Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Lin Shaye, Dermot Mulroney, and Stefanie Scott
Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)
When the first Insidious came out in theaters, James Wan proved that just because a horror film is PG-13, doesn’t mean it’s rubbish. It was intensely frightening and it created a series of films that took audiences into a hellish descent, into a ghostly work called The Further. This time around, Leigh Wannell (James Wan’s friend and a star from Saw and Insidious) took over the director’s chair for this prequel chapter in the franchise. How does it stack up?
Quinn Brenner (Played by Stefanie Scott) is a talented teenager, who wants to get into the world of acting by getting into college to get some time for herself from her overbearing Dad (Played by Dermot Mulroney) and her lazy brother. The family’s dynamic had been severely altered upon the death of her mother, and her dad just can’t get it together to run the house by himself. Quinn longs for this connection with her mother that was lost, and tries to connect with her by contacting the dead. What follows from there is a nightmare, as she’s contacted something that isn’t her mother and it wants her. Elise (Played by the amazing Lin Shaye) is introduced once more as a medium whose attempts to help Quinn rid herself of this otherworldly leech…if she can get rid of her own personal demons that is.
What I’ve always appreciated about the Insidious movies, is that they take you places. Dark places. The back stories of the demons at play are demented and malicious, for PG-13 fare, its as disturbing as it gets. This time around we are terrorized by the “Man who can’t breathe” and he has quite an on screen presence. Since this is a prequel, we don’t get to see the Lamberts again, but we do see some other familiar characters that take the series full circle and that is quite the treat.
The main question one hears from seeing a horror film is, well, is it scary? The answer to that will be different for everyone. Sure Insidious Chapter 3 has it’s fair share of jump scares and chilling moments, but did I feel like I was in danger? Did I feel frightened beyond belief? Nope. I had a lot of fun watching this flick, but it didn’t quite pack the same punch as the previous two chapters, not to mention the fact that the trailer gives too much away. I also thought most of the characters were unlikable, besides Tucker and Specs of course, and Elise, and I had a hard time actually caring about the dad, his performance was a little too overdone. I would also like to add that the demon, while pretty creepy, fails to be as intense as the Black Bride or the lipstick faced demon from the first two films. He’s just not as threatening, at least, not to me.
What can I say? I still had a great time watching this one in theaters and again at home, it’s got this level of old school horror charm and the cinematography is to die for. I can get over the minor issues with characters, but I just wish people would learn how to cut a damn trailer without ruining half the movie. Geeze.
7 Demons out of 10.
(No trailer this time, don’t want to spoil anything)