Insidious: Chapter 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie boasted a generally positive presentation but not a great one.
For the most part, sharpness seemed good. The image could be a little soft at times, usually due to the combination of digital video cameras and darkness; those were the elements that could seem a bit tentative. Overall clarity remained solid, though, and the image lacked problems like jaggies, shimmering and haloes. No print flaws marred the presentation.
Like virtually all modern horror flicks, Chapter 2 went with a stylized palette. We got a chilly teal most of the time, so don’t expect anything dynamic. These tones suited the movie. Blacks were reasonably dark and dense, and shadows were acceptable; low-light shots could be somewhat murky, though. This wasn’t a great image, but it was acceptable.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, it offered a fairly typical horror movie soundscape. This meant a lot of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”. Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story; the mix didn’t dazzle, but it worked fine.
Audio quality was always good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy. Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. Again, this wasn’t a heavily active track, but it made sense for the story.
In terms of extras, we get a collection of featurettes, Peripheral Vision: Behind the Scenes lasts 15 minutes, 23 seconds and offers comments from director James Wan, writer/actor Leigh Whannell, costume designer Kristin M. Burke, production designer Jennifer Spence, property master Thomas Spence, and actors Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Angus Sampson, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Steve Coulter, and Barbara Hershey. “Vision” looks at story/characters and the expansion of the first film, Wan’s approach to the material, cast and performances, visual design and costumes, sets and props, and some general thoughts. “Vision” acts to promote the film to a degree, but it still covers a good variety of subjects. That allows it to become a quality program.
With Ghostly Transformations, we get a seven-minute, 19-second piece that includes notes from Wan, Whannell, makeup department head Eleanor Sabaduquia, and special makeup effects department head Justin Raleigh. The show examines the makeup techniques used for the ghosts and other affected characters. The participants go over the elements in a satisfying manner.
We focus on the screenwriter/actor in Leigh Whannell’s Insidious Journal. This seven-minute, 44-second program lets us see Whannell as he wanders the set and discusses his experiences. The piece lacks real insight, but it becomes a fun little collection of behind the scenes bits.
During the eight-minute, 51-second Haunted Hospital: On Location, we hear from Wan, Whannell, Sampson, and LA Paranormal Association’s Layla Halfhill and Brian Patrick. We learn about a supposedly haunted location and its use in the film. The emphasis on the paranormal aspects of the set makes this an unusual piece and reasonably interesting.
Work in Progress: On Set Q&A goes for 23 minutes, 30 seconds and features Wan, Whannell, Wilson, Hershey, Byrne, Shaye, and producer Jason Blum. We learn about story/characters, cast and performances, comparisons with the first movie, and a few other thoughts about the production. Given that the chat occurred mid-shoot, no real revelations appear, but we get a mix of decent thoughts about the film; those are enough to make the program worth a look.
Finally, the three-part Spectral Sightings runs 12 minutes, 19 seconds and gives us a short film with the Specs, Elise and Tucker characters. These appeared as a web series and show events prior to the first Insidious. It doesn’t offer anything scintillating, but it’s a fun way to see more of these supporting roles.
The disc opens with ads for Pompeii, Cold Comes the Night, Ice Soldiers, Elysium, Insidious and Last Vegas. These also appear under Previews, but no trailer for Chapter 2 pops up here.
While not a bad horror film, Insidious: Chapter 2 does little to elevate the franchise or genre. It has some good moments but tends to be too scattered and not especially scary. The Blu-ray provides mostly positive picture and audio along with a roster of moderately informative supplements. I suspect fans of the original will like Chapter 2 but it seems unlikely to convert new viewers.