With the arrival of Insidious Chapter 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray, we’ve got a case of the home video release actually being better than the film itself when it landed in theaters. In our theatrical Insidious Chapter 2 review, we found some thrills in the film, but felt it lacked the punch that the first film delivered. With the fascinating and harrowing bonus features on the Insidious Chapter 2 DVD and Blu-Ray, the overall quality of the film is much higher.
As teased in the Insidious Chapter 2 trailer, what haunted the Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne family in the first film is clearly not done with them. And as the second chapter shows, the terror has more to do with Wilson’s character’s past than anything else. They may have survived the horror in Chapter 1, but in Chapter 2 things get amped up a bit. The thing that bothered us about the second film is that what made the first film so horrifying is how so much of the scares were left as unanswered questions.
The crux of the second film, unfortunately, is to answer those questions. Movie Fanatic believes audiences would have been better served to perhaps answer a few of those questions, but to in fact add more mysteries to the equation.
We also know that director James Wan (now working on Fast and Furious 7) and writer Leigh Whannell see this story as one that will continue, but clearly the haunts will go someplace completely different in the third chapter, given all the answers provided in Chapter 2.
The bonus features on the Insidious Chapter 2 DVD and Blu-Ray are sure to thrill fans of the series, as well as horror fans in general. Leading the way is Insidious: Spectral Sightings 3-Part Webisodes which follow Specs and Tucker in their early days of supernatural sleuthing. They find an unexpected ally in their early days as paranormal investigators. The Specs and Tucker storyline is our favorite part of Insidious Chapter 2, and to have an entire series of shorts devoted to them and their initial efforts as paranormal investigators is an utter and joyous (and scary!) treat.
Three other featurettes are quite compelling as well. Haunted Hospital: On Location takes viewers inside the chilling locale where much of the film was shot. The cast and crew talk about the experience of working in a legendary haunted landscape. Movie Fanatic has toured the facility and has to admit, this featurette gets it spot-on. It is not a location that should be scoffed at.
Given that the Insidious world is a product of the wicked mind of writer Whanell, the Leigh Whannell’s Insidious Journal featurette is a killer look at the making of the film through the eyes of its creator. And lastly, the Work in Progress: On Set Q&A adds the cast’s take to the filmmaking process of making Insidious Chapter 2, and hearing the insight of Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson, Jason Blum (producer), Wan and Whannell is even more compelling.
The last bonus feature that truly caught our attention is Ghostly Transformation. Ever wonder how actors become ghosts in paranormal films such as Insidious Chapter 2? This feature shows how, through make-up effects and the talents of the thespians themselves, everyday people can turn downright ghoulish.