Despite producer Jason Blum’s initial comments that he wouldn’t get behind a sequel to 2010’s possession horror, Insidious, unless he was presented with a story that really made sense, it always seemed like a sequel was going to be inevitable anyway. Not only is Insidious one of the mostly widely well-reviewed horror movies of the last decade, but it also managed to make a whole bunch of money without having a very big budget. That’s too good of a formula for the Hollywood money-making machine to abandon. So, sure enough, last February we got word that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were both coming back, and Insidious 2 was officially in the works.
The press release issued for the film today [via ComingSoon] brings a couple of more surprises with it as well, though. Despite the fact that the original Insidious ended with a situation that looked pretty grim for the family that it featured, and you might have imagined that a sequel would introduce us to a whole new cast of characters battling a similar evil spirit, the money men behind this sequel say that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will all be back for this new film, reprising their roles from the original.
Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the original cast as an indication that any concerns over story were just empty words and this sequel will be a cash grab as cynical as any other? Obviously it’s still too early to tell, but this new announcement makes the movie look suspect.
What does Blum have to say about the sequel now that it’s officially underway? His statement read, “Blumhouse is committed to empowering filmmakers to tell their stories and we are excited to do that once again with the team from the first Insidious including James and Leigh and the original cast. We also look forward to working with our partners on the first film—FilmDistrict, Alliance and Sony.” It’s hard to imagine a quote in a corporate-approved document sounding more generic, and that’s certainly a far cry from, “If Leigh [Whannell] comes up with a story that’s inventive and you feel like there’s a story to tell—as opposed to ‘let’s make another movie and make money’—and he comes up with something James feels is worth making we would do it,” but, for now, it’s probably best that we give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
Insidious was pretty cool, and Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are better actors than you usually get in ghost stories like this. Maybe they’ve come up with something great?