A 10-minute prologue tells us of how younger Josh was first visited by a spirit, and first "treated" by ghost buster Elise (Lindsay Seim as a younger version of Lin Shaye's character). Back in the present, adult Josh and wife Renai (Byrne) have fled to grandma's house after the harrowing events of "Insidious," which ended with Elise dead.
Renai doesn't know for sure that Josh didn't kill the medium, and neither do the cops. It doesn't help that Josh has a faintly demonic bent to his denials about the spooky apparitions, a piano that plays by itself, etc.
"You have to relax," he purrs. "Ignore them and they will go away."
Of course, "they" don't. That's when granny Lorraine (Hershey) summons Elise's old partner (Steve Coulter), along with her younger ghost hunters, Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson).
Then the joking begins. In white shirts and black ties, the ghost hunters have everything but the sunglasses and sports coats of the "Men in Black."
They're credulous when all around them are incredulous.
That's the sly comfort in this "feel-good" horror franchise.
Out there, in the Yellow Pages, there are "experts" who can help you deal with the supernatural.
And even after death, a good ghost hunter is still on the clock.
The techno-props — ranging from baby monitors (been there, heard that) to old found video, to tin-can telephones — convey the ghostly voices from beyond.