"If there's one thing to be said of this franchise, is that it's highly ambitious..."

In most cases – particularly where horror movies are concerned – you can't quite see any justification for sequels, often feeling contrived and superfluous in the grand scheme of things. However in director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell's defence, the first Insidious ended on such an ambiguous note, that a second offering has been welcomed. That said, Insidious: Chapter 2 lacks any real innovation or originality, feeling a little too much like the first.

The Lambert family – who were completely traumatised and terrified following the dark spirits that haunted them, have decided to escape and move house, as parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) decide to move in with the former's mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), taking their unsuspecting children with them. However, as Josh went into the supernatural world named as 'The Further' to reclaim the lost soul of his son, it seems that the man who returned isn't quite the same as as the one who had left, as evil spirits have embodied this man, linking the poor family to this dangerous world once again. However they're without the help of Elise (Lin Shaye), who was on hand to save their lives last time around.

Much like the first, Insidious: Chapter 2 is terribly unsubtle, leaving so little to the imagination. Horror is at its best when you don't see everything, when you're left to your own devices – yet Wan disregards this notion altogether, in turn for a film that shows you far more than you need to see. However terror certainly derives from the impressive sound design, even if it is forcefully scary, manipulating the audience somewhat. It's so loud and obtrusive that it makes you feel petrified even if nothing has happened yet. Almost like it's cheating.

There is some distinct ingenuity on show however, with an effective aspect coming in how the character of Josh is possessed, while his real self is lost in 'The Further'. In the first picture we rely on his assurance and are comforted by the fact he's on hand to combat the villainous spirits. However this time around he effectively is the villain, so we lose that safety net, leaving the Lambert family completely vulnerable and unguarded, as they are being unknowingly infiltrated from within. The way the two films tie together is intelligent too, and they are connected heavily, as we see scenes from the first movie recreated entirely from an alternative perspective. Though providing clarity on what came before, it would make watching the first one back a rather less scary experience.

To be fair, his sequel isn't particularly scary either, but instead carries an intricate and intriguing narrative. In other words, it's the complete opposite to most horror movies these days. The story does get over complicated – and rather inane – in parts, growing increasingly ridiculous as we approach the latter stages. However credit must go to Wan and Whannell nonetheless, because if there's one thing to be said of this franchise, is that it's highly ambitious - and whether you like it not, there's bound to be a third.