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

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