Just how many times can one family come under attack from vengeful ghosts?
September's "Insidious: Chapter 2" returns us to the spirit-plagued Lambert family, who might have survived their first encounter in 2010's surprise horror hit "Insidious," but find something worse has followed them back into the land of the living. The "Saw" writing/directing team of Leigh Whannell and James Wan return to the "kitchen sink" storytelling that made the first film so successful with fans three years ago, and this time out, they're building a franchise around the dark things that reside in The Further, a sort of netherworld that allows the filmmakers to pack in more mythology around things that go "bump" (and worse) in the night.
Set immediately in the aftermath of the first film, "Insidious: Chapter 2" sees parents Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) slowly discovering that their ghost problem might have something to do with a buried secret in Josh's past. If you've seen (and loved) any of the "Saw" films, you'll appreciate the way Whannell and Wan have layered in more backstory into the sequel — but it wasn't all part of some master plan from the start.
Speaking with MTV in L.A., screenwriter Whannell explained that the first film's franchise potential was the furthest thing from their mind, and that each film they make is done somewhat by the seat of their pants. Director Wan has another haunted-house thriller out this week, the based-on-true-events "The Conjuring," and like "Insidious: Chapter 2," that film works as a standalone piece while setting up an opportunity for more stories about ghost-hunting married couple Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga). Plus, the director will be responsible for yet another continuity-heavy series when he takes over the "Fast & Furious" series with its seventh installment.
"Insidious: Chapter 2" opens Friday, September 13.