Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 2 is a So-So Frightfest

Plus, The Family favors brutal violence over satirical wit.

by | September 12, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a bedeviled family (Insidious: Chapter 2, starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) and some witnesses who need little protection (The Family, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer). What do the critics have to say?

Insidious: Chapter 2


With Insidious and The Conjuring, director James Wan has moved away from his blood-soaked Saw roots toward a more atmospheric brand of horror. However, critics say Insidious: Chapter 2 is something of a step back; despite strong performances and a few effective scares, it’s decidedly short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling. This time out, the Lamberts have moved to a new residence but continue to be haunted by a malevolent spirit. Could it be that it’s one of the family members, not the house, that’s possessed? The pundits say Insidious: Chapter 2 is better crafted and performed than your typical frightfest, but it’s too reliant on jump scares and backstory to fully captivate. (Read our interview with star Patrick Wilson here.)

The Family


With its distinguished cast and high concept premise, The Family looks like a can’t-miss proposition on paper. Unfortunately, critics say this fish-out-of-water action/comedy suffers from jarring tonal shifts and an overabundance of gratuitous violence. Robert De Niro stars as a mob snitch who’s been placed in the witness protection program. But when he and his family relocate to a village in France, they don’t keep a particularly low profile, and soon the mob is on their trail. The pundits say The Family boasts solid performances, but the actors can only do so much with a script that favors brutal violence over satirical wit. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down De Niro’s best-reviewed movies, and be sure to watch our video interviews with the cast.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Mother Of George, starring Danai Jekesai Gurira and Isaach De Bankolé in an impressionistic drama about a recently married woman who is under pressure to have a child, is at 100 percent.
  • Sample This, a documentary that recounts the strange history of the Incredible Bongo Band’s version of “Apache,” is at 100 percent.
  • The Saudi Arabian import Wadjda, a drama about a young suburban girl who tries to scrape together the money to buy a bicycle, is at 97 percent.
  • Blue Caprice, starring Isaiah Washington in a psychological thriller from the perspective of the perpetrators of the Beltway sniper attacks, is at 96 percent.
  • Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, a documentary portrait of the celebrated character actor, is at 93 percent.
  • Informant, a documentary about a far-left activist who became an FBI informer, is at 92 percent.
  • Mademoiselle C, , a behind-the-scenes look at fashion journalist Carine Roitfeld’s attempt to start a new magazine, is at 71 percent.
  • And While We Were Here, starring Kate Bosworth in a romantic drama about a lonely woman who meets a younger man while accompanying her husband on a trip to Naples, is at 58 percent.
  • GMO OMG, a doc that takes a skeptical view of genetically modified crops, is at 43 percent.
  • Jayne Mansfield’s Car, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall in a culture clash comedy about two different families that gather for a funeral, is at 35 percent (check out Thornton’s Five Favorite Films here).

Tag Cloud

zero dark thirty Interview thriller Columbia Pictures Cannes technology Elton John space E3 witnail WGN Year in Review disaster Best and Worst hist Lifetime 24 frames casting Winter TV 2016 Opinion A&E crossover Ovation green book Freeform streaming teaser sports Brie Larson National Geographic AMC PaleyFest TCM zombies Character Guide Musical SXSW anime Toys miniseries Nickelodeon ESPN cats comiccon cinemax vampires TCA 2017 Musicals Thanksgiving USA television Netflix MSNBC NYCC MCU 21st Century Fox Tomatazos Western war Music elevated horror boxoffice Certified Fresh Sci-Fi Chilling Adventures of Sabrina OWN dramedy TNT strong female leads Comics on TV Apple Spring TV Heroines supernatural natural history FOX crime thriller binge TLC Teen San Diego Comic-Con dceu adventure El Rey TCA Vudu Ghostbusters ratings LGBTQ FXX DGA psycho cooking discovery jamie lee curtis Red Carpet dc political drama FX DC Universe Disney spy thriller justice league Box Office Paramount Network award winner Fall TV Spectrum Originals DC streaming service History Pop Infographic Reality unscripted Super Bowl SDCC Sony Pictures composers Polls and Games historical drama Cartoon Network Mary Poppins Returns Election X-Men Schedule Reality Competition Stephen King Logo Horror Fox News Mindy Kaling YouTube Red Awards 45 Mudbound SundanceTV Rocky DirecTV Summer Superheroe transformers VH1 New York Comic Con Premiere Dates Paramount ITV GLAAD Trivia BBC America social media CW Seed Masterpiece Marathons NBC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Mary Tyler Moore GIFs talk show based on movie Acorn TV BBC Action 20th Century Fox diversity Film Festival Winners Fantasy TBS Starz richard e. Grant Tarantino Drama Song of Ice and Fire Black Mirror Nominations 2019 doctor who comic Grammys Holidays The Witch Amazon dragons aliens Spike Showtime romance festivals Crackle Adult Swim Sneak Peek 2015 Oscars The CW crime Cosplay cults Trailer Britbox Comedy TV Sundance Now TV Land Pirates science fiction Ellie Kemper cops Rocketman Tumblr sequel Comic Book Calendar TIFF American Society of Cinematographers Star Wars politics 2018 Sundance ABC RT History Animation Bravo Martial Arts Awards Tour CBS Superheroes harry potter Dark Horse Comics Captain marvel PBS Creative Arts Emmys travel CMT IFC Films adaptation crime drama Valentine's Day Pet Sematary Food Network RT21 Emmys medical drama Esquire Mary poppins golden globes First Look TruTV blaxploitation Star Trek APB MTV Kids & Family sitcom Rom-Com serial killer Watching Series Podcast Warner Bros. CNN finale Trophy Talk Set visit Hulu USA Network spider-man Walt Disney Pictures Pixar robots Country psychological thriller what to watch Comedy Central Countdown true crime period drama Nat Geo 2017 E! Lucasfilm Universal theme song The Arrangement facebook Extras zombie Video Games singing competition GoT Syfy Disney Channel VICE Quiz Shudder Rock mutant CBS All Access See It Skip It Epix HBO Women's History Month biography Christmas mockumentary Writers Guild of America Lionsgate Marvel anthology Biopics Mystery President police drama YouTube Premium Shondaland Photos docudrama nature 007 DC Comics ABC Family IFC Anna Paquin Amazon Prime YA BET