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

Lifetime Christmas movies Ellie Kemper Food Network OneApp strong female leads hispanic game of thrones 007 Turner TCA Winter 2020 Watching Series NYCC medical drama HBO Acorn TV ghosts revenge Quiz FOX adventure PaleyFest crime thriller GoT Marvel Kids & Family ABC Women's History Month Action CW Seed Lionsgate 21st Century Fox Walt Disney Pictures Ghostbusters book free movies Apple unscripted Fall TV Netflix Christmas movies cars IFC Freeform Valentine's Day Lucasfilm boxoffice kids Disney Channel 2015 GLAAD game show directors Christmas Film comiccon Photos rotten movies we love spanish language hist BET based on movie Disney Comics on TV FX cats comics ratings disaster Rocky Sundance mutant richard e. Grant adaptation Rom-Com tv talk Awards Tour 2018 YouTube Red Emmys Heroines talk show Holiday Anna Paquin WarnerMedia cooking Oscars composers Tubi Winter TV Schedule TCM Comedy dceu Pirates YouTube Brie Larson facebook historical drama Disney+ Disney Plus APB witnail Columbia Pictures Character Guide crime drama Star Wars HBO Max spy thriller TBS Sony Pictures Spike documentary sitcom RT History Infographic 2017 A24 green book Country Pet Sematary Spectrum Originals Hallmark Christmas movies psychological thriller ESPN romantic comedy A&E OWN versus cults MCU NBC social media cancelled television ABC Family The Arrangement politics Fox News Certified Fresh AMC nature CNN batman Marathons Western children's TV renewed TV shows serial killer Shondaland Tumblr MTV TV dragons zero dark thirty cinemax jamie lee curtis Mindy Kaling festivals Red Carpet DirecTV space Pop 2020 Syfy award winner New York Comic Con Year in Review true crime TV renewals blockbuster quibi teaser Opinion werewolf streaming blaxploitation Captain marvel Apple TV Plus Teen docudrama Extras Arrowverse animated Cartoon Network PBS Mary Tyler Moore Marvel Studios Baby Yoda Crackle Mary Poppins Returns canceled TV shows Cosplay Music Tarantino what to watch anthology cancelled TV series doctor who IFC Films Musicals TIFF Superheroe Pride Month VH1 diversity cancelled Video Games comic DC streaming service mockumentary Disney Plus Apple TV+ natural history stand-up comedy cops SundanceTV TCA Ovation Sneak Peek Rocketman Song of Ice and Fire Grammys aliens TruTV Endgame Stephen King American Society of Cinematographers police drama period drama Nickelodeon Election Sci-Fi screen actors guild biography Starz Superheroes Polls and Games TNT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Martial Arts sequel 45 Epix Turner Classic Movies Mary poppins Hulu Peacock crime Classic Film YouTube Premium Amazon Prime FXX Premiere Dates Masterpiece dc El Rey Trophy Talk SXSW Netflix Mudbound spider-man foreign series television San Diego Comic-Con TCA 2017 justice league Sundance TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Reality Nominations Logo Thanksgiving Summer slashers The Witch cartoon Musical sports golden globes CBS Nat Geo Trivia Tomatazos zombies discovery Countdown Black History Month Comedy Central DC Comics Holidays vampires Animation Crunchyroll Dark Horse Comics movies thriller See It Skip It Shudder indie robots Family DGA 2019 psycho Film Festival Spring TV Trailer Reality Competition name the review Warner Bros. Horror USA Network war Universal X-Men 2016 Pixar CMT TLC spain Interview Rock Best and Worst GIFs science fiction spinoff Amazon Studios E! theme song cancelled TV shows LGBTQ Britbox elevated horror First Reviews independent screenings TV Land movie Star Trek First Look Emmy Nominations Disney streaming service crossover Amazon Prime Video Elton John 71st Emmy Awards Paramount Network SDCC Sundance Now political drama Television Academy Hallmark Cannes Binge Guide zombie Marvel Television christmas movies south america Vudu technology Toys Avengers History casting toy story CBS All Access RT21 Amazon Creative Arts Emmys Chernobyl transformers MSNBC BBC America halloween finale The Walking Dead President YA travel Adult Swim Discovery Channel Lifetime WGN dramedy USA Calendar Showtime joker binge Black Mirror breaking bad 24 frames LGBT The CW Biopics Paramount National Geographic The Purge 20th Century Fox Comic Book Esquire DC Universe VICE supernatural Mystery romance Set visit latino Fantasy Bravo dogs video Box Office Writers Guild of America sag awards Super Bowl Winners Academy Awards E3 Podcast ITV reboot canceled Awards anime miniseries singing competition BBC Drama harry potter