Nothing could ring truer than a great horror film where various forms of horror elements are explored. With almost all forms of horror elements featured in “Insidious: Chapter 3“, we thought we were in for some surprises. However, the reality appeared less than stellar.
This chapter is not a letdown per se, as the story no longer revolves around the haunting of the Lambert family. While it’d be great to see Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reprising their respective roles, we’ve got to admit that the chapter came to an end. I mean, how unlucky would it have been for them to be tormented by a demon thrice?
The 3rd instalment of the horror franchise is helmed by first-timer director Leigh Whannell, who wrote and co-starred in the first 2 “Insidious” films. It is a prequel that centres on the supporting character of Elise Rainier (played by Lin Shaye), the gifted psychic who travels into a realm called “The Further” for the first time to save a teenager’s life.
Elise in this film is far from the the strong psychic who is unafraid of the evils. After the death of her beloved husband, she lives together with her dog Warren (cheekily named after the paranormal investigator in “The Conjuring“) and tries her best to avoid contact with the world, especially the spirit world. This all changes when Quinn (played by Stefanie Scott), a young aspiring actress, comes knocking at her door.
Quinn reveals to Elise that she has been trying to contact her late mother Lily in every way that she can, including seeking help from a psychic. Elise reluctantly agrees to help her, but witnesses something that is far more sinister than her mother. She finds herself reuniting with an evil entity that has been finding ways to kill her, and another demonic presence that is preying on Quinn.
“If you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you”, Elise warns Quinn, who is left with no choice but to leave the house with disappointment.
Suspense works well (but not great) in this film, as we find Scott portraying a teenager whom some may find extremely relatable to their own experience. Though she is living in a one-parent family, she still has a dream of passion and a best friend who gives her some comforting advice on her love-hate relationship with her father Sean (played by Dermot Mulroney). Quinn is still distraught over the death of her mother, but is fooled into believing that her late mother is the one who has been trying to contact her.
Like every other demon-possession horror movie, she begins experiencing a series of unusual events and it doesn’t help that she is unable to flee the scene from the soul-sucking entity due to her leg injuries. Elise, on the other hand, is still deciding whether or not to help Quinn after some traumatising events she experienced from “The Further”.
This eventually led us into watching a dreadful routine ghost story that becomes a slight letdown. At times, we couldn’t help but facepalm ourselves as Quinn could’ve avoided getting themselves involved in this trouble. That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy watching the rest of the characters onscreen, of course.
Shaye’s portrayal of Elise remains satisfying throughout the movie and the decision to focus more on her was great, especially when it showed us how she became stronger and why she decided to collaborate with the ghost hunters, Specs (played by Whannell) and Tucker (played by Angus Sampson). Since the 1st “Insidious” film, the ghosthunting duo have done nothing but provide a much needed comic relief to the suspense-filled movie. Their characters are undoubtedly the reasons why this movie may seem enjoyable to the audience.
Any attempt to turn a lacklustre character into something remotely interesting is a vain exercise by any stretch of the imagination. It can be hard to tell whether or not Mulroney’s character is unintentionally crappy, because so much of his scenes thrive on being sort of cringeworthy. Sure, he had his moments to shine, but all of this were eventually watered down by his unnatural ways of delivering his lines. There are certainly better ways to make his character seem a little more relevant in this movie, instead of showcasing him as a very unconvincing single dad who is forever screaming that he’s busy.
Whannell has been constructing a story based on fear since the beginning of the film, making sure that he can scare people with fears that they initially do not have. Sometimes he relies on jump scares to scare his audience, but other times, he keeps the surprise going. We could feel our fear for the evil entity that is attacking Quinn gradually grow bigger, especially when Quinn is forced to be in the same room with the restless spirit.
Also, that deformed woman with no eyes, hands, or feet you saw in the trailer? We can guarantee you that she is not the only thing that conjures up the movie.
Whannell directly tied the new film to its predecessors with a number of recurring characters appearing briefly onscreen. However, this film didn’t make as much impact as it should, despite having director James Wan, who is a buddy and a longtime collaborator to Whannell, serving as a producer and making cameo appearance.
We felt that the director could definitely do better than this, considering the fact that he wrote the first 2 “Insidious” films.
Watch the trailer here:
“Insidious: Chapter 3″ was released on 4th June 2015 and it is now showing in the cinemas worldwide.
For more information, visit the movie’s official Facebook page.