Written and Directed by Leigh Whannell (Directorial Debut)
In a film set before the first two, Elise (Lin Shaye) has retired from ghost hunting following the death of her husband but a visit from a young woman pulls her back in.
Friday on here I do movies that are part of a film series. I decided to post my reviews of the Insidious films in order of the series timeline rather than in order of their release in case someone has not seen them and may decide to partake of the movies in a sensible order.
This is a nice prequel to the previous two films. It maintains the basic elements of the first two films without being a total rehash of them. We get a little more into the life of Elise and we learn how she met Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell). Their origin was a bit of a jab at Ghost Hunters at least to me anyway. They are genuine frauds that here find themselves going up against what they only pretended to fight or investigate.
“The Man Who Can’t Breathe” (Michael Reid MacKay) is the villain of our story. He is a dark spirit from the Further that seeks to consume the lifeforce of the living and has set its sights on Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) who lives with her father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) and brother Alex (Tate Berney) in a modest apartment. This was as disconcerting of a demon as you could find in any film. I generally like my spirits in horror to be twisted versions of real things.
These characters are realistic people. There is nothing too special about any of them other than they are grieving the loss of the mother. But that in and of itself is not extraordinary since a parent can die in real life from something like cancer.
You could see them all as a family you would meet. They are working class family with the father who is an electrician and a daughter with dreams of stardom and a younger brother who spends way too much time on the Internet from the looks of it. Nothing out of the ordinary for modern times. And that is what the first two films did well. The previous family were normal style people. You could see them as a family you would meet as well. They were people you could find every day in suburbia. The people in this film are nothing too special. You could find them in an apartment building just about anywhere. And that is what makes this movie effective.
With relatable characters there is more depth than scare here. You could call it a supernatural drama at times. Not that this movie does not have moments of fright, but it just does not have as many as the last films. That can be a tough thing to pull off for any horror sequel. There however is plenty of creep and atmosphere to be had in this film. The menace and foreboding that permeates much of this movie is what helps to really sell it. While there are not too many scares, you will yell a little bit and jump the rest of the time.
Carl (Steve Coulter) from the second film (fourth in chronology) shows up in this one and we get very little in the way of growth of the character. His purpose is to give Elise a pep talk and that is it. In his first appearance it is said that he and Elise had not spoken in a bit with the implication being it had been quite some time but based on their meeting in this movie it does not look to have been all that long. So had they drifted apart or not?
Carl was the biggest negative in the movie. I find the character likable but underused or just poorly used. I think he should have been skipped with Barbara Hershey returning for a cameo or maybe the motivation coming from within somehow if she were unavailable.
I enjoyed Insidious: Chapter 3. It is not as intense or scary as the first two, but it has an atmosphere and it is creepy with a handful of frightening moments in it. This is a very enjoyable film for horror fans. Put it in and enjoy and be scared.