Friday, September 13, 2013

Movie Review: Insidious Chapter 2

I had the good sense to go to a double feature of the both movies back-to-back.  This helped keep the story coherent when there were references to things that happened in the previous movie.  The story is somewhat stretched in this sequel, unravelling as the movie went on.  The performances from the cast were quite decent, but the movie never drew you in as the first one did.

If you haven’t seen the first Insidious movie, you need to stop reading this review.  If you have, then you know that main character Josh, played by Patrick Wilson, went into a place in his mind to find his son before he was taken by a demon in the first movie.  Josh didn’t quite make it back to his own body and that is where the second movie starts off.  The story then devolves into Josh’s past and his astral presence as the two try to get him back in his body.

Unlike the first movie, the mild scares are watered down by the somewhat convoluted plot.  At times, the story jumps from the past, to the present to what happened in the first movie, jumping at intervals that can be confusing.  Wilson tries to play both Josh and the ghost possessing him to a very convincing end.  Rose Byrne as the wife is little more than a shrieking woman, not a great use for such a talented actress.  The kids were kids and less of them in horror movies would be nice.

The double-feature helped set the stage, but this movie pales in comparison to the original and is hardly worth the full-price evening fare.  I won’t say pass on it, but paying more than $10 for it is too much.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Movie Review: You’re Next

Survival horror movies have a certain look and feel to them from the very beginning.  In this movie, a family meets up for their parent’s 35th anniversary dinner.  What happens turns the table on the happy family reunion with one well-aimed, well-timed arrow.  The story starts off following a couple who are being hunted by unknown assailants.  The scene turns to an older couple coming to an empty, old house, getting it ready for the kids that would be arriving that night and the following morning.

The celebratory dinner starts off with a few awkward introductions and the family quickly rekindles the feud between two of the three sons.  The argument is cut short when the only daughter’s boyfriend is shot in the forehead with an arrow.  After that, the survival instinct of only one member of the dinner kicks in and she engages the people attacking them, doing her best to keep everyone alive.

The gore is quite extensive in this movie, not to the level of some movies, but enough to make you look away at regular intervals.  What makes this movie somewhat memorable is that there is a real story under the mayhem.  In the footsteps of movies like The Purge, the modern horror movie is now combined with gore and story, to give you something to be engaged in besides being grossed out.  I can’t say it was an amazing movie, but it kept me guessing for a bit and when the reveal happened, how the movie ended was still surprising.  For $6, it was well worth seeing.