Insidious: Chapter 3

"Very Good"

Insidious: Chapter 3 Review


Instead of wrapping up a trilogy, writer-turned-director Leigh Whannell launches a new horror franchise with a movie that's scary even if it's not particularly original. Its trump card is a strong central performance from the wonderful Lin Shaye, who plays out a sort of origin story (although they could still go back further) for her memorable character from the first two movies.

She's Elise, a medium in touch with the spirits of the dead, and as this story starts she's closed down her practice for good. Then the bright teenager Quinn (Sophie Scott) shows up, desperate to speak to her recently deceased mother while she makes important decisions as high school comes to an end. But Quinn has inadvertently made contact with a much more malevolent spirit in her apartment building, and when her father (Dermot Mulroney) realises that her life is in danger, he convinces Elise to help. Meanwhile, Quinn's little brother Alex (Tate Berney) gets in touch with Spectral Sightings internet ghostbusters Tucker and Specs (Angus Sampson and Whannell), who are about to see their first real ghost.

The film looks terrific, from the everyday creep-outs in the creeky old houses and apartments to the much darker atmosphere of "the further", which Elise has to enter in order to rescue Quinn from "the man who can't breathe" (Michael Reid MacKay), a seriously gruesome spirit who isn't content just haunting the living: he wants them to join him. Shaye delivers a performance that's unusually complex for this genre, as Elise struggles to balance her past and present with a flood of emotions, a reluctant determination to help and a generous sense of prickly humour. Mulroney also adds some weight as a concerned single dad at the end of his tether. And Scott has a promising charisma in the opening scenes, less so when the plot reduces her to a scream queen.

But for the most part Whannell's script is thoroughly entertaining, adding wrinkles to all of the characters that make everyone deeply engaging. So if he never follows through on some plot strands, we don't mind much. He also proves to be a skilled director who should really have more faith in his instincts. He continually cranks up genuinely horrific suspense that sends chills up and down our spine, then undermines it with a cheap jolt, a loud blare of sound and music that removes the horror by reminding us that this is a movie. As a result, the film has the naggingly familiar tone of every other scary movie out there. But it's actually smarter, and if Whannell can hold his nerve next time, he has a chance of finally snapping this genre out of the doldrums.

Watch the trailer for Insidious: Chapter 3 here:




Insidious: Chapter 3

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th June 2015

Distributed by: Focus Features

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Sean Brenner, as Quinn Brenner, as Elise Rainier, as Specs, as Tucker, Tate Berney as Alex Brenner, as The Man Who Can't Breathe, Steve Coulter as Carl, as Maggie, Corbett Tuck as Danielle, Tom Fitzpatrick as Bride in Black, Tom Gallop as Dr. Henderson, Jeris Poindexter as Harry, Ele Keats as Lillith Brenner, as Theater Director

Also starring: ,

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