Directed by Adam Robitel
Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) must confront the trauma of her past when she is called by a man living in her childhood home to fight a haunting.
If this is to be the last movie (and it looks like it is) then it is a good place to stop. The Last Key is a satisfying self-contained story that manages to mix the formula up a little. We get a look into Elise’s past and she gets a few new family members this time around. We are introduced to her estranged brother Christian (Bruce Davison) as well as her niece Melissa (Spencer Locke) and her niece Imogen (Caitlin Gerard) who also possess Elise’s gift. Elise left home as a teenager and has not been back since.
As opposed to the previous spirits this entity was more of a corrupter than purely demonic if you get what I mean. KeyFace (Javier Botet), as this latest demon is referred to in the credits, twists the minds of those it seeks. It is implied that it turned Elise’s father into an abusive murderer that held his victim’s prisoner as well as the gentleman that moved in to the home.
Elise, like her mother, has been seeing visions all her life. This was especially difficult having grown up near a prison that regularly executed those on death row. Her father wanted these visions gone and tried to beat them out of her thus the reason for Elise leaving.
Shaye got some moments of genuine drama here rather than just participating in a horror movie. There is real emotion between her and Davidson as the character of Elise tries to bridge the gap that the absence has caused. He has not really forgiven her for leaving him with their abusive father. She must also deal with the guilt that what she thought was one of her visions was actually her seeing one of her father’s still living victims having just escaped.
There was more emotion in the script than the previous films and Elise was 100% the focus of the story. I still hate that they killed her off at the end of the first movie because she definitely could have carried these films into many more sequels. Shaye is a good actress and as demonstrated in the sequels there is room for the character to grow.
The Last Key was not as frightening as the others. It had some scares but was more of a drama about Elise coming home and making amends with her family. The film did return to more things in the background that you have to watch for which for me upped the scare factor. That I liked. You are kind of participating in the movie when you have to look for the creatures lurking in the shadows.
Speaking of sequels, the two daughters had some potential as the next generation of ghost investigators. They drifted towards the pretty teen trope here, but I have confidence that writer Leigh Whannell could avoid the clichés that go with it. And Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell-AGAIN!) could have fit in nicely given an apparent budding relationship between Specs and Imogen.
The Last Key is not the best of the Insidious films when it comes to scares. The story is more drama that horror, but it is not a bad way to end the series should this be the end and it looks like it. It is a good story and a slight change in what they have done before. You will not be disappointed.