement along with Kirk, our editor on both Insidious films and Conjuring. Silence can create a listening space, where rather than give you something else to listen to it enables you to hear things."[20]

A soundtrack album for the film was released digitally on September 15 and in physical forms on October 8, 2013 by Void Recordings.[21] Additional songs featured in the film include:[22]



Prior to being officially announced, Sony Pictures Entertainment registered various domain names on November 28, 2011 for Insidious: Chapter 2.[23] On January 30, 2013, the first picture from the set of the film was released via writer Leigh Whannell's Twitter account.[24] Additional behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the film were released the following month.[25] In April 2013, the first promotional poster for the film went on display at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.[26] The first theatrical trailer for the film was screened to a live audience on location at the Linda Vista Community Hospital on June 4, 2013, with an online release the following day.[27] On August 10, 2013, it was announced at the convention Scare L.A by producer Jason Blum and Universal's creative director John Murdy, that a maze attraction entitled "Insidious: Into the Further" will be featured at the 2013 Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.[28]

Theatrical release[edit]

While originally intended to be released on August 30, 2013,[10] Insidious: Chapter 2 was rescheduled for a September 20 release date.[29] The film's release date was later moved again to September 13, 2013,.[1]

On the night prior to its theatrical wide release, the film was shown in select theatres as part of a double feature with the first installment.[30] A red carpet premiere for the film was held in Los Angeles on September 10, 2013.[31]


Box office[edit]

Preliminary reports had the film tracking for a $32–$35 million debut in North America.[32][33] The film earned $1.5 million from its Thursday night showings,[34] and reached a $20 million Friday total, making it the biggest opening day in September box office history.[35] It then went on to be the number one film during its opening weekend, taking $41 million at the box office.[36] The film has since grossed a worldwide total of $161,919,318 against a budget of $5 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Insidious: Chapter 2 has received generally mixed reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes sampled 108 reviews and judged 38% of the reviews to be positive. The site's consensus reads: "Chapter 2 is decidedly short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling."[37] Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 30 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[38]

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film a positive review, stating that "the scares are mostly very scary indeed, and that means the film does its job."[39]

Scott Foundas of Variety praised the "artfully eerie" cinematography work of John R. Leonetti and the "pervasively unsettling atmosphere" constructed by sound designer and editor Joe Dzuban. Foundas further wrote that "where so many sequels seem like mere remakes of their predecessors, with bigger budgets and less imagination, Insidious: Chapter 2 feels like a genuine continuation of characters we enjoyed getting to know the first time around, and wouldn’t at all mind returning to again."

Conversely, Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times commented, "After the pleasurable free fall into old-fashioned nightmare artistry that was last summer's The Conjuring, this busy-yet-dull sequel feels like Wan robotically flexing his manipulation of fright-film signposts, an exercise more silly than sinister."[40]

Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Setting aside the movie’s tediously lame dialogue, self-conscious performances and frequently predictable scares, the narrative’s compulsively shifting chronology intermittently manages to engage, although it does little to obscure the distracting shortcomings of both plot and character development."[41]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 24, 2013.


Main article: Insidious: Chapter 3

On September 16, 2013, a third film in the series was announced with Leigh Whannell signed on to return as writer while Jason Blum and Oren Peli are also set to produce.[42] When asked about returning for another sequel, actor Patrick Wilson went on to say that he "[doesn't] know where else it could go", and that "[Josh Lambert has] been through the wringer, and I think the movie sets it up well at the end [...] And that's great, that's how it should end."[43] Focus Features and Stage 6 Films will release the follow-up on May 29, 2015.[44][45] On March 11, 2014, Screen Rant reports that the third film won't focus on the Lambert family, will focus on a new family and story, won't connect to the last scene in the second film and both Whannell and Sampson will return as ghost hunters Specs and Tucker along with Lin Shaye as Elise.[46] On May 7, 2014, Wan tweeted that Whannell will be directing the third film, which will mark his directorial debut.[47] Stefanie Scott and Dermot Mulroney are set to star in the film.[48][49]


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External links[edit]