"Insidious" follows the Lambert family, whose son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), possesses the ability to separate from his body and walk in a spirit world called The Further. While in this state, other spirits can possess him. Dalton’s father, Josh (Patrick Wilson), also has this ability, and in the last movie he used it to retrieve his son from The Further. Unfortunately, while Dalton could return to his body, Josh’s was taken over by a bride in black who has haunted him since his childhood. In "Insidious: Chapter 2," the family uses the help of some ghost hunters to research the ghost of the bride in black, travel through The Further and retrieve Josh’s spirit after destroying the mother of the ghost that possessed Josh.
The tone of the movie was much more cheesy and sensational than the first. I missed the dark nuances that pervaded "Insidious," where the overall mood turned silly things, like Tiny Tim’s loopy singing or a mannequin’s deranged smile, into psychotic nightmares. I had trouble not laughing at parts in "Insidious: Chapter 2" because the fast pace didn’t make room for any real tension or darkness to develop. The scares—mostly pop-ups—seemed forced and out of place.
Still, Insidious: Chapter 2 is its own movie, and I did enjoy it. Direct communication with the ghosts gave the movie a cheaper feel, but it helped explain a lot of the backstory and history of the characters. Also, time travel within The Further helped add some witty connections with the first film. The simultaneous plot lines made the movie feel like an action flick or thriller. They were a refreshing turn from the darkness seen in director James Wan’s other works, such as "Saw" or "The Conjuring."
"Insidious: Chapter 2" offered a fast-paced ride through a world that was left a mystery at the conclusion of the first movie. As a straight-up horror movie it was a little light and cheesy, but as a sequel it was immensely satisfying and helped tie up a lot of loose ends.
And for those who missed the demonic, red-faced dude from the first film, the ending made pretty clear we’ll see him again in the third installment.